Young voters back file sharing

The majority of young people who will be allowed to vote for the first time this September during national elections are in favour of file downloading - despite the fact that it is illegal.

The youngest voters, those aged 18-20, say the law prohibiting file sharing is wrong and is a cultural phenomenon, according to a May poll conducted by the Swedish paper Sydsvenskan and Temo Synovate survey.

Over 75 percent of those asked said it was OK to download illegally from the Internet, said the survey.

When asked to respond to the statement “I think it is OK to download files from the Net, even if it is illegal”, some 38 percent said they adamantly agreed while 39 percent said they partly agreed.

“You adapt your morality on the basis of what use you have of the rules,” said Nicklas Källebring, Temo’s opinion expert.

“You think it’s OK to do that which you yourself can benefit from, regardless what others think.”

The survey was carried out a week before the Swedish file-sharing Web site The Pirate Bay was shut down by police during a raid.

File sharing could be a hot topic come election time. Only the Centre Party and the Green Party voted against the anti-file-sharing decision in Parliament last year.

Internet downloading has united the political right and left in Sweden. Support is strongest among the Liberal Party, the Moderates and the Left Party, Sydsvenskan reported.

“It is alarming that so many young people think everything should be free,” said Ella Bohlin, Christian Democrat Youth Party chairman.

“They don’t understand that you’re stealing, and that you are maybe taking income from small artists.”

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