Friday, 4 March 2011

Majority of Public Finds Piracy Acceptable

A recent study that took place in Denmark, researching moral standards and whether some law breaking is socially acceptable has revealed some interesting statistics about perceptions of file-sharing. 70% of responses in the study said that downloading illegal material from the Internet is acceptable. Where downloading is seen to be acceptable for personal use, selling the content for profit was found to be unacceptable by 3 out of 4 people in the survey.

Clearly, this is bad news for a content industry that has spent the last decade leading a war against file-sharing. Over the last decade the entertainment industries have tried numerous strategies to defeat online piracy. One of these methods was to sue some file-sharers and use the reasonably high profile cases as a deterrent; a warning to other file-sharers. Obviously, this didn't have the intended impact.

Efforts to take down sites have been equally pointless and the longer term plan to brainwash 'educate' the young by planting the seed of moral doubt doesn't seem to be coming into fruition. In fact, despite the various anti-piracy campaigns that have been implemented over the last decade, the attitudes of the public don’t seem to have changed at all.

The study found that overall morality in society hadn't changed much over the years. In 1997, similar results on the acceptability of piracy were recorded. So, if it's for personal use is piracy acceptable? Under what circumstances can you condone illegal file-sharing?

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