Earlier this week, during class we watched a video called What Do You Think? The video is a short documentary discussing file sharing. In the video we see several college students express their opinions and views on file sharing and intellectual property. There was also a survey done in the same light as the video, here are its results:
According to the IP Institute’s March 2006 survey of college students, more than one-third (34 percent) of college students are illegally downloading music from free peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Thirty-nine percent say they pay for downloads, while two in five college students say they never get music online. Among other findings:
- The two most popular locations for downloading were college campuses (53 percent) and students’ parents’ homes (19 percent)
- Of those who never download music (free or paid), 53 percent equate it to “stealing” while 44 percent don’t see a problem with it
- More than half of respondents (54 percent) said they weren’t sure whether illegal downloads were against their college or university’s policies
- Almost three in four students (71 percent) said that illegal downloads “hurt record companies,” and more than half (56 percent) said they “hurt established musicians.”
- 74 percent said downloads “help up-and-coming musicians,” ostensibly because the students believe the file-sharing helps to increase the musicians’ exposure
- 14 percent of students use “work-arounds”—software employed to counter the anti-copying technologies used by programs like iTunes.
From my point of view, file sharing, particularly the downloading of music is ethically challenged as there are points to be made when talking about file sharing in a positive light but at the same time one should be able to see the possible harm that it can cause for those involved in the creation of the work. What do you think of the matter?
Survey information taken from http://law.richmond.edu/about/centers/ipi/ncep.html