A Danish study has determined that a majority of people living there don’t give a rats about piracy, even as Hollywood continues to try and win the war against pirates by bringing individuals and more recently, ISPs to court.
In light of the recent AFACT vs iiNet court appeal, Australian laws have continued to uphold the rights of ISPs and placed responsibility on the shoulders of actual downloaders instead. And it seems the way we view downloaders are changing just as quickly as the laws that govern them.
The Danish study also asked for reactions to a mix of moral issues including tax evasion and insurance fraud, in addition to people's views on piracy and downloading. Whilst respondents had no problem with piracy in general, 3 out of 4 people said it was ‘completely unacceptable’ for downloaders to sell their wares.
The shift in public attitudes comes at a time of changing online values. Given the findings of the study, downloading seems to share more in common with a view that it is not an actual offence (a victimless crime in the sense) when performed for personal use. Rather, people feel more strongly when others try to profit from the sharing of these same files.
These ideas about what should and shouldn't constitute piracy aren't entirely new either: the 1980s fought similar copyright boundaries when TV Stations tried to stop VCR manufactuers and their growing base of users from recording their favourite shows. Just goes to show, that things really do change over time.
The Study (in Danish) is now online.