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Filesharing activity is less damaging to the arts than has previously been claimed, a new study has indicated.

Research conducted by the University of Amsterdam suggests that the buying and sharing of online content tend to go hand-in-hand, meaning music, film and video game sales potentially benefit from filesharing practices.

The study indicated that 68 per cent of filesharers also purchase music legally, and spend at least the same amount as non-filesharers on media content overall.

In addition, the former tend to purchase more branded merchandise and go to concerts and festivals more frequently, benefitting the artists, it is claimed.

"Filesharers are the industry's largest customers. Note that no causal relationship is implied here," the Dutch researchers stated.

"Aficionados of music, games or films will typically buy more, get into related products more but also download more."

Last month, Mike Wilson, Manager of Broadband at Moneysupermarket.com, claimed that the advent of super-fast broadband may lead to a rise in filesharing activity, despite the government's high-profile attempts to combat such practices.

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