Could legal music download sites really take off? Well, it certainly seems like the potential is there. A recent survey has found that use of legal music download sites has almost doubled from last year. Use of paid-for downloading services rose from 24 per cent of all internet users in 2004 to 43 per cent this year. However, there is strong evidence that users are continuing to illegally share music, even music that they have bought on line legitimately.

Although 27 per cent of American internet users downloaded files or music in January, 19 per cent got the files from someone else's MP3 player and 28 per cent got them via email.

All in all, 48 per cent of current downloaders have used sources other than peer-to-peer networks or paid music and movie services to get music or video files.

Beyond MP3 players, email and instant messaging, these alternative sources include music and movie websites, blogs and online review sites.