British consumers have become more supportive of the tactics ISPs would employ in a graduated response campaign against digital piracy, according to a survey by Ipsos MORI. As reported at Music Ally, 53% of people surveyed – up from 48% last year – believe it is acceptable for ISPs to restrict download speeds of repeat infringers. Account suspension for repeat offenders is supported by 52% of consumers surveyed – up from 45% last year.

While critics are many, the increased support for graduated response tactics in the last year indicates sentiment and discourse regarding digital content has changed. As more industries have been dragged down by piracy the public has become more comfortable trading some Internet freedoms for rules they believe will provide a more sustainable environment for the creative industries. The notion that businesses should simply learn to live with “free” is becoming outdated as is the idea that the Internet is an unregulated Wild West. There are real issues that involve real tradeoffs.

But something important to keep in mind: Ipsos MORI previously found that people who illegally download music spend more money on legal music purchases than anyone else. So not only do consumers have to consider the tradeoffs involved with fighting piracy, content creators will also have to face tradeoffs. Any graduated response scheme with actual teeth is a tough-love approach for dealing with avid music buyers who also use file-sharing services. In teaching a lesson, content creators will be risking the revenue of some of their biggest patrons. Not only will purchases be lost for a short period, but email, Twitter and other marketing tools will be less effective during a consumers’ account suspension period.

So when Ipsos MORI downplays potential problems that could arise from graduated response measures, it’s a message that’s too good to be true.