Software Swapping North of the Border

Canadian college students are more likely than their American counterparts to think that using pirated computer programs is unethical, according to a report on a recent survey, but they’re swapping software nevertheless.

The producer of the report isn’t exactly unbiased: The poll was conducted by the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft, a consortium of software manufacturers. But the findings provide an interesting contrast to a similar poll taken in the United States by the Business Software Alliance. Only one in three students in the U.S. survey considered illegal file sharing to be unequivocally wrong, but 72 percent of Canadian respondents said the practice was unethical. And while 60 percent of the American students said they head to the Internet, rather than to the store, for commercial software, about half of the Canadian students said they downloaded copyrighted material. (Globe and Mail)

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