While there has been some public backlash against the Recording Industry Association of America (search) for its recent subpoenaing of "digital downloaders," a plurality of the public appears to agree with the industry.

In a recent FOX News national poll, nearly half of Americans (47 percent) say they disapprove of people downloading music off the Internet. However, a demographic breakdown of the results gives a clearer picture of who the Internet pirates are.

The poll, conducted September 9-10 by Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search), finds that a 61 percent majority of Americans aged 18-34 approves of people downloading music off the Internet while only 39 percent of those aged 35-50 approve. 

Similarly, young people are the most likely to have actually downloaded music without paying a fee. About a third (32 percent) of 18 to 34-year-olds say they have downloaded music off the Internet without paying, compared to 21 percent of those aged 35-50 and 15 percent of Americans overall. 

Polling was conducted by telephone September 9-10, 2003 in the evenings. The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.

1. Recently the recording industry has sued students and other individuals who have downloaded music over the Internet. Do you approve or disapprove of people downloading music over the Internet?

Approve Disapprove (Not sure)
TOTAL ANSWER 35% 47% 18%
Female 31% 49% 20%
Male 40% 44% 16%
Age 18-34 61% 35% 4%
35-50 39% 47% 14%
51-59 38% 43% 19%
60-70 20% 53% 28%
Over 70 11% 58% 30%
Income $0-24,999 29% 51% 19%
$25-49,999 43% 40% 17%
$50-$74,999 40% 46% 14%
$75,000 + 33% 56% 11%
White 34% 47% 19%
Non-White (Net) 38% 47% 14%
Democrat 34% 50% 17%
Republican 34% 46% 19%
Independent 39% 42% 19%
Moms 42% 46% 13%
Dads 46% 42% 12%

2. Have you personally downloaded music over the Internet without paying a fee?

Yes No (Not sure)
TOTAL ANSWER 15% 81% 4%
Female 10% 87% 3%
Male 20% 75% 5%
Age 18-34 32% 63% 4%
35-50 21% 77% 3%
51-59 7% 91% 2%
60-70 5% 92% 3%
Over 70 2% 90% 8%
Income $0-24,999 8% 88% 4%
$25-49,999 21% 76% 3%
$50-$74,999 9% 87% 3%
$75,000 + 17% 80% 3%
White 13% 83% 4%
Non-White (Net) 26% 73% 1%
Democrat 15% 82% 2%
Republican 13% 83% 4%
Independent 17% 77% 5%
Moms 18% 82% 1%
Dads 28% 68% 5%