Interview – University Students and Illegal Downloading



Recently, I conducted a mock interview to get a taste of what was involved in researching.

I knew that the topic for my interview was going to be on illicit Internet downloading, deciding on the exact question and hypothesis though I found difficult. Eventually, I decided on the hypothesis, University students are extremely active in downloading illegal content in Australia because it suited the age group I would be interviewing as well as touched on a topic that is being very focused on at the moment in Australia.

It was decided that only ten questions would be asked for the purpose of this exercise, so deciding on what ten questions I would use that could hopefully bring some kind of defined result was rather difficult. In the end, a mixture of Quantitative and Qualitative questions were used.

My interview was conducted face to face with another university student and this is how it went.


Interviewer: Do you illegally downloading illegal content online?
Interviewee: Yes, I do.

Interviewer: What kinds of content do you download illegally?
Interviewee: Mostly movies, TV show, music and porn.

Interviewer: How often would you say you illegally download content online? Once a month, once every two weeks, 1-2 times per week, 3-4 times per week, nearly every day?
Interviewee: 3-4 times per week.

Interviewer: Why do you choose to download illegal content online?
Interviewee: Because it’s really convenient, it’s free and because everyone else does it too.

Interviewer: When did you begin to download illegal content, and what kinds of content was it?Interviewee: Probably around 12 years old, I would download music usually on LimeWire

Interviewer: How much content would you say you legally download?
Interviewee: Very little, there is really no reason for me to legally download content online.

Interviewer: Are you ever provided content that has been illegally downloaded by another person? If so, what is the content?
Interviewee: Yes all the time. I get lots of illegally download movies from my sister most times I see her.

Interviewer: Where would you go to download illegal content?
Interviewee: Torrent sites like the Pirate Bay and I also convert music from YouTube to MP3 format using YouTube converter.

Interviewer: What would persuade you to download content legally?
Interviewee: If content was cheaper here in Australia, or maybe if I had more money. Also if movies and TV shows were aired at the same time as other countries that would help.

Interviewer: Would you say that it is common for people your age to download content illegally, similar to the way you do?
Interviewee: Yes, I’m pretty sure every one is very similar. I can’t think of any of my friends who are opposed or don’t illegally download content.


Although I understand I would need to interview a broader range of people to come to a definite result, my interview results seems to support my hypothesis greatly. What worked well in this case, was how specific the questions were to illegal downloading.

If I were to conduct an interview like this again however, I would like to ask at least double the amount of questions, a few more of them being Quantitative questions. I would also like to get more of an idea about how much time the interviewees were spending on the internet as a whole, and then contrast it to how much of that time is being spent downloading and participating in illegal online content.



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