Watching Porn Online More Acceptable Than Pirating Music

Opinion

A survey conducted by the New Zealand based research firm UMR Research found that nearly half of the respondents think that it's morally okay to watch porn on the Internet. Downloading music and movies illegally, on the other hand, is frowned upon by an overwhelming majority of the respondents.

piratesA recent survey among 1000 New Zealanders has revealed some interesting findings regarding the pleasures of the Internet. Of the polled group, nearly half (41%) thought that watching porn online is morally acceptable.

Downloading music illegally, or watching a movie online without paying, was okay with a much smaller group, 18 and 13 percent respectively.

In fact, hiding your online porn viewing habits from your spouse is still more morally accepted than downloading a movie or music album without paying for it. Of the respondents, 18 percent thought that is was fine to secretly watch porn in a marriage.

At first sight the results of the survey are not really that surprising. Downloading music and movies without consent from the copyright holders is in violation of the local laws in New Zealand and watching porn obviously isn’t. Still, a closer look at the findings reveals some remarkable inconsistencies.

Firstly, most of the adult entertainment is actually viewed on sites that are dominated by copyright infringing content. So, many of the people who watch porn online are actually pirating as well, without realizing it.

Another remarkable finding was that people seem to be fine with copyright infringement if it’s on a video streaming site such as YouTube. Of all respondents, 31 percent said that it is morally acceptable to stream copyrighted TV-shows on YouTube, while only 13 percent believed that downloading copyrighted video was morally okay.

Thus, streaming copyrighted content is somehow perceived as more acceptable for some odd reason. The 5 percent difference between the moral acceptability of music and video downloading is another mystery that is left unexplained.

Overall, this survey shows how malleable peoples’ perceptions are when it comes to copyright issues online, with approval rates swaying back and forth between different types of media and the various distribution platforms.

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