They Might Be Pirates: Who Is Really Sharing Digital Media

According to On The Media, 14% of Americans download the majority of their movies illegally and 50% have obtained some content. Therefore one in every two American citizens have downloaded at least one piece of media illegally. Age also plays a factor, as the number of illegally downloaded media rises sharply if you’re in between 18 and 29 years old. Even though the numbers don’t show it, the public understands the concept of copyright and that creators deserve mention. The American public feels that media needs to be circulated in order to gather popularity. According to the media specialist from the university, “the more media circulates the more it enriches us in general and creates incentives for new work”.

The gentleman on the segment of On The Media stated that the majority of people don’t view infringement as a serious offense. Taking it one step further, only 52% of people supported penalties of any kind. American people feel fines and warnings are appropriate actions to take. Furthermore they believe a high degree of tolerance should be taken when sharing through friends and family.

Surprisingly enough, there is majority of support for copyright enforcement online. The gentleman sharing his thoughts on the situation asked the audience if they would support enforcement if it meant over enforcement. He summed up the segment by adding that people value privacy more than they value copyright enforcement. They are indeed willing to pay for the opportunity to have universal access.



  1. I think one reason for the lack of care towards the penalties of illegal downloading has to do with an ethical decision one makes. If this generation we are living in is teaching us that illegally downloading music is OK, then what example is set? When music was only accessable from going to the store to buy it, we didn’t steal it then, so what makes it OK now? There is a fine line between what we should do and what we actually do.

  2. I was raised in a country where movie piracy is non-existent. Well, it exists, but everyone does it, so it is no longer considered piracy; at least that’s how it works in my eyes. Like dickerl, I believe that we grew up in an era where piracy is disregarded, so everyone does not care about the consequences. We no longer find it immoral to basically steal from the artists.

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