mployees are still using the Internet at work to illegally download and swap music and other copyrighted files using peer-to-peer networks.
A survey, conducted by security provider Blue Coat Systems Inc., found that 42 per cent of 300 respondents said they are still using file sharing programs like Kazaa, and 38.6 per cent said they do their file swapping on company networks.
Nearly 70 per cent of those swapping files said they spend more than 16 minutes a day doing so, and a further 16 per cent spend more than one hour a day doing so.
Employees don’t seem to be concerned that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) might take action against their employers — nearly 60 per cent said they don’t think the RIAA would take legal action against their employers for using the corporate network to illegal distribute files.
But the RIAA has repeatedly said it will target employers who don't take steps to stop the illegal sharing of copyrighted music using corporate resources.
“We urge you to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that your network is not being misused or infringe copyrighted works,” a letter sent to large employers in 2002 in the U.S. read. “Using technology to steal music and movies is no different than walking into a store and shoplifting a CD or DVD.”
The RIAA said it is targeting the corporate world because many offices are wired with high-speed Internet access, allowing files to be downloaded quickly. By contrast, about nine out of 10 home Internet users rely on dial-up access which is far slower.
The study was conducted by e-mail. Blue Coast purchased e-mail lists of Internet users who work at a range of public and private firms across North America.