70 per cent of public condones piracy

More than two-thirds of the public still think illegally downloading material from the Internet is socially acceptable, says a new study - in spite of efforts by copyright holders to change attitudes to piracy.

File sharing news site TorrentFreak reports that a recent poll on moral standards by researchers in Denmark revealed that 70 per cent of those questioned said that illegally downloading copyright material from the Internet was acceptable - although three out of four said it was completely unacceptable to then sell it for profit.

The study measured public attitudes to issues including as tax evasion, insurance fraud and piracy, comparing responses in 2010 to those more than a decade earlier, and contrasting the views of men and women.

In the piracy section, respondents were asked to rate, on a scale from 1 to 10, whether they regarded illegal downloading for personal use as a socially acceptable act. Seven out of 10 of those questioned said that, to a greater or lesser extent, they thought it socially acceptable. Only 15 to 20 percent of the total group believed piracy was *totally* acceptable.

And despite the campaigning of the music and film industries over the last ten years, today's attitudes appear largely unchanged. Questioned about the issue for a study in 1997 the same proportion - 3 out of 10 - said it was unacceptable.

The original text of the study can be found as a PDF here. In Danish.