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Survey: File Sharing is More Immoral Than Porn

A poll conducted in New Zealand asked 1,000 people on their views regarding the morality of certain, perhaps more risky, activities.

41 percent of those asked felt that watching porn online was morally acceptable for a single person. 21 percent thought that it was morally acceptable for a married person to watch porn without telling his or her spouse, reported PC World.

Both cases above were viewed as more moral acts than downloading copyrighted music or videos onto one's hard drive. 18 percent viewed downloading music as moral, and 13 percent thought downloading video was okay.

Of course, given that the downloading of copyright music and video is against the law, and viewing porn is legal, that does fall in line with what the rule books say.

Interestingly, there seems to be a certain difference in perception of piracy whether or not videos are saved onto one's hard drive for offline viewing. The moral approval rate for watching copyrighted videos jumps to 31 percent when it is done through an online streaming website.

The twist to this, as pointed out by TorrentFreak, that many pornographic websites display copyright infringing materials.

Where does your moral compass point towards?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • h83r
    So torrenting copyrighted porn films is just out of the question
    Reply
  • ethanolson
    I will tell you right now that porn can ruin lives in far worse ways than file sharing. There is a world of difference between them, and porn is worse of a thing for people to dabble in.
    Reply
  • 4trees
    I guess if I simplified the activities maybe I agree with this...
    copyright protected download ...on par with theft
    watching porn ...on par with "entertainment"

    Whether or not porn should be considered as simple entertainment is quite debatable, but that is a different moral question.

    Whats up with all the porn articles lately?
    Reply
  • ctbaars
    Porn is immoral by virtue that it degrades anouther.
    Piracy is illegal. It is theft which is immoral.
    Reply
  • Marcus Yam
    4treesWhats up with all the porn articles lately?Must be that little thing called the Adult Entertainment Expo that happened last week, sparking the media's attention towards the subject of porn.

    Those who read porn sites are probably wondering why there was such a sudden influx of news related to 3D and HD technologies -- little did they know that there was CES going at the same time!
    Reply
  • Hanin33
    the morality police is out for this one...
    Reply
  • invalid777
    4treesWhats up with all the porn articles lately?
    It is what the internet is for isn't it?
    Reply
  • rickd_2689
    Tom's didn't use to have so many gutter articles. What's the deal?
    Reply
  • ctbaars
    Sex sells
    Reply
  • Porn is not degrading to anyone. A better way to put it would be that while there may be participants being degraded, it is of their own volition. If you choose to be degraded, or better yet, both choose AND enjoy being degraded, then I see no harm.

    In certain cases, I also see no harm in downloading copyrighted material. For instance, I see no harm in pirating PC games, given the number of bugs and incompatibility issues that seem to find their way into even the most simplistic of games. Couple that with the great difficulty in returning a game that does not work on your PC, whether it's your PC or the games fault, and treating game downloads as if they were "shareware" with the intent to buy the game later on if it functions correctly is morally OK in my opinion.

    On a similar note, downloading music to see if it's worth owning or not is also not against my moral compass.
    Reply