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Net heads will tell you that information wants to be free. Apparently that includes copyrighted music and movies, too. A new National Law Journal/DecisionQuest Juror Outlook Survey found that more than 40 percent of 1,000 potential jurors believe that copying copyrighted music off the Internet should be free if it’s for personal use. And 19 percent believe that music and movies copied over the Internet should be free even if it’s done for commercial use. That same “the Internet is different” mentality cropped up when potential jurors were asked whether an employee’s ideas belong to the employee or the employer who pays the bills. In the Third Annual National Law Journal/DecisionQuest Juror Outlook Survey, 66.7 percent5 of the respondents said they think an employee’s ideas belong to the employee, not the employer. That number spikes to 72.7 percent among 25- to 34-year-olds. Jurors also seem to favor employee freedom to disparage their employers. Only 36.7 percent of respondents believe an employer should be able to sue Web sites to make them reveal the names of employees who are writing negative e-mails about the employer. However, while copyright “pirates” may get leeway from potential jurors, hackers do not. An overwhelming majority (77 percent) believe that hackers who access other people’s networks or computers should be prosecuted as criminals.

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