[oclug] Music Downloading and Copyright
croombefp at sympatico.ca
Fri Apr 2 08:17:39 EST 2004
Regardless of the rather odd decision on the part of the court
concerning downloading music, it is my personal belief that all have
lost sight of the fundamental aspect of this practice -- it is immoral.
If one wants a song, or other piece of music, then one should purchase
the CD -- to copy one which someone else has purchased and made
available is theft, pure and simple. It matters not the ratio of loss
(i.e. the producer, the distributor or the artist and even the retailer)
everyone involved loses by such theft. For this reason, I always refuse
to copy anything in my collection for anyone who asks (unless it is
clear that the object of the copying is either out of copyright or is so
old that it is no longer available from any store).
The comparison to copying machines in libraries is specious -- the
copying machines are there for the LEGAL copying of small portions of
copyright documents for research and personal use only -- one is
certainly NOT allowed to copy whole magazines or books (anyway, to do so
in this manner would be prohibitively expensive -- to purchase the
original would be orders of magnitude cheaper).
For a similar reason, there is a surcharge on blank audio cassettes as
the major use of such blanks was to copy CDs (or, in their day, vinyl
LPs) belonging to other persons (private or a public library). I know
people who regularly copy audio and video tapes borrowed from the local
public library -- as noted, many, many people are losers thereby.
Can one put a ceiling on theft? That below a certain value it is
acceptable and above that unacceptable? I think not : theft is theft
whether it be a few cents (a pencil from a convenience store) or
millions of dollars (C*nr*d Bl*ck).
Please think about the implications of your actions before you start
downloading a song or music item from the Internet.
Croombe F. Pensom
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