One in five UK internet users claims to have downloaded a pirated copy of a movie, according to research by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The MPAA also said that, despite their protestations to the contrary, 12 per cent of downloaders in the UK are buying fewer DVD movies than before. In Korea the figure is 56 per cent.
Some 56 per cent of downloaders worldwide expect to continue downloading movies, and 17 per cent of non-downloaders are likely to start doing so in the future, according to the MPAA.
The organisation indicated that, if internet piracy continues unabated, it is likely to increase piracy in both traditional counterfeiting and illegitimate sales over the internet.
Nearly half of downloaders consider it acceptable to download movies before they are released on DVD or video, and the vast majority have no objection to downloading a movie after it is released on DVD or video.
Downloaders also said that they would download more movies if it took less time, something likely to happen with the wider adoption of broadband.
The research suggested that the illegality of pirating movies via the internet is a major deterrent for non-downloaders, and that there is interest in high-quality downloads and finding ways to download movies without breaking the law.
The MPAA said: "The top means of preventing piracy in the future revolves around educating consumers that this activity is illegal. There is also strong interest in discovering a means of legally obtaining movies."
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