Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Criminals, all of you!

Whoever designed the survey for Ipos may have arranged it such that our local intellectual property watchdog got only the feedback it wanted to hear. TNP summarises:

"IN THE real world, almost all of the 100 Singaporeans polled by The New Paper believe that stealing goodies from a store is wrong.

But they feel it's okay to illegally download copyrighted material from the Internet. In another survey of 1,011 Singaporeans done by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos), released this April, about 44 per cent of Singaporeans think that illegal downloads of copyrighted material is not considered theft."

The more people appear to have unlightened views about respecting intellectual property, the more justification Ipos has for continuing its crusade. And the more reason it has to consider punitive measures, like the new 'three strikes' law, against these all these unrepentant criminal scumbags.

But take a look at the two survey questions given to the respondents:

1) Is it wrong to illegally download music, movies and shows?

40% of total said NO which shows how hardcore recalcitrant they are to willfully commit an illegal act.

If it's illegal, then of course it's wrong, hence 60% said YES. But the answer might have been more interesting if the question had been, "Is it wrong to download music, movies and shows?" Chances are, remove the word "illegal" and 100% will say NO. And since they aren't admitting to committing an illegal act, 100% of them won't think they are criminals.

2) Is it wrong to buy pirated CDs, VCDs and DVDs?

Only 26% of total said NO, which means most people DO think buying such stuff is wrong.

Of course buying pirated CDs, VCDs, and DVDs is wrong. Why waste money on pirated goods when you can download the same thing for free (see Q1)? Duh!

Ipos needs better, less confused, less ambiguous data if it really wants to act in the best interests of society. As it is, they see criminals everywhere, though the people don't quite see themselves as such. Getting all litigious isn't the solution. Enforcement doesn't make a law right, not if the people aren't convinced it is in the first place.

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