Poll: Young Say File Sharing OK

Resident David Wacker stands in front of his barricated home, fearing mud slides and rainstorms, after the Station Fire burned close to the the foothill communities of La Crescenta and Tujunga, in Glendale, Calif. on Oct. 12, 2009 AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Americans who follow the issue of Internet music sharing do not believe that it is always acceptable to share online files -- though many believe it is okay to share a few copies of a CD they already own. But Americans age 18 to 29 are three times as likely as those 30 and over to say file sharing is always okay, no matter the circumstances. And if they were to pay for a music file, Americans think a fair price for a single downloaded song is around one dollar.

58 percent of Americans who have followed the issue of sharing music files over the Internet consider it an acceptable practice in at least some circumstances: 14 percent say it is always acceptable, and 44 percent say it is acceptable if a person owns the music CD and shares it with a limited number of friends and acquaintances. 37 percent agree with the recording industry's position that online music sharing is never acceptable because it deprives musicians and music companies of their income.

IS ONLINE MUSIC SHARING ACCEPTABLE?
(Among Those Who Follow The Issue)

Always acceptable
All
14%
18-29
29%
30+
9%

Sometimes acceptable
All
44%
18-29
40%
30+
46%

Never acceptable
All
37%
18-29
30%
30+
40%

Young adults under age 30 who have followed this issue are three times as likely as those age 30 or older to think free online music sharing is always acceptable: 29 percent of them say it is, compared with just one in ten adults age 30 or older.

One alternative to free online music sharing is digital music services that charge a small fee for letting users purchase individual songs over the Internet. Asked what they would consider a fair price for a song they could download and burn onto their own CD, 15 percent of those following the issue suggest prices 50 cents or less. 29 percent name a price between 51 cents and one dollar, and another 13 percent name prices between $1.01 and $2 as being fair. 19 percent suggested prices over two dollars and almost a quarter offer no opinion on what these services should charge for downloading a song over the Internet.

FAIR PRICE FOR DOWNLOADING A SONG ON THE INTERNET:
(Among Those Who Follow The Issue)

Up to 50 cents
All
15%
18-29
27%
Men
22%
Women
8%

51 cents to $1
All
29%
18-29
33%
Men
32%
Women
26%

$1.01 to $2
All
13%
18-29
17%
Men
12%
Women
15%

$2.01 to $5
All
17%
18-29
15%
Men
14%
Women
22%

More than $5
All
2%
18-29
0%
Men
3%
Women
2%

Don't know
All
23%
18-29
6%
Men
17%
Women
26%

Among those who are following the topic of online music sharing, young people under age 30 and men are the most likely to see the acceptable price for downloading a song as lower. Six in ten Americans under age 30 who have followed this issue say the fair price should be no more than a dollar, as do 54 percent of men.

So far, however, most Americans have not paid much attention to the issue of online music sharing. Just 39 percent of Americans say they have followed the issue at least somewhat closely (only 8 percent have followed it very closely). A quarter say they are not following it very closely, and nearly four in ten are not following the issue at all.

FOLLOW ISSUE OF ONLINE MUSIC SHARING:

Very closely
All
8%
18-29
13%
30+
7%
Men
11%
Women
5%

Somewhat closely
All
31%
18-29
39%
30+
29%
Men
35%
Women
28%

Not very closely
All
23%
18-29
19%
30+
24%
Men
23%
Women
23%

Not at all
All
37%
18-29
28%
30+
40%
Men
30%
Women
43%

An exception to this is young Americans under age 30: most of them report following the issue of online music sharing at least somewhat closely. Men are also more likely than women to have followed this topic, although majorities of both say they have not been paying much attention.

For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.




This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 675 adults interviewed by telephone September 15-16, 2003. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus four percentage points for results based on the entire sample. Sampling errors for subgroups may be higher. The error due to sampling on Americans age 18 to 29 could be plus or minus ten percentage points.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.