How often do you use the internet? graph of japanese statisticsWith the recent news about a ring tunes site being busted for offering illegal downloads, a site that apparently almost all middle and high-school children know, this survey from the Cabinet Office Japan looking into intellectual property is well-timed. Suspiciously well-timed.


3,000 members of the public were randomly selected from resident registers, and face-to-face interviews took place between the 11th and 21st of September 2008. 1,770 people, or 59.0%, were available and agreed to be interviewed. The demographic information has not been made public yet, but as these Cabinet Office surveys are usually face-to-face interviews they tend to catch an older demographic, as can be seen in Q4 where over half the sample never or almost never access the internet.

This is quite a relevant survey in other ways too as I read just today an article on Global Voices Online about new copyright protection laws being proposed in Japan, where I read much to my surprise that it is not actually illegal to download copyright-infringing material, even if one is aware that the contents are not correctly licensed!

There is also no attempt to differentiate between legal and illegal free contents, just anything privately shared must be bad.

Research results

Q1: In the last few years, have you or anyone close to you bought items either in Japan, abroad, or over the internet aware of them being fake? (Sample size=1,770)

Yes, often 9.9%
Yes, sometimes 24.2%
No, almost never 17.5%
No, never 47.2%
Don’t know 1.2%

Q2: If you are aware of something being fake, what do you think regarding purchasing it? (Sample size=1,770)

No matter the excuse, they should not be purchased 39.9%
If they are cheaper than the original, it’s inevitable that they will be purchased 27.3%
If they have a design or are a product that the original brand doesn’t have, it’s inevitable that they will be purchased 7.5%
If they are being sold openly, it’s inevitable that they will be purchased 17.6%
Other 2.1%
Don’t know 5.5%

Q3: Did you know that the government is running a campaign to eliminate fakes and pirate items covering posters, television advertisements, internet, etc? (Sample size=1,770)

Knew it well 20.4%
Knew a bit about it 34.1%
Didn’t really know about it 23.2%
Didn’t know about it at all 20.2%
Don’t know 2.1%

Q4: How often do you use the internet for work or private use, from computer or mobile phone, for web pages or email, etc? (Sample size=1,770)

Use it almost every day 29.1%
Sometimes use it 16.9%
Rarely use it 7.3%
Never use it 45.8%
Don’t know 0.9%

Q5: In the last few years, have you ever come across privately-shared movies, animations, television programs, music games, etc on the internet? (Sample size=1,770)

Often 14.0%
Sometimes 19.8%
Rarely 15.3%
Never 48.0%
Don’t know 2.9%

Q6: Did you know that as a rule, offering or sharing someone else’s intellectual property over the internet is illegal? (Sample size=1,770)

Knew that 75.8%
Didn’t know that 24.2%

Q7: Which of the following measures do you think would be effective in counteracting illegal offering or sharing of material over the internet? (Sample size=1,770, multiple answer)

Strengthen penalties for illegal activity 53.8%
Strengthen control of illegal activity 51.8%
Promote self-policing by site operators, service providers 31.8%
Publicity regarding the elimination of illegal activity 29.2%
Cooperating with countries where copyright infringement, etc, is happening 22.8%
Other 0.4%
Nothing in particular 6.3%
Don’t know 11.4%


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