From: Justin Mayhew, Public Policy Polling®
To: Interested Parties
Subject: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Restrictive Copyright Policies
Date: January 12, 2017
A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that voters across the country want the internet to remain a free and open space for exchanging ideas and original content. A near unanimous 94% of Americans say they regularly go online, and of that group, 78% share information online routinely. Among all voters, 72% watch original online video content at least a few times per month.
Because of their profound reliance on the internet, voters are adamant about preserving their ability to view and share content. Two-in-three Americans (66%) agree that all internet users should be allowed to use and share content created by others under certain circumstances, while just 13% disagree. This is an issue that generates substantial bipartisan support, with majorities of Democrats (64%), Republicans (69%), and Independents (67%) all in favor of keeping the internet an open marketplace of ideas and speech.
Key findings from the survey include:
– Protecting Free Speech Online. Voters will be looking to their representatives in Congress to protect content sharing on the internet. 69% of voters think that their members of Congress should support policies that protect free speech on the internet, including majorities of Democrats (66%), Republicans (70%), and Independents (73%).
– Millennial Views of the Internet: The future of the internet is in the open and free creation and sharing of content, as evidenced by the preferences of younger respondents. Among voters under the age of 45, 85% say that being able to view and share content online, including videos, pictures, movies, music, and TV, is either extremely, very, or somewhat important to them. For comparison, 55% of those 46 to 65 say the same, and just 36% of respondents over 65 agree. Similarly, 89% of respondents under 45 say they watch original online content at least a few times per month, compared to 65% of those between ages 46 and 65 and 46% of those over the age of 65.
– Views of the Internet Among Those Who Share Content Frequently: Americans who share content on the internet frequently are more likely to support free speech protections for the internet, and are more likely to have a positive opinion of the internet and its societal impact. 74% of Americans who say they share content on the internet either a few times per week, a few times per day, a few times per hour, or who share constantly throughout the day, support fair use of internet content, compared to 66% of the overall population. 77% of frequent sharers support policies that protect free speech on the internet, compared to 69% of the general public. When it comes to the internet and its benefits, this same group gives higher marks than the overall sample—84% believe the internet has fostered new levels of creativity (compared to 74% in overall sample).
– Views of the Internet Among Those Who Say Online Sharing Is Important: For those who consider online content sharing to be essential, protections for the internet are especially popular. Among those who say viewing and sharing content online is either extremely important, very important, or somewhat important, 74% support fair use and 79% support policies that protect free speech on the internet, compared to 66% and 69% of all Americans, respectively. This group also views the internet and its benefits more favorably than the general public, with 85% saying that they believe the internet has fostered new levels of creativity (74% overall).
PPP surveyed 661 registered voters from November 28-29, 2016. The margin of error is +/-3.8 %. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone (landline only) with 20% interviewed over the internet to reach respondents who don’t have landline telephones.