Three quarters of those surveyed admitted that they had illegally downloaded music at least once. But one in six said that they exclusively use paid-for legal services like iTunes and Napster to download their music.
The survey also highlighted a lack of awareness about the law, despite high profile legal actions against illegal downloaders by the British Phonographic Industry. Only 25 per cent said that they understood the law.
Some 150 legal actions have been taken against downloaders, half of whom have reached out of court settlements of up to £6,500 to avoid court action.
The poll found that a popular source of music was LimeWire, with 25 per cent of respondents saying they had used the service. One in five said they had used iTunes for legal downloads.
The BPI estimates that 24 million tracks were downloaded illegally this year compared with 5.7 million last year.
Richard Coleman, a programmer from Luton with three teenaged sons, said: " It's still far too easy for kids to find peer-to-peer services from which they can download tracks.
"I don't really see what the music industry can do about it. It's what this generation has been brought up with."
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