America rejects anti-piracy rules

The Copy Culture Survey has finally been released and it is bad news for politicians hoping to pick up a few reactionary votes from pushing through anti-piracy rules.

Apparently the great unwashed think that piracy is okay and socially acceptable. If you announce at a party that you have just spent the entire evening ripping your Beatles collection your friends will not shun you.

You will not have a problem asking for the hand of the miller’s daughter just because you downloaded a copy of “Sherlock” the night before and her dad found out. In short, piracy is as much a part of the fabric of modern society as that nasty stain is a part of your cream sofa.

The Copy Culture survey was sponsored by The American Assembly, with support from a research award from Google.

The results are based on interviews on landline and mobiles onducted in English with 2,303 adults aged 18 or older living in the continental United States from August 1-31, 2011. For results based on the entire sample, the margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points.

According to the survey; copyright infringement among family and friends is common. The survey reveals that 46 percent of adults and 75 percent of young people have bought, copied, or downloaded some copyright infringing material. More than 70 percent of those surveyed think it is reasonable to share music files with friends and family.

Solid majorities of American internet users oppose copyright enforcement when it is perceived to intrude on personal rights and freedoms. Support for internet blocking schemes was at 16 percent.

The survey will probably be taken one way by Big Content: that the plebians don’t know what’s good for them and a censorship project like SOPA is what the country really needs, if the studios are still going to churn out classics like 2011’s Gnomeo and Juliet.

But it seems that rather than winning votes, SOPA could cost the politicians that support it. This could do more damage than votes generated by the bribe money, er, campaign contributions, from the music and film industry can buy you.

Nearly half of pirates claim that they pirate less since the emergence of streaming services.