Research just completed by the NDP Group for the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) suggests that teenagers who use filesharing networks to illegally download music typically lie to their parents and cheat on exams.
Nope, I'm not making this up folks. According to a report on P2PNet, the research was commissioned to discover why some people download music for free when most "buy inexpensive downloads from booming music services such as iTunes."
The research found that US teenagers most likely to have stolen copyrighted music had also spent on average 7.7 years in reform institutions (10.0 per cent) and had stolen at least one car before they were 12 (9.9 per cent).
So there you have it - if you download files illegally on the Internet you're heading straight for Death Row.
Well, not really. But this research (and remember, there's research and there's research - okay? -Ed) illustrates to mindset of the people who run the RIAA.
I remember discussing the issue of software piracy with the head of WordPerfect UK in the early 1990s, back when the company charged several hundred pounds for its software.
The company was well aware that, for every legit version of its software, there were eight pirate versions floatng around (some things never change -Ed) . The UK CEO had the temerity to suggest that his US lords and masters might want to drop the price and so cut down piracy.
They refused. And, of course, WordPerfect was later swallowed up by Corel and - today - you can get a copy of WordPerfect for around 30 pounds or so.
No, I'm not advocating piracy. But I am suggesting that the online music boys should look carefully at their prices. They should also look at sites such as AllofMP3.com and the iTunes-compatible site, AllTunes.com, which has just entered beta testing.
Quite a price difference from the US/UK sites eh?...