Over a third of V3.co.uk readers illegally download content from the internet because they believe the cost of buying the content legally is too high, according to a poll.
Another third of readers would not download the content if they had to pay for it, and do so because it is freely accessible.
The statistics are evidence that methods to stop illegal file sharing, such as those proposed in the government's Digital Britain report, may not necessarily result in increased revenues for the creative industries, and that methods to change business models between industries supplying the content and the public could be more effective.
The Digital Britain report outlines ambitious plans to reduce illegal downloads by 80 per cent over the next two years by giving new powers to Ofcom.
Ofcom will work with ISPs to target individuals sharing files with peers and send them written warnings. If a warning does not work, the identity of the downloader will be given to the copyright holder which will then be able to take legal action.
The government had been expected to encourage ISPs to offer different priced service packages depending on how much an individual downloads. The ISPs would then reimburse the copyright holders.
However, bodies representing the entertainment and software industries have expressed their disappointment with the report's proposals, arguing that they are not tough enough.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide, claimed that there were around 890 million unauthorised music downloads in the UK through file-sharing in 2007, in contrast to around 140 million paid-for downloads, a ratio of six to one.
Meanwhile, the Business Software Alliance estimated in 2007 that the software industry lost £1.25bn in the UK alone because of illegal downloads, and $48bn (£29bn) worldwide.
Both bodies argue that the amount of copyright theft that occurs online is equal to the industry's lost sales, even though the V3.co.uk poll responses indicate that, if downloaders are not able to access the content for free, they will not access it at all.
If the copyright holders are to win back revenue from the latest government proposals it is likely to be from the small percentage of respondents who said they had an urgent need for the material, and the even smaller percentage who 'downloaded the material for someone else'.
Only a handful of respondents said that they had never illegally downloaded content, a figure that greatly exceeds intellectual property minister David Lammy's recent assertion that one in four UK citizens has tried file sharing.
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