Childnet launch updated guide on music and film online for parents and teachers

Posted on 09 November 2010

Coronation Street Star Kym Marsh has teamed up with internet safety charity, Childnet International, to launch a new guide that keeps parents, teachers and young people well informed about how to stay safe and legal when downloading and accessing music, films and TV on the internet.

The guide – Music, Film, TV and the Internet – highlights the many legal digital sources of entertainment and outlines the implications of using illegal file-sharing sites. It also provides information on the safety and security risks of downloading entertainment illegally such as being exposed to computer viruses, receiving offensive material and theft of personal or financial information.

Music, Film, TV and the Internet also encourages parents and teachers to discuss with children the ethical considerations of illegal file-sharing – for example, how using legal sites to access film, TV and music ensures that artists and creators are rewarded fairly for their work.

The guide is available to download for free from today at and will also be distributed to every secondary school in the UK by the end of November.

A new poll by Netmums reveals more than one in three mums (39%) are unsure how to tell whether entertainment sites are legal or not and nearly two in three (60%) don't understand the term 'file-sharing'. Although 92% of mums say it's important to encourage their children to access music, film and TV responsibly online, more than one in four (29%) don't know where to direct their children to find legal entertainment on the internet.

 At the same time, many parents and teachers may be unaware of some of the more serious consequences that arise from downloading content from illegal sources on the internet.  New research by Harris Interactive2 revealed that two in five people using illegal file-sharing sites unwittingly downloaded harmful viruses (39%) that damaged their computer.

In addition, one in three (32%) illegal file sharers were exposed to offensive or sexually explicit content by accident, and around one in eight illegal file sharers (12%) had to replace or repair their laptop or PC as a result of the problems experienced from using unauthorised sites.

Coronation Street Star, musician and mum to two teenagers, Kym Marsh, is supporting the launch of the Childnet guide and spoke of her reasons for doing so. Kym Marsh said:

"I find it incredibly hard to keep up with what my two teenagers are doing online so can definitely see the value of a new guide for muddled mums like myself who are concerned about safety issues. As an actress and former musician, I'm also keen to raise greater awareness of the many ways to get entertainment safely and legally on the internet. When young people use legitimate sites to access music or TV content, it supports the many people who work in the UK entertainment industry."

Lucinda Fell, Director of Policy and Communications at Childnet International, continued:

"We hope the guide will help parents and teachers to introduce the concept of responsible digital citizenship – the idea of behaving as safely and responsibly in cyberspace as you would offline. This is at the heart of what Childnet does. We often hear from parents that while they are concerned about downloading and streaming, they are also confused about what can and can't be done safely and legally. The new guide aims to give parents and teachers practical information to equip them in talking to children and young people about these issues."

The guide is available to download for free from today at

Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of parenting site, Netmums, which surveyed 1,224 of its members for Childnet's campaign, said:

"Our forum discussions on internet safety suggest this guide will be welcomed by millions of mums across the UK. We will definitely be including a link to it within the internet safety section of the site."

To find out more visit



For more information, please contact Laura Hegarty or Caspar Nixon at Blue Rubicon

Tel: 0207 260 2700


[email protected]

Music, Film, TV and the Internet was created by Childnet with support from the UK audio-visual and music industries as part of its commitment to promoting good digital citizenship.

Copies can be downloaded for free from today at:

All Netmums statistics cited are taken from an online Netmums survey conducted between 25th October and 3rd November 2010 among 1000 Netmums members. was set up by mums Siobhan Freegard and Sally Russell in 2002.  The website has proved to be a social networking phenomenon, connecting and supporting mums across the UK.  The largest parenting website in the country, has over 890,000 members. For more information visit

Harris Interactive carried out an online survey in September 2010, identifying a base of 746 music file-sharers aged 16-54. Figures for age, sex, region and internet usage were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the online population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. Those file sharers were asked to disclose specific incidences of unwanted effects as a result of downloading songs using P2P sites and software. The findings were:

The findings were: 

41% downloaded spyware.

39% downloaded a virus or Trojan.

38% had their computer slowed down significantly as a result of opening a file they had downloaded.

32% downloaded offensive or sexually explicit material instead of getting the songs they wanted.

17% said their PC or laptop crashed, or they weren't able to use it for a period of time.

13% needed to call a friend or family member to fix problems.

12% needed to replace or repair their PC or laptop.

7% lost personal data or documents.

7% needed to pay someone to fix a problem.

5% needed to call an engineer, or their ISP support, to fix problems.

4% had personal information stolen.

About Childnet International

Childnet International is a UK-based charity working domestically and internationally to help make the Internet a great and safe place for children and young people, alongside enabling them to use interactive technologies safely and responsibly.

Childnet focuses on education, awareness and policy. Alongside promoting the opportunities that the Internet and new technologies offer, Childnet is active in carrying out research and engaging in key policy fora alongside the Internet industry and government. Childnet is an original member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and has been appointed the Safer Internet Centre for the UK by the European Commission from January 2011.

Childnet has developed a number of resources in partnership with the UK Government and others, including the award winning 'Know IT All' range of resources and advice on cyberbullying, designed to help young people and parents assess and manage the risks that they may encounter online. The new Music, Films, TV and the Internet is the third edition of this vital information for parents on how to keep their children safe when downloading on the internet.

  • first
  • prev