March 1, 2011 at 2:12 PM ET
We know that we've got plenty of ways to pirate music, software, and movies, but do we really think that doing so is socially acceptable?
According to a recent study, 70 percent of respondents do.
TorrentFreak reports that the results of a Danish study which "questioned participants on morals and ethics, and included discussion on which laws they believe are socially acceptable to break" are now available. The study was published by the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit and if you've brushed up on your Danish, you can read it here.
Whether you care about the rest of the study, you might find the results of the piracy section fascinating. TorrentFreak reports:
In the piracy section respondents were asked to rate, on a scale from 1 to 10, whether they thought unauthorized downloading for personal use is a socially acceptable act. The researchers found that 7 out of 10 of those questioned felt, to a greater or lesser degree, that it is socially acceptable. 15 to 20 percent of the total group believed that piracy is totally acceptable.
A minority of just over 30 percent of the respondents voted at the very bottom of the response scale, an indication that they feel piracy is completely unacceptable.
It's worth noting that while this survey was apparently conducted only in Denmark, it's arguable that the results would give a reasonable idea of how people feel in most Internet-savvy countries.
It's also of particular interest that while most respondents found piracy acceptable, they did not feel that it was reasonable to profit from downloaded materials:
When questioned on whether it is acceptable to download something and then sell it to a friend for profit, 3 out of 4 said that would be completely unacceptable.