Business Professionals Share Published Information Regardless of Copyright Implications

New Research Report Identifies Trends in Information Sharing and Copyright Awareness; 38% of Respondents Don’t Consider Copyright Implications Before Sharing Third Party Content

Danvers, Mass. – Third-party published content is regularly shared by 38% of business professionals without consideration of copyright, despite the acknowledgement of serious risks and implications of copyright infringement by 74% of those business professionals. This per results from a new survey by Outsell, Inc. commissioned and released by Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) and its subsidiary RightsDirect.

The 2016 Information Seeking, Consumption and Use Survey – North America and Europe examines the global trends in how information is consumed, used and shared and the importance of copyright awareness in today’s workplace. The results were compared with the findings of the research conducted in 2013 to identify shifts in behaviors and attitudes.

Content Sharing and Consumption on the Rise, Copyright Awareness at a Low

Content sharing is essential in business today, the study shows, as it fosters collaboration and speeds up innovation.

– 97% of respondents share content with their team monthly, and 38% say that they forward information without thinking about copyright issues.
– 26% of executives share content without thinking about copyright.

– More than one-third (36%) of all shared information is externally published, down from 41% in 2013.
– 69% share information with clients, 68% share with business partners, and 65% share content with colleagues in international locations.

– Since 2013, the number of instances of content sharing (forwarding work-related information such as articles, pictures, and video clips) has dropped from seven times a week to five, while the number of people the content is shared with has declined from eleven to an average of nine people a week.

Shifts in Sharing Methods

Although email is still the most frequent means of sharing information, users are increasingly choosing to make information available to colleagues through shared network drives and intranet postings as well as collaboration tools such as Microsoft SharePoint, Dropbox and CRM systems.

– Email remains the most widely used tool for information sharing; 66% of respondents send email attachments, 51% share links and 39% paste text into an email.
– Sharing content in email attachments has dropped since 2013, from 87% of respondents to 66%.

– Collaboration tools made significant gains in popularity, with 24% of respondents
reporting use versus only 11% in 2011.

Executives Share a High Volume of Content, Much of it from Third Party Sources

Executives have a greater appetite for sharing content than middle management and individual contributors, per the survey. Executives share more regularly (nearly seven times per week), share with more people each time (12), and are more likely to share information published by third parties (41%) than internal information or material produced by colleagues within the company.

In competitive, mission-critical or time-critical situations, nearly a third of executives (73%) said they will forward relevant information that will give their organization the competitive edge.

“Protecting intellectual property rights is everyone’s responsibility – knowledge workers,
information managers and executives. A solid understanding of what copyright infringement constitutes is critical,” said Jo McShea, VP & Lead Analyst, Outsell. “The potential for exposure to copyright abuse is proliferating. Data from our study indicates more than a third of shared content is from external sources, coupled with a broader base of people with whom information is shared and growing usage of new methods of sharing information such as collaboration networks.”

“It’s vital for organizations to adjust for trends in workflow patterns and to ensure that their copyright policies and educational measures are up to standards to mitigate risk,” said Gretchen Gasser-Ellis, Senior Vice President, Product and Operations, CCC. “Those parties responsible for copyright adherence have their hands full to make sure their organizations’ copyright policies and employee training curriculum consider workflow trends, sharing methods and behavioral nuances related to the user’s role, industry, or geography.”

About the Report
Copyright Clearance Center and its subsidiary RightsDirect commissioned independent research firm Outsell, Inc., to survey more than 900 business professionals in North America and Europe to identify the trends in four critical content and copyright areas: information access and consumption, content usage and document delivery, information sharing behaviors, and intellectual property and copyright awareness. Outsell achieved a 95% confidence level in its findings with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.26%.

About Copyright Clearance Center

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a global leader in content management, licensing, discovery and delivery solutions. Through its relationships with those who use and create content, CCC drives market-based solutions that fuel research, power publishing and respect copyright. With its subsidiaries RightsDirect and Ixxus, CCC provides solutions for millions of people from the world’s largest companies and academic institutions.

About Outsell, Inc.

The rapid convergence of information, media, software and technology is reshaping businesses every day. Enter Outsell, Inc., the only research and advisory firm focusing on these four sectors. As the trusted advisor to executives, our analysts turn complexity into clarity, and provide the facts and insights necessary to make the right decisions. Our proven blend of big data, research, proprietary intelligence, and exclusive leadership communities produces tangible results and a strong ROI. We promise to deliver “wow” and ensure clients stay more focused, save time, and grow revenue in a fast-changing digital world.