[oclug] Music Downloading and Copyright
Mark at ascentium.co.uk
Fri Apr 2 09:48:19 EST 2004
You are presenting a very absolutist position on what are complex issues.
Point 1: you have shifted from a "moral" argument to a "legal" one part way
down the post.
Point 2: you equate the unauthorised copying of material with theft.
Let's have a quick look about how two very similar countries interpret the
global treaties on such things:
In the USA, the concept of "Fair Use" gives you the right to "media shift" a
recording. As such, taping your own CD for use in the car is legal.
In the UK, the concept of "Fair Use" does NOT exist. It is a breach of the
law to tape your own CD for use in your own car.
If two very similar countries have such diametrically opposed LAWS on this
subject, what is the answer to the question "is it moral"? Does the USA have
immoral laws, or does the UK?
Next question. Is it moral to obey an immoral law?
Point 2: Copying = theft?
In the UK, the unauthorised copying of material is absolutely NOT theft.
There is a very strong distinction in UK law between theft (a criminal act
in which the State plays a role in enforcement and prosecuting as well as
judging, albeit through different branches), and copyright breach (a civil
matter, in which the State plays only a role in judging, but the copyright
owner bears the full burden of enforcement.)
The UK law says very clearly that copying of material without permission is
a MUCH less serious matter than theft.
I would be interested to understand what the Canadian positions on such
----- Original Message -----
From: "CroombeFP" <croombefp at sympatico.ca>
To: "General Membership Discussion List" <oclug at lists.oclug.on.ca>
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 2:17 PM
Subject: [oclug] Music Downloading and Copyright
> Dear Members
> 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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