IP Dragon, now coming to you from Hong Kong, reports on the following data:
60 percent of young people in Hong Kong download films or music illegally, according to Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) survey.
17 perent of 559 respondents aged 10 to 24 were unsure whether they were breaking copyright law.
As usual, I think that the 60% figure is low, although I don’t know what the specific question was these kids were being asked. If the question was something like “Have you downloaded an illegal MP3 or video file during the past 30 days?” I would expect a hit rate of at least 80%.
The only reason that number should be low is if young people in Hong Kong are simply not tech savvy and therefore do not know how to obtain access to such illegal content. That’s very hard to believe, particularly with respect to MP3 files.
The second figure, on legal knowledge, is much easier to believe. Twenty percent of kids probably believe that the earth is flat and that Hong Kong is the capital city of China.
Where does all this leave us? Well, no surprise. Most kids in Hong Kong understand perfectly well that file sharing of this sort constitutes copyright infringement, yet at least 60% of them do it anyway.
Kind of supports my “They will do it as long as they can get away with it” theory of IP infringement. Only if folks are scared of prosecution, or if technology comes up with a magic copy protection solution, will this problem go away.
Public education/awareness campaigns don’t seem to be getting the job done.