Digital Media Ethics: Survey Says...

Three weeks ago I published a survey on this blog that replicated a survey created by Ed Bott, technology guru at ZDNet. While Ed was able to get a few more participants than we did (I know that at least Miguel Guhlin shared the survey with his readers) the sample sizes are large enough to make an interesting comparison between the ethical attitudes of the ed-tech community versus the less-specialized technology population to which Ed caters.

For those keeping score at home, we had 78 participants in our survey compared with the over 8,000 participants that Mr. Bott was able to garner. In the charts below, numbers presented are percentages. Note: Ed's totals don't always sum to 100% because he occasionally offered additional responses than I did.

1. Do you think it’s proper to buy a CD, rip it to your hard drive, and then make copies for your own personal use on multiple devices or computers?

2. Do you think it’s proper to buy a CD, rip it to your hard drive, and then trade in the CD at your local used-media store or online?

3. Is it OK to borrow a CD from a friend and rip it to your hard drive?

4. Is it proper to buy a CD and make a copy for a friend?

5. If you buy a DRM-protected track from an online music or video store like iTunes, is it proper to strip the DRM and make an unprotected backup copy?

6. If you rent a DVD from Netflix or Blockbuster, is it OK to make a copy before you return it?

7. If you miss an episode of your favorite TV program from a broadcast network, is it OK to download it from BitTorrent or a file-sharing network?

8. Does it make a difference if it’s a program from a subscription-only channel like HBO?

(Sometimes was not an option on the ZDNet Survey)

9. Does it make a difference if the same program is available for free with ads from an “official” website or for a charge from an online service?

(Sometimes was not an option on the ZDNet Survey)

This final chart shows how participants in our survey are related to education (or at least how they claim they are related to education - you never can tell with those ed-tech types).

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