So Much For That 'Education' Campaign: Fewer And Fewer Swedes Think File Sharing Is 'Theft'

from the people-don't-believe-things-that-are-obviously-untrue dept

The entertainment industry continues to insist that its antipiracy campaign is largely an “educational” campaign to get people to realize that file sharing is evil and “theft” from content creators. Of course, pretty much anyone who thinks about it in any amount of detail recognizes the difference between “theft” (something is taken and the original owner no longer has it) and “copying” (you made a copy, but the original owner still has his or her original). Apparently a new study in Sweden suggests that the entertainment industry is badly losing its battle to convince people that file sharing is “theft.” The study shows that a rapidly decreasing number of Swedes thinks of file sharing as theft, down to only 30% from 38% just a year ago. Time to rethink that education campaign. Perhaps, next time, don’t start with the assumption that most people are too clueless to recognize the obvious differences between theft and copying.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “So Much For That 'Education' Campaign: Fewer And Fewer Swedes Think File Sharing Is 'Theft'”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
70 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s a criminal offense because of scale. It’s sort of the question between a small roach of weed and a garbage bag full. “borrowing music” in the “old days” was something that took time, took dedication, and ever copy of a copy was of poorer quality, until it becomes unbearable.

Going and getting the record from the library, buying a blank tape, cleaning the record carefully, sitting for the full 24 or 25 minutes from each side as it records, bitching at the little scratches and that damn skip in the last song. Then you go back the next day and return the record. One copy per day. It’s not a scale that really concerns anyone.

However, the internet? Gee. How fast is your connection (mine is a touch over 15meg right now). If you want only a digital version, it’s the speed of your connection, and if you want an actual physical copy (cd), it’s the speed of the burn. Oh yeah, you don’t have to go anywhere to get it, you don’t have to wait for it to record real time, the copies of the copies are perfect, with a little luck and effort you could be at the head end of a million copies in a single day.

yeah, that gets people’s attention.

Scale is very important in anything.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

So let me get this correct .....

Let me get this correct …

1) The record labels go out and attempt to make deals with new innovative web music companies, “we are your friend we won’t sue you like we have every other company we have negotiated with”

2) The record labels then file suit in order to force the hands of the execs at the new innovative web music company to gain large concessions.

3) The new innovative web music company fails because they are hemorrhaging money due to the deal they made with the record label.

4) Venture capitalists stop funding new innovative web music companies.

5) There is no legitimate place to buy the music people want at a reasonable hassle free cost.

6) They turn to copyright infringement…

…. this is going to be the how to run a company into the ground section of a couple business textbook.

Brendan (profile) says:

AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

How about “giving them free advertising for their music”?

I can’t even count the number of bands I have gone to see live or bought some form of merch for that I _ONLY_ became aware of through filesharing.

To say I’ve harmed these musicians is obviously wrong. To say I’ve harmed those I downloaded but did _NOT_ buy is less obviously wrong. You can’t get everything right, but I have to try music to find things I like. Also, perhaps I passed that music on to a friend who did in fact buy.

It’s not a slippery slope, its the new market for creative goods. Welcome.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

The point is Brendan that is should be the artists / rights holders that make the choice if the music is free or not, not some random schmuck in mom’s basement. That is the slippery slope part. If they don’t understand that converting stuff in this matter from paid to free, or profiting from it isn’t exactly legal… well, what other things are they going to consider next?

Graffiti? It’s everywhere these days, total lack of respect for other people’s belongings. That is sort of what file sharing is like, if enough people do it, everyone thinks it is fine – but it isn’t.

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Re: AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

“The point is Brendan that is should be the artists / rights holders that make the choice if the music is free or not”

Yup. What they don’t seem to realize is that once they make it available, they make it available.

Hey, if you want to keep it a secret, keep it a secret already. And shut up about it.

Steven (profile) says:

Re: Re: AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

The problem is you seem to think that the piece of art is somehow ‘owned’ by the artists/rights holder. I’m sorry, but that ‘ownership’ is nothing more than a historical legal arrangement between society and artists (one that has been altered after the fact on several occasions to the detriment of society). It is not possible to actually own a song, or and idea, or a poem…

We as a society were concerned that if we did not provide an incentive (in the form of protected rights, which do not mean ownership) to creators that society would hindered by not having new created works. The purpose of these laws are to benefit society. However recent studies bring in the question any benefit of these protections (and fly in the face of the ridiculous scope of the current protections), especially given the massively lower barrier to entrance from modern technology.

Brendan (profile) says:

Re: Re: AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

I don’t buy jeans without trying them on. I wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a pretty lengthy test drive. Why should I buy a whole album of music without first listening to it to see if it fits my taste?

A more directly applicable (creative works) example: do you buy books from new authors without reading a few pages (or the whole book) first? I’ll generally borrow a book from a friend first, or else read extended passages somewhere (bookstore, online, etc).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

And according to the Slippery Slope theory such behaviour will eventually lead you to breaking into the author’s home and raping their dog.

I hope you feel better about yourself for stealing the author’s precious words without paying for them. And raping his dog.

Liquid says:

Re: Re: Re:3 AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

That is a good one. I will have to lock that away in my dictionary of internet terms.

This is all in all funny. As we wind our way down the slippery slope that is “Pirating” the more, and more people are going to “yeah all you money grubbing capitolists are morons”. Realize that copying the copies of digital media is nothing bad at all. The money grubbers have been stifiling the creativity of the art masses of the world by using them as a comadity rather then the creative entertainers they are. See to the fact that we have been doing this for years with out very few penalties for the end user. Unless someone was mass producing the product. Even now the binary form of files is even now starting to come under attack of “pirating”. Even though we have been sharing paper media with one another for years with no penalties at all.

And again all in all this is hilarious. Where there is a will there is always a way no matter how hard you try to stop it.

roxanneadams (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Poodles in crocheted sweaters

And according to the Slippery Slope theory such behaviour will eventually lead you to breaking into the author’s home and raping their dog.

I hope you feel better about yourself for stealing the author’s precious words without paying for them. And raping his dog.

It’s the author’s fault for dressing his poodle up in those stupid doggie sweaters. What does he think will happen when some perv sees his sweet white poodle wearing nothing but a pink knitted cardigan?

Lisa (profile) says:

Re: Re: AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

“That is sort of what file sharing is like, if enough people do it, everyone thinks it is fine – but it isn’t.”

Everyone thinks their beliefs are the be all end all of morality – but they aren’t. This is a big problem on techdirt as both sides think “my view are right and anyone who disagrees must be evil”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

I don’t think that those who disagree with me are evil. I think they are ignorant to how culture works in the 21st century. Or how it worked in the 20th century.

You cannot lock culture up. It is impossible.

The whole point of culture is to make copies of it. Build upon it until the result is more culture.

If you don’t want your tiny amount of insignificant piece of the culture pie to be copied then don’t release to the public.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

“I don’t think that those who disagree with me are evil. I think they are ignorant to how culture works in the 21st century. Or how it worked in the 20th century.”

Wow, so anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant? I suppose that makes you the ultimate authority over absolute truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 AC (please use the subject line, huh?)

“I don’t think that those who disagree with me are evil. I think they are ignorant to how culture works in the 21st century. Or how it worked in the 20th century.”

Wow, so anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant? I suppose that makes you the ultimate authority over absolute truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Thomas Jefferson would be proud that you have read his words in the letter he wrote to Issac McPherson, which was predominantly about patents by the way.

I am fairly certain that his being proud would give way to amazement that his words are being relied upon in part as a basis for attempting to justify the illegal downloading and illegal distribution of copyrighted content.

While I rather doubt that Jefferson would be viewed as a copyright maximalist, at the very least he would likely be generally aligned with Mr. Lessig, and perhaps even with some who advocate a stronger copyright regime than Mr. Lessig.

Ryan says:

Re: Re:

Have you read Jefferson’s letter?

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_8s12.html

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody.

In other words, Jefferson extols the nature of ideas to everyone to their mutual benefit without cost to anyone, and that rights may be done “at the will and convenience of society”. He specifically states that creators have no natural rights to things that are replicated freely and without cost to existing owners. It seems that he would be a vociferous proponent of file sharing.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I am fairly certain that his being proud would give way to amazement that his words are being relied upon in part as a basis for attempting to justify the illegal downloading and illegal distribution of copyrighted content.

That’s nice. You can read this quote at his memorial:

I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I’m guessing he would have joined the Pirate Party in this day and age.

Ruben the Swede says:

Filesharing is about to die...

The convienience to instant consumption of media is more important than be in possesion of the media itself. That’s why I use Spotify and Voddler. I can consume the media whenever I want to no cost since its ad financed. I can consume it at home, at work or when mobile on my phone.

Wait and see, in Sweden we are in progress to change. At PB you can se how few the seeders are in average these days.

vastrightwing (profile) says:

In my world none owns an idea or music.

Yes, imagine a world where no one “owns” (or better word: controls) an idea. Once the idea escapes it creator, it’s up for grabs. Many people might assume the world would end and there would be no more ideas and no more music. This would be incorrect. Just look at YouTube: no one making those videos has a copyright and if they do, no one enforces it and most people are not making anything from it. Yet there are more videos than anyone can possibly watch or imagine. And ideas pop out of people’s constantly and most ideas are not protected. So the notion that copying music or ideas would end society is a big myth, but a profitable myth.

Anonymous Coward says:

The balance of power in regards to the music industry has forever been dominated by the industry, in order for an artist to succed at either a nation and definatly a global level the music industry had to be involved. Hence they where able to dictate the process from beginning to end. The internet has changed this it allows for the possibility of bypassing the big lables completly and there are many artists who have done this.

I think that the music industry should give up this campaign against piracy as it achieves little for the companies themselves and i doubt that the artists are any better off. For the most part the best its done is make the options for getting free music better know and hence increased the rate of piracy, i think after the raid on TPB once it was back up traffic at the site went up 20% and general traffic on torrents has gone up something like 30% in the last 3 years.

The music industry should take this as a wake up call, people aren’t prepared to pay the prices that they are being chaged for music in this day and age, they want to be able to use the music they do purchase any way they want not have stupid restrictions on it meaning they cant transfer that new album they bought to their MP3 player to listen to on the way to work. And they sure as hell don’t want to have to pay for the privlage of putting it onto a second device.

Regardless of the medium in which the product is in piracy will always be a issue, regardless of the messures put in place to protect the product these will be broken, there will always be people out there who want it free rather then having to pay for it, the music industry needs to find a balance that gets a majority of people buying rather then coping, and allows the people that do purchase the greater experience when doing so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yes, imagine a world where no one “owns” (or better word: controls) an idea. Once the idea escapes it creator, it’s up for grabs. Many people might assume the world would end and there would be no more ideas and no more music. This would be incorrect. Just look at YouTube…

I AM looking at YouTube and that’s why I will always oppose the dystopian “world” you imagine. Quantity does not equal quality, and more is not always better.

DocMenach (profile) says:

Re: (learn to use the subject field, AC)

I AM looking at YouTube and that’s why I will always oppose the dystopian “world” you imagine. Quantity does not equal quality, and more is not always better.

He wasn’t implying that quantity equals quality, but if you are saying that there is no quality content on youtube then you are completely oblivious.

Besides, 99% of the movies and TV shows out there are complete crap, so locking things up with large corporate conglomerates does not equal quality either.

Benefacio says:

Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

“theft” (something is taken and the original owner no longer has it)

Once again this not a logical (nor, I believe legal) definition of theft. “No longer has it” is an automatic function of transferring possession of physical goods. It is really a no brainer and should be part of the sense that should be more common. “Something is taken” is not automatically theft. When something is taken with my permission I no longer have it yet it is NOT considered theft. As I have pointed out previously the only test for theft is something obtained without the legal owner’s permission. That definition covers every legal instance of theft that I have seen.

Copying is sometimes legal and sometimes illegal. When illegal it is sometimes prosecuted under civil law and sometimes under criminal law. All in all I think most people DO understand the difference between theft and copying but based on this post I am not sure you do.

Lisa (profile) says:

Re: Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

But ‘something is taken and the original owner no longer has it’ isn’t the standard we’re using. In explaining the difference between copying and theft it is always implied that there is a lack of permission.

So it’s ‘something is taken without consent of the original owner and the owner no longer has it’.

Benefacio says:

Re: Re: Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

No Lisa, the always given in theft is a lack of owner’s permission. There are quite a few legal versions of theft that do not involve physical goods so ‘does not have it’ does not always apply when talking about theft.

Again, are you and Mike really trying to say that theft ONLY involves physical goods? That sure seems to be what you are implying.

Lisa (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

“the always given in theft is a lack of owner’s permission.”

That’s a poor definition, if the owner loses absolutely nothing then there shouldn’t be a problem at all.

“Again, are you and Mike really trying to say that theft ONLY involves physical goods?”

No. certain monetary assets aren’t physical, but you can still use up those assets. Therefor they can be stolen if someone poses as you.

Benefacio says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

I agree, that is a better way to phrase it but it is still incorrect. Please allow me to point out 18 USC articles 1831 and 1832, one of several statutes that make copying or obtaining a copy without permission of the owner a theft and prosecuted under criminal law. I don’t agree with it on a philosophical level but it IS the law.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

As I have pointed out previously the only test for theft is something obtained without the legal owner’s permission.

But the copyright holder doesn’t own the copy of the song sitting on my hard drive. If anybody owns it (questionable) then it’s me. What they own is the exclusive right (with limits) to control copying and distribution of the song. I certainly haven’t obtained that, with or without their permission. So even by your definition there is no theft.

According to West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, theft is “A criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent.”

I hope we don’t have to argue about what “take” means, and you can see that copying and taking are not the same. I see that you used the word “obtained” in an attempt to be even more broad, but I doubt many theft statutes are so worded. So, no theft.

Benefacio says:

Re: Re: Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

I agree that infringement is not considered theft so there is no test for theft. That does not mean, however that all illegal copying is considered infringement or that copying data cannot be considered theft under certain circumstances.

Nasch, /I hope you are not insinuating that encyclopedias are always up to date or that our legal code has always updated its verbiage to account for technological advancements. I would also point out that there are many acknowledged legal synonyms for theft, some of which include obtaining intangible property.

I will gladly admit, however, that legalese is all about semantics, and the law is all about the details.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

That does not mean, however that all illegal copying is considered infringement or that copying data cannot be considered theft under certain circumstances.

I think it means exactly those things. If copying isn’t infringement of something (presumably copyright) then how can it be illegal? And I already explained how copying data cannot be theft.

Nasch, /I hope you are not insinuating that encyclopedias are always up to date or that our legal code has always updated its verbiage to account for technological advancements.

If you have a more up to date legal reference that indicates how copying a file can be theft, lay it on me. And I don’t see how laws being outdated is relevant to this particular discussion. If theft statutes should be updated to specifically include making copies of something in contravention of copyright, then that crime would be theft. Until then, it is not. Claiming that something could be covered by a statute because the activity is newer than the law is ridiculous.

I would also point out that there are many acknowledged legal synonyms for theft, some of which include obtaining intangible property.

My argument has nothing to do with tangible vs. intangible property. If you make a copy of my chair, that is also not theft.

Benefacio says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Theft is always illegal; copying is sometimes illegal

Ummm, please allow me to point out 18 USC articles 1831 and 1832, one of several statutes that make copying or obtaining a copy without permission of the owner a theft and prosecuted under criminal law. Under this and similar statutes my copying your chair could indeed be considered a theft. I don’t agree with it on a philosophical level but it IS the law.

“I don’t see how laws being outdated is relevant to this particular discussion.”

Did you miss the whole Lori Drew case? Does your copy, or any copy of West’s Encyclopedia of American Law have entries on cyber-bullying? This is the latest in a long history of incidents where the law has not caught up to the technology forcing prosecutors to twist, fold, mangle and mutilate existing statutes in an attempt to prosecute someone. Understanding the semantics versus the details of law gives us, the citizenry, the ability to judge when a law is being misapplied. We are the only watchers of the watchers.

Semantics applies to this particular sub-thread because you, Nasch, implied theft only occurs when physical property is involved. Take by definition implies only physical property. Since I agree with that definition we do not have to have a discussion on take but the definition you quoted does not apply to the law we live under.

Anonymous Coward says:

He wasn’t implying that quantity equals quality, but if you are saying that there is no quality content on youtube then you are completely oblivious.

Besides, 99% of the movies and TV shows out there are complete crap, so locking things up with large corporate conglomerates does not equal quality either.

This whole blog is constantly implying that quantity equals quality. I’m not saying there is nothing of value on youtube, I AM saying that the vast, vast, vast majority of it is a waste of bandwidth and time largely equivalent to the “OW! My balls” show from the film, “Idiocracy”.

I don’t see how the big corporate conglomerates are “locking things up” either. You have no right to their creations. YouTube and the various entertainment industries can easily coexist. People talking into their webcams is no threat to Hollywood. The only conflict is with deluded people like yourself who want to legally amateurize the professionals.

As for your opinion that 99% of the professional content is crap, I have to wonder what percentage you would give to the whole of youtube…

DocMenach (profile) says:

Re: (You still havent learned to use the subject field?)

This whole blog is constantly implying that quantity equals quality.

You have done this so many times I have lost count. You simply make something up, then say that Techdirt is always implying or encouraging it. Either your reading comprehension is non-existent, or you don’t bother to actually read anything.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...