Poll: Americans think downloading no big deal


TORONTO -- Most Americans regard the illegal downloading and distributing of Hollywood movies as something on par with minor parking offenses, Canada's Solutions Research Group said Wednesday.

The Toronto-based consultancy, releasing its latest Digital Life America survey, said that only 40% of Americans polled agreed that downloading copyrighted movies on the Internet was a "very serious offense."

That compares with the 78% of respondents who said shoplifting a DVD from the local video store was a very serious offense.

"There is a Robin Hood effect. Most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie downloading as a big deal," said Kaan Yigit, study director at Solutions Research Group.

The Digital Life America survey found that 59% of Americans polled considered "parking in a fire lane" a more serious offense than movie downloading.

Yigit said that existing download-to-own movie services and new market entrants will need to be more flexible in first-run and catalog content offerings and pricing if they want to convince consumers to pay copyright holders for product.

"Otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive," he said.

The Digital Life America survey polled about 2,600 Americans between June and late September.