Most consumers believe creating back-up copies of digital media is a right, suggests research announced yesterday by GartnerG2 announced yesterday.

The analysts found that 82 per cent of US consumers questioned, believed creating back-ups is legal. A lack these rights will negatively impact on online media distribution for the next three to five years, the report claims.

GartnerG2 research director Mike McGuire said: "The reality is that current laws are vague, and content companies are pushing for strict control over consumer copying behaviour. Until laws are passed allowing consumers the right to back-up legally, uncertainty about the lack of basic archiving and back-up capabilities will stunt growth of the online media distribution market for the next three to five years."

The analyst contends that the controversial US Digital Millennium Copyright Act must be modified to allow consumers to make back ups of the content they own. "It is a reasonable compromise between consumer expectation and the reality of copyright law," he said.

GartnerG2 surveyed a "nationally representative" sample of 1,005 adults and 1,009 teenagers in July 2002 in the US to establish the results.