A RESEARCH TO DETERMINE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MODERN INTERNET PIRATE
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This research was created in order to determine the characteristics of the modern internet pirate. The information that was desired included the participants’ age group, their gender and their locale within the UK, which will be compared to their involvement in internet piracy. This topic was chosen due to the relevance it has in society today. Internet piracy (IP) is an increasing problem due to technological advancements, making it quicker and easier to download illegal content online. According to Kelly (2017), it is estimated that 18,000 jobs in the industry in Ireland are at risk due to IP. Already it has been estimated to cost over €320 million and the loss of over 500 jobs. Determining the characteristics of internet pirates is significant in the prevention of IP. Identifying the characteristics of those who practice IP will aid in preventing IP becoming a more serious issue and will help in solving the issue. Chapter 1 began by introducing the topic and describing what will be done throughout the project. It then describes the background in relation to IP, including how IP became a major issue worldwide and some research which shows the effect IP has on certain industries. It also details the aims and objectives of the research. The literature review, in Chapter 2, critically analyses different literatures in relation to IP. Project planning and methodology follow in Chapter 3. This includes the Gantt chart representing the time frame, the methodology, the ethics statement and analyses the questionnaire that will be used in this project. Chapter 4 includes the results and discussion, which lists the results from the questionnaire, followed by an analysis of each. Chapter 5 involves the conclusion, recommendations and future research. This research started with 925 participants. Through the use of a filter question and because of the sensitive nature of the topic, 167 participants answered the 5th and final question, meaning 18% of the total participants. Question 1 was a test question and proved the accuracy of this questionnaire. Question 2 directly asked if the participant has accessed licensed or copyrighted products for free. 25.1% of the total participants admitted to being involved in IP. It determined, through the use of filters, that 41.1% of males aged 18 – 24 are involved in IP, making this demographic the most involved in IP. It found that within the UK, those from Northern Ireland are most likely to be involved in IP with 28.8% admitting to it. Following on, Question 3 found that 58.3% of the participants pirated music making it the most common form of pirated content. It was followed by movies with 44.4% and by television shows with 43.6%. Next, Question 4 shows the frequency of pirate related activity. 10% admitted to pirating daily, 19.4% admitted to weekly, 24.8% monthly with 45.8% stating it was less than 5 times in total. Finally Question 5 was created to ascertain the key rationale behind the phenomenon that is IP. It found that 42.8% of respondents claimed that they also use paid services such as Netflix, 22.2% claim the products are too expensive with 14.5% claiming that everybody does it. The conclusion states whether the aims and objectives have been met. This research concluded through this questionnaire and the literature by Udris (2016), Hinduja and Higgins (2011) and Phau et al (2016), that IP is most common among young males aged 18 – 24. This research is different from the other literatures in confirming that IP is still established in all age groups, meaning that if the issue is to be tackled, targeting just young males aged 18 – 24 would not be enough, people of all age groups must be targeted.
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