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Monday, January 9, 2012

US Rejected Anti-Piracy Law

After the Copy Culture Survey has been released, it appeared to be bad news for those politicians who hoped to pick up some reactionary votes from pushing through anti-piracy rules.

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It seems that the great unwashed think that online piracy is socially acceptable prevails in the States. Indeed, if you say at a party that you’ve just ripped your Beatles collection, your friends won’t shun you. You will also have no problem with downloading a copy of "Sherlock" last night and your parents finding that out. In other words, piracy is an essential part of the modern society.

The above mentioned Copy Culture survey was paid for by the American Assembly, supported by a research award from Google. Its results were based on interviews on both landline and mobiles conducted in English with over 2,300 adults residing in the continental US in August 2011. For the results that are based on the entire sample, the margin of error is estimated as two percentage points.

The survey revealed that copyright violation among family and friends is quite common. It also showed that 46% of adults and 75% of young people have ever purchased, copied, or downloaded any kind of copyright infringing content. Over 70% of the respondents believe that it’s really reasonable to share music files with friends and family.
Meanwhile, solid majorities of the US online users oppose copyright enforcement which is clearly perceived to intrude on personal rights and freedoms. At the same time, support for online blocking schemes was at 16%. The research in question will probably be taken one way by the entertainment industry: that the consumers have no idea what's really good for them and an anti-piracy bill like SOPA is what they really need.

However, it seems now that rather than winning votes, the proposed copyright legislation could cost the politicians supporting it. In other words, this could do more damage than votes generated by, say, the bribe money and campaign contributions from the entertainment industry can buy you. At the same time, other surveys claim that around 50% of Internet pirates admitted that they pirated less after the emergence of streaming services. That’s probably what the politicians should pay attention to, rather than insisting on implementing strict anti-piracy rules.

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