• United States
by Ann Harrison

Another P2P survey shows widespread file trading

Sep 04, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Survey says 35% Americans use P2P software

How widespread and popular is file trading? Another P2P survey has been released indicating that about 35 million American adults use file-sharing software. That amounts to about 29% of Internet users. Earlier surveys have suggested that about another 30 million American kids use P2P networks.

Add that to the vast community of international file traders and you have an online community that will not be erased by litigation, regulation or legislation. Like a hardy organic creature, file trading will persevere even in hostile conditions. Think of these networks as the ever-adaptive rats and cockroaches of the Internet.

The most recent survey, which was conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, further indicated that two-thirds of Internet users who download music don’t care whether they’re violating copyright laws or not.

The survey was completed before the RIAA announced its campaign to sue individual computer users for alleged copyright violations on P2P networks. The blizzard of subpoenas has no doubt had some effect on the number of people holding and trading music files. But this is a losing battle for the music industry, which is more likely to provoke a backlash by music consumers than reduce the millions of file traders accustomed to freely exchanging digital content.