Columbia University’s American Assembly research center is out with a new survey (PDF) commissioned by Google on file sharing and copyright enforcement.
The survey gathered public opinions to gain insight into how consumers get content and what their opinions are toward copyright enforcement. Google would be interested in such results because it now offers the Google Music service through Google Play and often touts the open Internet cause.
As ArsTechnica pointed out, the results indicated that Americans do not support the use of bandwidth throttling and disconnection as fair punishments for unauthorized file sharing. Interestingly, though, 41 percent of U.S. P2P users support at least some type of penalty for unauthorized downloading. The findings most notably mentioned, however, that peer-to-peer file-sharing users tend to purchase 30 percent more music than non-filing-sharing users.
Other noteworthy results: Only 4 percent to 15 percent of Americans said it is O.K. to upload copyrighted material for public consumption, share links to pirated material on Facebook, or sell unauthorized copyrighted materials.
In addition, 13 percent of Americans actually use peer-to-peer file-sharing software and 20 percent of them are under 30. Eight in 10 Americans then said it is O.K. to share copyrighted material with family, but six in 10 said it is O.K. to share copyrighted material with friends. Moreover, 76 percent of Americans under 30 said it is O.K. to share content with friends, but just 51 percent of those over 65 agree with that idea.
As noted above, Google believes in a world with open Internet. But, the survey’s results said 53 percent of Americans think search engines should “be required to block links to pirated music and videos online.” Forty-two percent disagreed and said search engines should not block copyrighted material.