By Siobhan O’Leary and Ed Nawotka
On average, just 13% of Internet users are ready to pay for information online, according to an international study released by GfK Custom Research on behalf of the Wall Street Journal Europe. The study was conducted in 16 European countries and in the USA with varying results, according to buchreport. In Germany, 9% of private Internet users are prepared to pay for content, while 23% of Swedes, 20% of Dutch and English, and 17% of Americans are willing to cough up. At the bottom end of the spectrum are the Romanians (4%), Poles (5%) and Spaniards (6%).
The fact that the Swedes come in top is something of a rich irony, considering it is home to the increasingly popular Pirate Party, a political movement that is challenging copyright laws across the globe. At a recent event in Brussels hosted by the consultancy Blueprint, MEP Christian Engström, representing the Swedish Pirate Party, said that the Pirate Party wants to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens’ rights to privacy are respected. In his speech he indicated that he would lobby for a 5 to 10 years copyright protection (instead of life + 70 years).
Of course, the Swedes may be willing to pay, provided the prices is very low. One key piece of information missing from the report is how much people would be willing to pay.