Although the methodology looks questionable to me, Harris Interactive conducted an "online" survey of teens and asked them what they thought about file sharing.

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Results of a new Harris Interactive® survey show that two-thirds (66%) of American teenagers (13-18 years old) oppose fining individuals who offer copyrighted music online for other people to download while about one in ten teens (13%) believe that people who offer copyrighted music on their computers for others to download should be fined. Half of teens (52%) strongly oppose such fines and two in ten teens (21%) neither support nor oppose the fines. ...

In addition, the poll found that most teens believe that sharing and downloading of copyrighted music should be legal. Three quarters (78%) of them feel that sharing (letting other people download music from them) should be legal. Additionally, 74% of teens said that downloading copyrighted music files from the Internet without paying for it should be legal.

Why am I skeptical of the results? Well, online surveys tend to be bogus, since the respondents are self-selected (only people who are interested tend to answer polls they come across online), but near the end of the article it says:
This Harris Interactive survey was conducted online within the United States between September 17 and 22, 2003 among a nationwide cross section of 642 respondents aged 13-18 years old. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, urbanicity and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
I don't know what this means; if the sample isn't self-selected, and the survey just happened to be done online with an actual random sampling of teenagers, then maybe the results are ok. It's not clear, however.

But, if the results are meaningful, then the modern concept of copyright is doomed, because these kids will be making policy in 20 years. I'm not saying this is good or bad, but it seems inevitable to me.

(Thanks MD.)



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