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View Poll Results: Is filesharing "stealing"?

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  • Yes

    12 42.86%
  • No

    16 57.14%
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Thread: Is downloading copyright materials stealing? {Some Food for thought}

  1. #1
    kazaaman's Avatar Proud Indian
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    Is downloading copyright materials stealing?


    Well to answer this question, we must first define what stealing is.

    Steal (v. stole (stl), sto·len (stln), steal·ing, steals)

    1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission.
    2. To get or effect surreptitiously or artfully: steal a kiss; stole the ball from an opponent.
    3. To move, carry, or place surreptitiously.

    Definition Source

    While the three definitions above apply to us file-sharers, the first one is of interest in this topic.

    The 1st definition is technically correct; we do "steal" when we download copyrighted data. Yes, it is technically stealing but technicality sometimes doesn't work very well on the internet.

    Below are 3 scenarios which may clear all this up....

    Scenario 1:
    I download an program and discover that it doesn't do it's job well and sucks. I uninstall it from my computer.

    By definition #1 this is stealing, but human intuition tells us that if we had bought it, the company would have taken our money unfairly!!

    Conclusion 1: Not stealing because we tried the program, didn't like it and uninstalled it.


    Scenario 2:
    I download a movie a week before it comes out on DVD out of curiosity and find it thoroughly enjoyable. When it's released in stores a week or two later , I go to my neighborhood entertainment store and purchase it.

    Again, by definition numero 1 this is stealing, but human intuition tells us that we paid for the DVD so therefore its ok.

    Conclusion 2: Not stealing because we bought it when it came out.


    Scenario 3:
    I download a/some mp3s and love listenin' to it/them. When the CD comes out, I refuse to buy it/support the artist in any way.

    Last but not least, by definition #1 this is stealing and my human intuition says that I like this/these song(s), therefore I should support the artist.

    Conclusion 3: Definitely stealing!!! You are enjoying music someone has worked to make, yet you aren't supporting the creator.

    I've given the scenarios above to emphasize one thing, download all you want from our beloved P2P networks, but if you truly like something, then please BUY IT!

    If you are still having a lil trouble understanding just read the following below.

    Real Life = In Bold
    Internet = {}

    - You walk into a store and like the look of a particular shirt
    - {Ads/Word of Mouth on internet}

    - You go into the fitting rooms to try it on
    - {Downloading from P2P network and installing}

    - You either like the shirt or you don't

    - You go to the cashier if you liked it
    - {You keep the program on your computer and buy/support it}

    - You didn't like it so you put the shirt back on the rack and leave the store empty
    - {Uninstalled the program and be worry free!}

    The basic underlying message in all of this is BUY/SUPPORT it (whatever it may be) if you like it, and LEAVE IT ALONE if you don't!

    This article was mainly posted so that some questions about filesharing be answered as there is no one yes or no answer for this topic. I know that I am a pretty moral person and I know there are many others like me out there so I hope this helps you guys in making your decision, whatever it may be.

  2. File Sharing   -   #2
    Ivanov's Avatar BitTorrent Addict BT Rep: +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30BT Rep +30
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    Another example:
    The public libraries offer reading of thousands copyrighted books for symbolically subscription that is much lower than real book price.
    “For her, yeah. At the end of the day, it's all about her. It's always been about her."

  3. File Sharing   -   #3
    kazaaman's Avatar Proud Indian
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    Yea, very true there Ivanov!

  4. File Sharing   -   #4
    Broken's Avatar Obama Supporter
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    It's all stealing, doesn't matter why you do it. It doesn't even matter if you plan on buying whatever it is later. It's all unjustifyable.

    Now the real question is - Does it bother you that you are stilling. For me, nine times out of ten the answer is no.

  5. File Sharing   -   #5
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    I believe it's only morally wrong if you intend to profit from the material you download.

  6. File Sharing   -   #6
    shikotee's Avatar Of Crazy Mind
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    I do not think that stealing is the right term to use at all.
    It implies that by *taking*, you are denying someone else the use of the thin you have taken.

    For example - If I steal your car, you will not have anything to drive in.
    If you steal a digital file, you are just grabbing a copy, and thus not denying the owner of use.

    My take is that if you are snagging things for *shits and giggles* - ie personal experimentation, then there should be no problems.

    If, however, you are taking things and you are using them to support your business, or make money, then what you are doing is wrong.

    I like to think that lots of people who are downloading would not be able to get these things because of their limited finances. I say - all the power to them! The wealthy already own and control so much of this world - we need some sort of way to stick it to them!

    On the other hand - if you are wealthy, and you are still trying to snag things for free, then you are just plain CHEAP. Then again, maybe this explains how you managed to accumulate your wealth....

  7. File Sharing   -   #7
    kazaaman's Avatar Proud Indian
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    Barbarossa & shikotee, I've never thought of it that way. I'll continue to think about this. Hmm.....

    As for you Broken, I'd take a look at myself and see why "stealing" isn't affecting you in any way. Our world, especially in the U.S. and Europe has become very dishonorable as people do everything and anything they can to be better than their peers. Just today we had a discussion in our english class about cheating and why students these days just do it. I say if you don't know the answer for a particular question or something, don't be a pussy and cheat. Man up and have some pride and courage; be responsible for your actions. This way, you'll be in check for the future and wont go down like the folks at Enron.....

  8. File Sharing   -   #8
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbarossa View Post
    I believe it's only morally wrong if you intend to profit from the material you download.
    Besides, I buy progs that I like. Important software to have a 'trial version' for (like what has been said) = AV/Firewall. Cause some just suck.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
    06:36 PM..

  9. File Sharing   -   #9
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    Its not stealing, if it was then you would be tried in a criminal court rather than a civil court.

    Downloading music you dont own the copyright to is copyright infringement nothing else.

    copyright is a sort of contract between artists and the public. We have given them the right to be the owner of that work for a set amount of time (95 years in the u.s.a and 50 here in the u.k). they get exclusive us of it and can charge a fee for people who want to use it. After this time it become public domain and its available for anyone to use.

    The whole reason behind copyright is to encourage the sciences and the arts to produce works. For instance would a company who spent millions of pounds researching and developing a product that benefits people have bothered if the companies competition can use their work for free.

    now how exactly can copyright infringement be called stealing. you are just not living up to your part of a agreement which falls into the civil courts here.

  10. File Sharing   -   #10
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4play View Post
    [C]opyright is a sort of contract between Record Companies and the public.
    Fixed, as I believe they say.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
    06:36 PM..

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