Confusion over legality of downloading

Confusion over what constitutes illegal downloading is turning unwitting internet users into pirates. This is the key finding of a survey by law firm Wiggin, reported in today's Guardian.

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The independent online survey of 2,500 respondents showed that as many as 44% thought is was legal to upload commercially-produced media to a file-sharing website, or did not know whether it was lawful or not. 35% thought it was legal to copy a film or television programme as a file from a friend, or again, did not know if it was legal or not.

Most of those surveyed agreed that copyright is important and that infringement should be prevented, with 68% saying it was necessary to protect the creative industries from piracy, up from 55% in 2010. However, almost two-thirds admitted they regularly use search engines to find unauthorised content, with over one in four doing so on a daily basis.

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