As far as lawyers for the music and film industries are concerned, copying a CD or DVD for even one friend, even if you purchased it and paid full price, violates the federal copyright code — and it is a crime. Young users do not agree.
"I think you’re allowed to make, like, two or three copies of a CD you bought and give them to friends," 15-year-old Evan Collins told the Los Angeles Times. "It’s only once you make five copies, or copy a CD of stolen music, that it’s illegal."
A poll recently conducted by the LA Times and Bloomberg found that the majority of teenagers and young adults, both male and female, up to the age of 24, believe that while copying stolen music or movies is a crime, copying purchased CDs or DVDs is not.
The kids know that downloading free music and movies from unauthorized sites is illegal. They know buying bootlegged CDs and DVDs is wrong, too. But 60% to 70% of them think it is perfectly all right to burn discs for or from friends, as long as the discs were legitimately purchased.
For instance, the poll revealed that 69% of teens ages 12 to 17 believe it is legal to copy a CD from a friend who purchased the original, but only 21% feel it is legal to copy a CD if a friend obtained the music for free. Similarly, 58% think it is legal to copy a DVD or videotape that a friend purchased, but only 19% think copying is legal if the material wasn’t legitimately bought.
Kids have gotten the message that free downloading is wrong, and many of them say that it means musicians and artists are not paid for their work. In a study earlier this year, Harris Interactive found that illegal downloading of music, movies, games and software by young users was definitely trending downward.
In the Times article, however, sounding a little like Ebenezer Scrooge, RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol said, "We still confront a significant challenge educating kids that copying a CD for a friend is also a crime. This is a major focus for the entire industry."
No matter how hard the industries try to convince kids, teens and young adults not to copy, for now, many tech-savvy youngsters are happy to be copycats.