Almost 80% of the participants had used p2p file-sharing sites for illegal file downloading, whilst 10% had used only used p2p sites for legal spreading of files. Many of the p2p file sharing site users would be willing to pay for spreading of the files, however the technical protection measures remain unacceptable for them.
It can clearly be seen in the study that p2p users and the copyright owners are speaking a different language. Rhetoric used by the copyright owners and the comparisons of p2p users to professional criminals or even to terrorists is simply not believable among the users
It appears that the legislative maximum penalty for p2p file-sharing is not matching the participants’ sense of justice. When the copyright law was amended, the maximum penalty was raised to two years in prison. Maximum penalty of two years allows e.g. house searches. For these reasons it might be according to start thinking if there has been an overkill in the legislation.
The main findings:
The users of online music stores appreciate the easy use of the stores and furthermore found the chance to buy single tracks, as opposed to being forced to buy an entire album, important
The technical protection measures decreased the amount of customers for online music stores
The actions taken by the copyright owners have not had any significant effect to filesharing
The participants in the survey had problems recognizing the rights granted on the users by the copyright law
The chance of getting caught of using illegal p2p file sharing sites was estimated to be between the chance of winning the jackpot in lottery, and the chance of a television license inspector paying a visit
Large-scale p2p file-sharing was generally thought to be as condemnable as failing to pay for a television license
The use of p2p file sharing sites has not had any significant impact on the use of other medias, excepting portable recording devices, such as the iPod, which use it has slightly increased
Many would be willing to pay for a monthly service that enabled unlimited music and videofile sharing and downloading
About 80% or the participants thought they had learned to know of new artists better by using p2p file sharing sites
Selling pirated recordings of different medias was thought to be more condemnable than large scale p2p file sharing
Researches like this have been made before, but the data from them is locked away, and the results from them could not have been verified scientifically. We wanted to avoid this and bring our data available for everyone no matter were the use of it for the benefit of public discussion, writing a scientific paper or questioning our results.We have decided to share the data of the study for other research use. The set of data has been licensed with CC-by Finland 1.0 license. When referring to the data, the following citation is recommended: Hietanen, Huttunen, Kokkinen; HIIT P2P Survey Data 2007.
One of the motives for the research was to find out how users perceive the claims about p2p file sharing networks. This was in my opinion achieved.
Violent discussions broke out about the survey and the questions in it in different discussion forums. It appears that p2p file sharing evokes violent emotions on each side of the argument. The people behind the survey were thought to be errand boys of the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society (Teosto) and according to the wildest rumors the Central Bureau of Investigation (KRP, Keskusrikospoliisi) was tapping the prize cell phones to bust users for P2P crimes. As the instigator of the study I can assure that none of the aforementioned claims were true.
The schizophrenic approach toward the study led to the unfortunate incident when 800€ Nokia N95 cell phone prize had to be redrawn, as the participant, who originally won the phone, e-mail "loosers@KRP.fi" bounced. His contact information said:
HA haa, I wont tell you my contact information. F*ck you KRP.
Special thanks to Henriika, who helped organizing the data into a more readable form, and to Mikael, who tried teaching lawyers how to make surveys.