Average file-sharer: 28 year old male, looking to be ‘Robin Hood’

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth Business School published a new study finding most file sharers are interested in sharing files for a combination of philanthropy along with notoriety among other PC users.

The research was published in the journal Information Economics and Policy, and explains some of the motivations behind file sharing. In the survey, 6,103 file sharers in Finland were interviewed, with 95% of those surveyed saying they were male.

Average file-sharer: 28 year old male, looking to be 'Robin Hood'

The average age of all respondents was 28 years, and file sharers were from “across a range of income brackets,” according to researchers.

After breaking down file sharers into ‘leechers’ and ‘seeders,’ Cox wanted to focus on motivations behind P2P users:

“My research shows they are motivated by feelings of altruism, community spirit and are seeking recognition among other members of the file sharing community,” Cox said in a press statement. “I think it’s likely some benefit is also derived from a feeling of ‘getting one over on the system’ too.Seeders seem to consider the expected cost of punishment to be minimal, which is largely due to the low perceived likelihood of detection. It’s as if they believe the peer esteem they’ll generate from their infamy will outweigh any of the costs associated with their activities.”

As P2P file sharing continues to rage on, copyright owners and PC users continue to try to find suitable alternatives. This type of research is important because copyright owners simply believe file sharers are looking to avoid paying for content — a theory that was debunked some time ago.

Since file sharers continue to seed files with little threat of punishment, as the RIAA and other copyright groups have embraced new anti-piracy efforts. The MPAA now has a new anti-piracy campaign aimed at university students,

Both the RIAA and MPAA are interested in lobbying politicians and working with the federal government to create new legislation.