Survey: Most Italian Internet Users Think Ignoring Copyright Harms Publishers, But Not Society As A Whole

from the hearing-from-the-other-side dept

One of the heartening recent developments in the world of digital copyright is that we have moved on from manifestly biased surveys about the evils of piracy and how the solution to everything is harsher punishment for infringement and longer copyright terms, to independent analyses that seek to understand rather than judge and lecture. There's also been a new focus on learning what the public thinks might be an appropriate balance for modern copyright -- something that nobody cared about in the past.

Here's an example of the latter from the Italian lawyer and academic, Simone Aliprandi, building on work done for his PhD thesis. It's a survey of the attitudes of around 1,300 Italian Internet users to copyright, which explores a number of interesting -- and controversial -- areas (original in Italian). For example, it asked whether Italians online think copyright law trumps the rights of users who wish to use existing materials as a jumping off point for further creativity. Here's what Aliprandi found:

The first of the two questions shows a rather unbalanced distribution [of answers] tending towards disagreement, with 41% in complete disagreement and almost 30% in partial disagreement, which means that more than 70% of respondents were not in agreement with the idea that copyright must be respected even at the cost of limiting new ways of making use of content.
Another key question probed what respondents thought about the harm, if any, that using copyright material freely caused:
sections offered various statement about the real harm caused by the widespread practice of using copyright material freely. The first, which can be summarized as "this phenomenon damages mainly the creators", saw a nearly symmetric response, from which it is not possible to deduce the overall view of respondents, who show themselves divided equally between those who agree and those who disagree.

By contrast, the second [statement] shows a net imbalance of replies, with more than 70% of respondents who agreed with the idea that this phenomenon mainly damages the publishers. When instead the statement "this phenomenon damages the socio-economic fabric" was posed, the replies are distributed in a mirror fashion compared to the previous question, with almost 65% disagreeing.

This mirroring is one of the most interesting pieces of information to emerge from the research: basically, respondents are saying on the one hand that they are aware that using copyright material freely harms the publishers more than the creators, while on the other hand they don't agree that this causes damage to the socio-economic fabric (an assumption that forms the leitmotiv of almost all the campaigns against so-called "piracy".)
The rest of the research provides other interesting information about the attitudes of Italian Internet users in this area, and it's a pity it's unlikely to reach a wide audience in its original Italian. Nonetheless, it's a welcome addition to the growing library of such reports from around the world that provide insights into what the forgotten stakeholder in the copyright debate -- the public -- really feels, does and wants.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and on Google+



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Aug 5th, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    In before OOTB blames this study's existence on Google, freetards, and grifters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Aug 5th, 2013 @ 11:50pm

    So let's sum up:

    Those surveyed believe:

    -Creation is more important than copyright, and trumps it when a conflict occurs.
    -Copyright violations may or may not harm the creators of the 'source material'...
    -...But almost certainly harms publishers.
    -And finally any 'harm' to the publishers is seen to be inconsequential compared to the growth of culture.

    Now add the fact that due to their greed and attempts to control every facet of possible derivative work(in direct conflict with point 1), publishers have done pretty much everything they can to tarnish their reputations with the public, making the public increasingly indifferent to their problems, and this report does not seem to bode well for the gatekeepers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 12:56am

    Re: So let's sum up:

    this report does not seem to bode well for the gatekeepers.

    And since when did the public opinion meant a damn when copyright laws discussed?

    This report will be discarded quicker than you can snap your fingers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 2:45am

    Did you know everyone in prison is innocent?

    Seriously. They are.

    If you don't believe me, just take a survey and ask some prisoners.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    ethorad (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 3:10am

    Re:

    Well, except for Ellis "Only guilty man in Shawshank" Redding

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 3:17am

    it cant hurt publishers any more than any other form of the entertainment industry if they market properly, expand the sales options to reach a wider audience and stop being so damn greedy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 3:17am

    Re:

    Ah, the rare pro techdirt flagging.


    Usually it's OOTB and his ilk that get reported

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 3:20am

    The only thing harming publishers is their own inability to adapt to a changing world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 4:09am

    Good to see people are beginning to understand the whos, whats and wheres of the whole copyright issue. This is crucial for repealing the excesses of copyright so the creators and the public both benefit from copyright, not the middleman.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 5:10am

    NOT IN CONTROVERSY! "this phenomenon damages mainly the creators""

    You pirates have so lost connection with your own notions that you here ADMIT AND TRUMPET DAMAGE TO CREATORS! -- Your position is that PIRACY PROMOTES SALES, remember?

    Sheesh. Nothing left but to select one of the many "pirate" tag lines.

    Where "I'm a pirate! You can't stop me!" is one of the more thoughtful fanboy positions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re:

    Spam is spam, whoever posts it. THAT is what gets reported.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 5:20am

    Re: Reposted for S. T. Stone, Aug 5th, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    Who wrote: "In before OOTB blames this study's existence on Google, freetards, and grifters."


    Because I'm against censorship of any comment here which doesn't violate common law, and especially when advance publicity for ME, shows my influence is so massive that fanboys lie about me even before I post!

    Ankle-biters bark on sight; fanboys hate me 'cause I'm right. ... HEY, new RHYMING tagline! I should be in rap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 5:22am

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/rick-james-estate-files-class-174323

    I believe the correct term is "owned," though I daresay you'll call this an anomaly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 5:38am

    Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY! "this phenomenon damages mainly the creators""

    If you would just once bother to read an article before flapping your jowls in the comments, people might take you more seriously.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Reposted for S. T. Stone, Aug 5th, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    Thats what you call publicity?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Alice Lodiesi, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 7:13am

    english report

    an ENGLISH report of the survey is available at http://copyrightsurvey.blogspot.com/ . It is also possible to add comments directly to the report.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    peopleagainstheft (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    A majority of people surveyed believe you can increase government spending and cut taxes at the same time. A majority also probably believe in santa claus. Free stuff is always popular - right until it disappears because no one makes it anymore. What happens when ad blockers eliminate the economics of google and facebook?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    AC Unknown (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Reposted for S. T. Stone, Aug 5th, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    Don't quit your day job, OOTB. I'm afraid to say that your rap was horrible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    Don't prisoners at least get a dash of due process? And, newsflash, some of them actually are innocent! Not a whole lot, but at least a handful because no one ever makes mistakes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re:

    If you actually took such a survey, I think the results would surprise you. Although lots of guilty people proclaim they're innocent, nowhere near all of them do.

    And, the prisons do have quite a few actually innocent people in them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: NOT IN CONTROVERSY! "this phenomenon damages mainly the creators""

    You know OOTB is literally here to derail conversation. That is their express purpose. Every time you respond to OOTB, they win, not you, no matter how good your points are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 6:44pm

    Re:

    Considering everyone violates 3 felonies a day...

    As Syndrome points out...

    "If everyone is a criminal, then no one is."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 6:53pm

    Re:

    Free stuff is always popular - right until it disappears because no one makes it anymore.

    *sigh* This stupid "argument" again?

    Radio puts out music for free, I don't pay for anything after I get a radio, yet music still gets made.

    TV over broadcast, I don't pay for the channels if I have an antenna up, yet TV is still being made.

    Movies get pirated all the time, yet still get made. If I go out to my grandmother's and pick up an old movie from when I was a kid and watch it, that I didn't buy, do I harm the movie studios?

    BTW, for that stupid argument, I point to you Bill Gates...

    "Bill Gates voiced his dissatisfaction with this argument in his now legendary bitchfest "The Open Letter To Hobbyists." The pre-billionaire Gates pointed out that for some reason, everybody knew not to steal a computer, but considered software free for the taking (he complained that they earned less than $2 an hour for their work on the software, because so few people paid for it). If this continues, Gates argued, why will anybody write software?

    Pirates were undeterred. It didn't take long for hackers to work out ways to trade warez electronically: Early transactions were made through bulletin board systems. These worked similar to the way the modern Internet works... if you had to directly call up each website with your modem and politely request every byte with a cordial handwritten note.

    So, decades later, in an industry where piracy is still rampant and yet a fair amount of software still seems to get written, what became of the major anti-piracy advocates? Well, let's refer back to that earliest and most vocal detractor: Bill Gates.

    He now admits that piracy of its biggest product has actually expanded its market in countries like China, going so far as to say: "As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours."

    And, come on, look at the damage software piracy has done. If only everybody had paid for their copies, poor Bill Gates might still have a job today... instead of retiring to literally ski everywhere he goes on gigantic drifts of dollars."

    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_18513_5-insane-file-sharing-panics-from-before-internet.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    What happens when ad blockers eliminate the economics of google and facebook?


    I will rejoice. Then someone will come up with a functional replacement that doesn't depend on ad revenue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This