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Should digital files be considered a commons? Copyright infringement in the eyes of lawyers

Abstract : In this article, we draw on a survey conducted with elite upcoming lawyers from all around the world to shed new light on the ethical acceptability of file sharing practices. Although file sharing is typically illegal, our findings show that lawyers overwhelmingly perceive it as an acceptable social practice. The main criterion used by lawyers to decide on the ethical acceptability of file sharing is whether or not the infringer derives any monetary benefits from it. Further, our findings show that lawyers in the public sector (including judiciary and academia) are even more tolerant of online copyright infringement than those in the private sector. Interestingly, our data suggests that this is largely the result of self-selection: lawyers who lean more on the side of broad disclosure and social sharing tend to orient themselves toward the public sector. Implications for the current state of the debate on the reform of copyright law are discussed.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02516797
Contributor : Touria Bagard <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 9:50:51 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 1:38:43 AM

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Jérôme Hergueux, Dariusz Jemielniak. Should digital files be considered a commons? Copyright infringement in the eyes of lawyers. Information Society, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2019, 35 (4), pp.198-215. ⟨10.1080/01972243.2019.1616019⟩. ⟨hal-02516797⟩

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