File sharing still popular in Sweden

One in five Swedish Internet users has used a peer-to-peer file sharing programme at some point, according to a new report.

Downloading music, games and films for free online is most popular among men aged 16-34. According to the report from Statistics Sweden, SCB, 1.3 million Swedes have used a peer-to-peer file-sharing application at least once in their lives.

Sweden’s government last year made it illegal to download copyrighted films, music and games without permission.

The survey looked at the online habits of Swedes during the first quarter of 2006. The most common reasons to log on were to check email and to search for information and services.

Almost 80 percent of male Internet users between 16 and 74 use it to look for information and services. The figure for women is 70 percent. Some 75 percent of men and 72 percent of women use the net to send and receive emails.

The Internet is most popular among men between the ages of 25-34. Some 55 percent of women between 16 and 74, and 67 percent of men in the same age group, use the Internet daily.

Other popular uses for the Internet, according to the report, include banking, shopping and making travel reservations. Around 3.7 million Swedes reported having access to a broadband connection at home. Those who do not have Internet access at home said this was because they did not want it, not because they couldn’t afford it.

The figures in the report had changed only slightly from last year.