Law and morals are clearly out of sync when it concerns sharing copyrighted works on the Internet. To give an example, David Pogue, technology writer for the New York Times often questions his public during talks to find out where the line between wrong and right lies in this case. He starts of with a simple statement such as:
“I own a certain CD, but it got scratched. So I borrow the same CD from the library and rip it to my computer.”
He then asks the public whether they think it’s wrong or not. Normally the more extreme the examples are, the more hands are raised, but when he spoke to an audience of 500 college students, something different happened.
- Finally, with mock exasperation, I said, “O.K., let’s try one that’s a little less complicated: You want a movie or an album. You don’t want to pay for it. So you download it.” There it was: the bald-faced, worst-case example, without any nuance or mitigating factors whatsoever. “Who thinks that might be wrong?” Two hands out of 500.
Pogue was blown away by this response, and he realized that there is a clear generation gap when it comes to copyright morals[...]