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Most people would stop downloading illegal music if sent a warning letter by their ISP, a second set of research has shown. The survey…

Most people would stop downloading illegal music if sent a warning letter by their ISP, a second set of research has shown. The survey of 1,300 US, UK and French music fans showed 64 percent would quit if warned, The Leading Question analyst Tim Walker, who conducted the survey, told the MidemNet conference in Cannes. This backs up the findings of Entertainment Media Research in the UK last year, which found a similar response.

Recently introduced legislation in France already allows ISPs to warn broadband customers identified as illegal downloaders, leading to disconnection after three warnings. The practice was trialled in the UK last year after an industry-wide agreement and could be mandated in French-style law under new government regulations expected to be proposed later this month. America’s RIAA is also abandoning lawsuits against customers, favouring a softer, warning approach.

Most respondents to the new survey denied file-sharing; but, of those who do, a majority said they were not concerned about being caught. Their compulsion to stop illegal downloading was even greater when backed up with the threat of broadband disconnection. The research also showed that a big majority of fans, 46 percent, would prefer to get their music via their ISP.

If that’s not a carrot-and-stick, we don’t know what is (95 percent of music downloads are believed to be illegal) – but, as we reported Friday, some ISPs seem to be dragging their heels on rolling out next-gen music offerings. The survey also found that streaming music websites, and not paid-track downloads, are the most common means of music consumption for users – meaning more revenue for labels through licensing rather than purchases.

Walker’s full slides at top of post.

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  1. This is one approach that will not work in the long run.

    The industry should focus on good music and promotion, not scaremongering and litigation.

    Where would Richard Branson be now if Virgin had acted with such disdain?

    The industry should stop seeing downloaders as pirates.

    Most music obsessives will download a few albums, then buy the best one on CD/vinyl.

    The only people that loose out are those that sell substandard music.

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