A report commissioned by Microsoft UK from research firm YouGov, has revealed that while 89 per cent of UK consumers believe ethics govern their buying decisions, half of the same sample own material and goods that they know are counterfeit.
And nearly a quarter of the same sample admit they own pirated software.
That, said Microsoft, displays a double standard by UK consumers on the ownership of ideas. While a large proportion buy Fair Trade coffee or organic food, their attitude towards software has something of the whited sepulchre about it.
Alex Hilton, Microsoft UK's anti piracy manager, said: "Most consumers would not dream of stealing software from a store, yet they perceive no issue with illegally downloading or copying intellectual property. This impact is profound and not only economic but also social'. According to the research, while 75 per cent of the people surveyed said that ideas belong to people who created them, and the same number said they'd go livid and incandescent if their ideas were stolen, that concern for ethics "evaporates" for 43 per cent when they get the opportunity to buy counterfeit and illegal goods at prices that seem too good to be true.
Microsoft said that many of the people surveyed reckoned that UK public services needed more funding, with 82 per cent wanting more cops on the streets and 69 per cent wanting more money for our National Health Service. Microsoft claims that only a 10 per cent reduction in the UK piracy rate will give enough government revenues - to the tune of �2.5 billion - to build nine new major hospitals, reduce council tax by 17 per cent, recruit an extra 113,000 cops, and hire another 132,000 nurses.
This may be what our government might do with �2.5 billion but we've an awful feeling that it would probably spend the money interfering in the affairs of other countries and nosing further into our own affairs.
Source: The Inquirer