Feeds

Only uneducated Yanks respect copyrights – study

Confirmed: US education corrupts morals

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

As we've always suspected, the less time you spend in American schools, the more likely you are to hold on to some semblance of the civic morality which Nanny struggled to beat into your thick skull during your blissful years in the nursery.

Thus it comes as no surprise that forty-five per cent of US college graduates should believe that downloading copyrighted material without paying for it is not really stealing, whereas only twenty-five per cent of Americans who have not completed high school would agree, according to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Money seems to play a part too, and, as we might predict from common-sense observation, the richer you are the less likely you are to quibble over obscure moral niceties like respect for someone else's intellectual property. (That's how you got rich in the first place.) Fully forty-seven per cent of those in the general US population whose household income exceeds $75,000 per year say that downloading music is not stealing, compared to thirty-seven per cent of people in households making less than $30,000, the study finds.

However, copyright scofflaws are not quite so abusive as the neurotic, copyright-obsessed Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) would have us believe. Less than one third of music downloaders have collected more than twenty-five songs on their computers, suggesting that the vast majority are merely setting up a short play list of favourites which they can listen to whilst in the act of computing.

Sixty-three per cent of music downloaders say they've collected twenty-five or fewer songs on their computers; nineteen per cent say they have between twenty-six and one hundred; and a mere ten per cent say they have more than one hundred songs, according to the survey.

But Napster users stand out dramatically in the group of heavy download addicts, with an average of 140 songs per user library. "Our data shows approximately 11 million Napster users, and combined with our observations of songs per user, we estimate that there could be about 1.5 billion songs in circulation on [their] computers," the report says.

Napster users, we reckon, must be both rich and well educated.

People seem to be latching on to the idea that if they own a piece of music in one format, they have a right to duplicate it in another. Thus the researchers noticed an increase in such claims, since a previous report found few respondents claiming to download music they own in another format.

Since the issue has been popularised, "more respondents may be giving what they perceive to be a legally safer answer to a question about the type of songs they download," the survey wisely notes. ®

Related Link

The full report is posted here.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?