South Koreans Download a Movie Per Week

South Korean Internet users regularly utilize their super-fast broadband connections to stock up on blockbuster movies, according to a new study. Nearly half of the respondents of a survey conducted by the Korean Film Council said they have downloaded movies through file-sharing services, The Korea Times reports, with the typical user downloading 54.4 movies a year.

South Korea is often referred to as the future of broadband, with 90 percent of all households connected to the Net at high speed. No, we’re not talking about the type of slow-poke DSL that telcos euphemistically call broadband in the U.S. Think 40 Mbit, straight to your living room. And apparently South Koreans are putting these blazing-fast speeds to use.

The survey involved 2,358 Internet users between the ages of 15 and 49. Of them, 47 percent said they’ve downloaded movies from file-sharing networks, with almost 33 percent saying they did so because it’s cheaper than buying movies, whereas about 21 percent said they thought it gave them more flexibility.

Also interesting are the reasons given by the 50-odd percent of respondents that haven’t used P2P networks — 28 percent claimed it was simply too complicated to get their movies this way, and about 18 percent cited security concerns. Copyright was only cited by about 12 percent of the non-downloaders.

As far as copyright enforcement efforts are concerned, the results of this survey are telling. Korea’s biggest P2P network, Soribada, was forced into copyright compliance in 2005, but it doesn’t look like that stopped anyone from swapping files.

There haven’t been any major lawsuit campaigns against individual P2P users in South Korea, but this new survey seems to echo the industry’s desire to change that. The Korean Film Council also asked what users would do if there were stricter enforcement in place, and 16 percent showed some willingness to subscribe to legal download services — and 34 percent promised to forget about their 40 Mbits and head back to the theaters. Riiight.

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