[oclug] Music Downloading and Copyright
rjordan at numb.ca
Fri Apr 2 10:54:00 EST 2004
It would seem CroombeFP, on Fri, Apr 02, 2004 at 08:17:39AM -0500, wrote:
> 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).
Many other people have covered important points, that I won't repeat --
but here are a couple others:
* Being forced to prepay damages on music infrigement (through the CD-R
levy, even on CD-Rs used for data), in my mind justifies the infringement
act. This is much like radio station royalties justifies listening to music
on the radio.
* As others mentioned, copyright infringement is different than theft;
in particular the copyright owner suffers no tangible loss (only potential
loss of sale) when a copyright is infringed. Theft always involves a
tangible loss to on party, and a tangible gain to another.
* Copyright is a bargain between creators and consumers in order to
encourage creative works in society (and provide income to creators).
It is an unatural law brought about after the invention of the printing
press; beforewhich copying of texts (or other creative works) was not
considered an immoral act. So, copyright infringement is not inherently
immoral, it is a value of a particular society.
* Currently, copyright law is being shifted in favour of creators (or
perhaps more correctly -- in favour of copyright owners (who are often
not the actual creators)). Copyright terms have been extended in many
countries, and works are prevented from entering the public domain
(consumers are denied their end of the bargain -- that creative works
should eventually fall into the public domain).
* Copyright infringement can be justified in many cases.
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