The music industry is facing another challenge in its quest to stamp out illegal file sharing, this time in the form of mobile-equipped children.

According to new research carried out in the UK, almost a third of 8- to 13-year-olds are swapping music tracks on their mobile phones via Bluetooth, which makes it easy to send files from one device to another.

Forty-five per cent of the nearly 1500 children surveyed said that although they didn't share music at the moment, they would like to in the future.

The problem has the potential to cause some damage to the recording industry, as the average age of children receiving a mobile phone in 2007 will be 8-years-old; one in four children under 10 in the UK already have a mobile phone.

It's also becoming more common for mobile phones to feature both an MP3 player and Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to share files.

Many tracks that are purchased and downloaded have a form of DRM on them that would prevent them from being copied from phone to phone, but some do not; files ripped from CDs would likely not have copy-protection on them.

A spokesperson for the BPI, the UK's music industry representative, downplayed the threat to the recording industry. “The illegal sharing of music is clearly a concern for the record industry".

“While swapping songs via Bluetooth is a concern for the industry, it hasn't caused the same problems as illegal P2P filesharing, as it's copying on a one-to-one, rather than one-to-millions basis.”