You are all BAD people!

by Ragnar Schierholz

A recent survey sponsored by the Canadian Recording Industry Association suggests that people who are downloading illegal music and other media (video, software, etc.) are more likely to cheat in school or other exams or shoplift. While the survey might well be biased because of the sponsor, some truth might still be in the finding that the increase in illegal file sharing can be considered an indicator for a erosion of values such as intellectual property. What do you think?


I think it's still largely a matter of convenience. And no, ITMS does not offer everything (yet).

Heiko Hebig, 2005-09-30

We have a distorted perception of Intellectual property and it's values.

I would higly reccomend everybody to have a look, for instance, at this link.
Richard Stallman can explain this certainly much better than I do.
(There are many others, perhaps better, but they express the same philosphy)

As for moral values in our modern society, uhmmm.. this topic would cover a real long discussion so I think we better put that on a side for the moment being however, as we are on it, let me express my thoughts in one simpe sentence.

The real lack of morality nowadays is in politics.

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2005-09-30

Maybe more likely to fudge survey results too....

Brian Benz, 2005-09-30

I wouldn't pull at the hairs of intellectual property to reason about the erosion of values. This way of reasoning carries proof of said erosion in itself, if you think twice about it.

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2005-09-30

That's one of those conclusions that doesn't go both ways. I would guess that someone that deprives others of their physical property or behaves unethically in an academic environment also probably doesn't worry about laws when it comes to IP. There are some similarities in stealing and cheating - the harm caused is clearer, the chances of getting caught usually greater, compared to illegally downloading IP.

Think about the average user in your recent post who thinks nothing of using an unlicensed Office Suite. Drawing the line back up to say they're more likely to be a thief and a cheat is a stretch. Perhaps statistically, but there's no way to judge them thusly simply because the numbers are greater.

Kevan Emmott, 2005-10-01

There is a theme in current behaviour that explains some of the aspects mentioned, and it is mainly based on greed.

It goes like this: every indivdiual wants to be able to posses as much as possible within their respective budged (ie - goods shall be cheap, ideally, things should not cost anything). When it comes to themselves, they prefer to be treated as being of great value (high wages, holidays, amnemities and such).

To make my point clear - in Germany about 50% of all people regularly buy at food and other discounters (this can be prooven). I guess, nearly none of them would describe the working conditions prevailent in those factories/shops that are producing the cheap goods as acceptable!

In other words: As long as its me who makes the music, everybody please pay for it. Once its other peoples music, please let me have it for free.

Thomas Nowak, 2005-10-01

Not to bible thump, but stealing is stealing. You either do or don't; there is no gray area here. Cheating on tests is really a form of stealing credentials that you haven't earned.

Don't get me wrong. I think 35 USD for a CD is crazy also. I just keep walking.

No surprize in the results here.

Eric Parsons, 2005-10-01

@Thomas: The former prime minister of Lower Saxony, Sigmar Gabriel, quoted a joke last night: What's the difference between Swedes, Brits and Germans?The Swedish have high expectations on their social security system and other public services and are willing to pay high taxes. The British are not willing to pay high taxes and in return accept lower levels of social security and other public services. And the Germans finally combine both, they have high expectations and are not willing to pay high taxes.That certainly has some truth in it, I think.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2005-10-03

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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