It'S Culture, Not Morality

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, Feb 03, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I think there's an interesting angle taken in this article. People often blur the distinction between legality and morality, reasoning (oddly and incorrectly, in my view) that whatever is against the law or even against the rules is also immoral. But rules do not reflect morality, they reflect culture, and culture changes with time. And so we see new attitudes toward some rules reflected in a way that impacts both copyright and plagiarism: "the student generation has embraced an entirely different concept of ownership, and students who would never shoplift feel no hesitation about downloading music they haven't purchased. And she notes how much students love to quote from pop culture or other sources - feeling pride in working into conversation quotes they never invented - in a way previous generations wouldn't have done."
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