Teaching Cyber Ethics To America's Youth Should Begin At @ Home, Survey Says

More Than 75 Percent Interviewed Choose Parents Over Teachers as Source of Copyright Education

Washington, DC -- It's the parents' primary responsibility to teach kids respect for copyrighted works, according to a new survey on Internet downloading ethics commissioned by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

The survey reveals that only 14 percent of U.S. adults say teaching the nation's youth to respect copyrighted material such as software, music and movies is a shared responsibility between parents and teachers. A whopping four out of five (78 percent) say parents bear the most responsibility, while a mere seven percent think teachers are most responsible. Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the study last month in an omnibus survey of 1,000 respondents.*

Other results of the survey include:

  • Nearly all (95 percent) believe it is a "big deal" if a young person shoplifts a software program, CD or DVD from a store, yet about one in three (30 percent) say downloading files on the Internet without permission is acceptable.
  • 63 percent believe it is never okay to download copyrighted works, such as a song or software, without authorization.
  • Men were more accepting of downloading copyrighted works without authorization, with 34 percent finding it acceptable. Women were less tolerant, with just 27 percent citing it as acceptable.

"Given how many children use computers and have Internet access at school, it is even more important that both parents and teachers take an active role in teaching computer ethics and safe computer use," said Diane Smiroldo, vice president of public affairs for BSA.

Survey Says Parents Are Overwhelming Choice To Teach Cyber Ethics

"With the survey confirming the unfortunate reality that many adults still think it's acceptable to download unauthorized copies of copyrighted works online, it is even more critical that we emphasize to our nation's youth the importance of cyber ethics and the respect for intellectual property at home and in school. Parents and teachers need to work together to ensure our young people are using computers and the Internet safely, are becoming good cyber citizens, and are respecting creative works online."

In an effort to guide parents and educators in teaching children about respect for digital works online, BSA offers parents, teachers and students a variety of materials and tools on cyber ethics, including its curriculum, "Play It Safe In Cyberspace." The curriculum is available for free download at www.PlayitCyberSafe.com and was co-produced by children's publisher, Weekly Reader. The curriculum was first distributed in August 2002 to schools nationwide and has reached more than 13 million kids, parents and teachers.

For more than two years, teachers nationwide, including Dr. Diane DeMott Painter of Centreville, VA, have incorporated the curriculum into their cyber ethics lessons. Earlier this month, Dr. Painter, a technology resource teacher at an elementary school near the Washington, DC, area, was awarded with BSA's first-ever Cyber Education Champion Award. The Cyber Education Champion Award is presented to individuals in the education profession for their commitment to teaching students and educators about cyber ethics, intellectual property and the importance of respecting creative works online, including software.

For more information about BSA and its education initiatives, visit www.bsa.org/education or www.PlayItCyberSafe.com.

*Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted on Ipsos U.S. Express, Ipsos' twice-weekly telephone omnibus study. It was a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and older. To assure a nationally representative sample, the survey results are weighted for gender, age, household income and region. These are matched to targets from the most recent Current Population Survey provided by the U.S. Census. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Debbi Bauman Business Software Alliance (202) 530-5132 Suzanne Jackson Four Leaf Public Relations LLC (434) 972-7278

Business Software Alliance The Business Software Alliance is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, CNC Software/Mastercam, Internet Security Systems, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, UGS PLM Solutions and VERITAS Software.

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