In the week the UK government unveiled plans to stop illegal file sharing, a report has revealed that almost one in ten people break the law in consuming online media.
The Futuresource Consulting survey of 2,500 people in the UK, France, Germany and the US found that eight per cent admitted to illegal downloading.
Moreover, two-thirds of UK respondents reported watching TV and films on their computers, whether of the legal variety or otherwise. A huge 90 per cent of people consuming online media had never paid for any of it.
While many media companies happily provide free content online, the findings have serious implications for future revenue streams.
But might cough up
Futuresource concluded: "This... presents a major obstacle to the development of online content services and continues to heavily impact upon revenues, despite governments' and industry authorities' renewed attempts to tighten up the system."
Although most people questioned said they would consider paying for content in future, it remains to be seen what will really happen when push comes to shove.