1 in 2 Singaporeans download illegal music, videos: Poll

1 in 2 Singaporeans download illegal music, videos: Poll

SINGAPORE - More than half of Singaporeans download music and videos illegally, even while they condemn piracy as a form of theft.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the official press release from research consultancy Sycamore, which conducted a survey on the digital habits of young Singaporeans:

7 IN 10 YOUNG SINGAPOREANS AGED 16-24 ENGAGE IN DIGITAL PIRACY OUT OF HABIT

Findings by research consultancy Sycamore Research and Marketing revealed today that 7 out of 10 young Singaporeans engage in digital piracy out of habit. The research found that while young people were well aware that digital piracy was theft or stealing, and that their actions were unlikely to go unsanctioned, they viewed piracy as the norm, while peer pressure plays a big part in motivating their behaviour.

The research, 'Online Behavior And Attitudes Of Singaporeans In Relation To Movie, TV And Music Piracy 2014', was designed to reveal the motivations and attitudes of Singaporeans aged between 16-64 years old in relation to their engagement in online film, music, and television piracy.

The findings were released at GV Grand Cinema at Great World City, Singapore, to a large audience of film, television, music and media personalities and representatives from the wider creative community in Singapore.

Speaking at the launch event, Ms. Clara Cheo, CEO of Golden Village Multiplex, said, "While we continually see the many ways in which the internet has improved people's lives, it is an unfortunate fact that irresponsible web usage leaves a larger dilemma on our hands. The findings that will be shared today are as worrying as they are eye-opening. Left unchallenged, the widespread internet habits of Singaporeans could impact our entertainment industry. As a parent, I'm concerned about the negative influences that children are exposed to via illegal online piracy sites. Rogue sites such as The Pirate Bay, a playground for advertisements that advocate scams, gambling and pornography, need to be shown in its true light to Singaporeans."

Mr Ang Kwee Tiang, Regional Director (Asia) of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, reiterated the need for responsible online behaviour as it has been detrimental to the local music recording industry. He said, "The state of the Singapore music recording industry is shocking. From almost S$90 million in 1997, it has gone into a free fall to only S$20 million in 2012 - the Singapore music recording industry is one-fifth the size it was in 1997. Although there is an abundance of legal and reasonably priced alternatives in Singapore such as Amped, KKBox, Rdio, Deezer or downloads from iTunes, the local music market is not only anaemic; it is in dire straits. It is suffering from having to compete with free and illegal online options, most of which are hosted overseas and easily accessible to Singaporeans. If we do not work together and take urgent actions to reduce this easy availability of illegal content in the online environment, and allow the legitimate businesses to grow the market, the Singapore music recording industry might soon be reduced to a footnote."

The pay-TV industry also weighed in on measures taken to fight digital piracy. Ms Tan Ying Zh, Assistant Vice President of Content Services, StarHub said, "We recognise the need to reduce the incentive for consumers to choose piracy. So we are continuing to bring in new channels with fresh content to add to our selection of over 200 channels. We are also working with content partners to make more content available in High Definition and on our multiscreen service, StarHub TV Anywhere. We believe that making legal quality content available to consumers through a convenient platform and at a reasonable price can reduce demand for infringing alternatives. This contrasts with illegal websites which do not respect the intellectual property rights of content owners and are not obligated to improve their quality of service for their viewers.

While our efforts are paying off, it is difficult to compete with pirate operators who do not pay for content. Content owners have invested billions of dollars to produce high-quality entertainment for their viewers. Hence, it is important that we do what we can, alongside the government and the rest of the industry, to help protect their copyright. In addition, we need more public education to foster greater awareness of piracy and the legal alternatives for consumers. For example, consumers can start by referring to Singapore's first online directory of digital content available from legitimate sources which was put together by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) and law firm Olswang. Piracy affects every single one of us in the industry, from the artistes to content owners to broadcasters to the consumer. It would be a sadder and less innovative world if the pirate operators win."

Key findings from the study include:
- More than half (61 per cent) of the Singaporean adult population (16-64) say they have participated in movie and TV or music piracy.
- It's a youth issue. 69 per cent of 16-18 year olds and almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of 19-24 year olds actively download or stream pirated music, movies or TV shows.
- 17 per cent of Singaporeans say that they download or stream pirated movies, TV shows or music at least once a week.
- The majority of active pirates in Singapore (66 per cent) agree that 'Pirating creative content is stealing/theft', while still actively engaging in the act.
- The primary reason Singaporean's pirate copyrighted content is because they can get it for free. 85 per cent of active pirates say they pirate content because it is free.
- Piracy websites that target Singaporeans rely on advertising revenues as their means of profit. When asked what type of advertising they recall seeing on piracy websites, 58 per cent of 16- 18 year olds recall seeing sex industry advertisements, and 46 per cent of 19-24 year olds recall seeing advertisements for gambling sites.
- Most piracy takes place at home, unsurprisingly, though piracy in the workplace is not uncommon and pirates also talk of pirating 'on the go' through mobile devices. Amongst the younger pirates, there is an overwhelming consensus (80 per cent) that piracy is a social norm. Those who do not do it are not perceived to be part of the group.
- 41 per cent of persistent pirates say that they pirate movies, TV shows and music because there are no enforced laws to stop them.
- Individuals play the biggest role in preventing online piracy. When asked to choose only one, 32 per cent say they personally should take most responsibility followed by Internet Service Providers (16 per cent) and the Government (13 per cent).
- A majority of Singaporeans (55 per cent) believe the Internet requires more regulation to prevent individuals from downloading or streaming pirated content. Interestingly, those who most actively pirate digital content also support these measures.
- More than half of Singaporeans (55 per cent), and active pirates, say they support blocking of Internet sites where a court has determined the sole commercial purpose of the rogue website is to illegally profit from copyright content.

Sycamore Research and Marketing conducted the quantitative research online with 900 respondents aged 16-64 (Dec 2013), following qualitative discussion groups amongst active pirates (Nov 2013). The full research report and summary 'Online Behavior And Attitudes Of Singaporeans In Relation To Movie, TV And Music Piracy 2014' is available to view and download at www.sycamore.com.au

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