[news=http://img283.imageshack.us/img283/2636/spyware7tm.gif]In its latest research the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that fear of spyware is changing the habits of Americans who utilize the Net. Because of this fear they are shunning certain web sites, stopped opening email attachments and, yes, avoiding file sharing networks.
None of this comes as a surprise. Grokster, who recently lost a case in the Supreme Court, is one of the worst contributers to the spyware problem. Loading the application absolutely cripples a PC with spyware and adware.
According to the Pew study 91% of those polled have made some change in their Internet habits specifically because of spyware. Of those, 25% have stopped using file sharing software.
This has to be music to the ears of the various media lobbies who have tried everything to stamp out file sharing. Ironically, with all the lawsuits and congressional activities they have undertaken (all of which have had modest or no affect-- so far) it is an element of the market itself, the over use of adware, that may have the biggest influence on consumer habits.
There are plenty of file sharing applications that use no spyware, but the likes of Grokster and others have spoiled the reputation for all. File sharing has continued to rise and is at record levels, but we may soon start to see some pull back as consumers get fed up with having to run three different anti-spyware applications to retain control of their own PCs.
When that happens the record industry will take all of the credit anyway. They have spent a lot of money on their lobbying efforts and have to justify it to the stockholders somehow.