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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Is this the right thing to do? Is it Ethical? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On 2005-12-01 05:19, jimtron wrote:
In my opinion there is nothing remotely unethical about downloading a copy of a video that you legally purchased elsewhere, as long as it's the same title with the same content. If you have a VHS version, and you download a newer DVD version with additional content that's not on the VHS version; that might not be so kosher. But if your legally purchased video gets damaged and you download a copy of the same version, surely there is no harm done.

Legally, however, it might be problematic. Sites like Napster have been sued, and the RIAA has sued individuals for downloading mp3's.

So you find nothing unethical about doing something which you know to have been found illegal?

The copying right which copyright grants the purchaser is the right to copy the specific work they own. It does not grant the right to make a copy of someone else's disc or tape or file, only the one you own.
jimtron
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Tom:

There are some things that are illegal that are not unethical, in my opinion. My point was that, in my opinion, there's nothing unethical (though it may be illegal) about downloading a video that you have purchased elsewhere. Do you find it unethical?
Tom Cutts
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Yes, I do.
jimtron
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What is it that you find unethical (about downloading something that you've paid for elsewhere)--the fact that it's illegal? Or something else?

-Jim
Tom Cutts
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In this case I find the source to be unethical.
jimtron
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What do you mean by the source--the Internet?
Jonathan Townsend
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The internet is a thing. It has no ethics. Only a protocol or two. HTTP and TCP/IP if you will.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Tom Cutts
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The source of the download.
jimtron
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Tom:

Is it only the source that you find unethical, or do you also find the downloader and the act of downloading unethical (again, in the case of having already legally purchased the title that the downloader is downloading)?
Tom Cutts
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Jim,

My experience with you is that you need to be spoon fed answers, and to your credite you are very patient when people grow weary of this. I can only suggest you read my post from Dec 11, 2005 10:13pm.

As someone who was raised when Rock 'n Roll was something, and who has close friends who still make some of their income from songs they wrote, I can say that I find circumventing copyrights unethical.

Cheers,

Tom
jimtron
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Quote:
On 2005-12-19 17:14, Tom Cutts wrote:
Jim,

My experience with you is that you need to be spoon fed answers, and to your credite you are very patient when people grow weary of this. I can only suggest you read my post from Dec 11, 2005 10:13pm.

As someone who was raised when Rock 'n Roll was something, and who has close friends who still make some of their income from songs they wrote, I can say that I find circumventing copyrights unethical.

Cheers,

Tom


Tom: I have no desire to be spoon-fed. In this case, I've asked you repeatedly about this issue for clarification. I have experienced other Café members making presumptuous statements about my viewpoints that have been wrong, and I would rather not do that--I want to be sure I understand your viewpoint. I did re-read the post that you cited:

Quote:
So you find nothing unethical about doing something which you know to have been found illegal?

The copying right which copyright grants the purchaser is the right to copy the specific work they own. It does not grant the right to make a copy of someone else's disc or tape or file, only the one you own.


Maybe I'm a bit dense, but I still am not completely sure where you find the unethical behavior. After reading your last post, it's my understanding that you find the downloading of a legally purchased title unethical because it's a copyright violation and because it's against the law. And that you find the source of the download "unethical." Did I get that right (if you haven't lost patience with this thread)?
Tom Cutts
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Almost! Like you I do make a distinction between "law" and "ethic". I don't so much care about the legality of the matter as I do about the circumventing of giving the artist his protected due as goverened by the copyright he owns. I do not believe that having bought a title affords you the right to obtain copies of it t=from any source other than that one which you own.

You lose it, you are out of luck. Buy another. If you wore it out, don't you think you got your money's worth out of it?
jimtron
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Tom:

Thanks for your response. I think I now have a clear idea of your view on this.

Quote:
You lose it, you are out of luck. Buy another. If you wore it out, don't you think you got your money's worth out of it?


Perhaps you're right, that if you wore it out you got enough use out of it. But in my opinion, if the VCR ate the tape, or the DVD accidentally got damaged, in my opinion it wouldn't be unethical to download the (exact same) title from the Internets. So I guess we can agree to disagree on that point.

-Jim
Tom Cutts
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I know, you find it ethical to violate copyright and its intention for artists to make a living.
Steve Brooks
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Mind if I chime in? Smile

As I understand the questions and definitions presented in this topic so far, I agree with Tom Cutts on this subject 100%.

As I see it, the source (in this case a site which typically allows thousands of folks to download material, whether music or video) has no legal or ethical right to take the liberty of giving away something which they do not own. Even if said site charges a fee (e.g, for burning a disc which is then mailed to the purchaser or charging for each title downloaded), unless some kind of license agreement has officially been made with the copyright holder, the site has absolutely no right, legally or ethically to provide the end-user access to the music or video. Further, by using this type of website, you are basically associating yourself with very shady people (who in my opinion) have questionable business practices. The law may indeed allow someone to operate a site which provides a download service, but it is the material which is being downloaded that is raising legitimate concerns.

That said, I am also in agreement with the concept that any media has the potential to eventually stop functioning or not perform properly after a period of use. Phonograph records may become scratched or warped and then skip during playback, as can compact discs or DVD titles. Video or cassette tapes eventually wear out by sheer use, or may become tangled up or destroyed during the playback process. Once this occurs and assuming you still want the priviledge of enjoying the music or video at hand, then legally and ethically you should purchase another copy.

Over the years I can think of several albums or cassette tapes which I played to death and eventually purchased new copies. Add to that, Mya and I own many VHS titles which we have slowly purchased again on DVD because of the better quality. Notice that I made another purchase, I did not go to a website and download the DVD version as I believe doing so is illegal and just plain wrong.

Having said all that, I believe purchasing the original item is the only way to go. If there is a problem (e.g, defect, flaw, etc) one can usually return the item for a replacement or store credit. You need to realize that nothing lasts forever and most material objects can and do eventually stop performing their assigned tasks. In the case of theft or fire, one will need to purchase new copies, that is why insurance companies provide policies which allow you to replace lost articles such as DVDs. If it was okay to make copies from friends or download unauthorized copies from the internet, then insurance companies would probably go out of business, as would the creators and manufactures' of such products. Thanks for taking the time to read my viewpoint. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
jimtron
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Quote:
On 2005-12-20 04:13, Tom Cutts wrote:
I know, you find it ethical to violate copyright and its intention for artists to make a living.


Tom, that's really not fair. I respect the opinion you and Steve have on this, but I disagree. You're statement above is not true. I do respect copyright, and I respect artists struggle to make a living even more. All I said was that in my opinion, if you have bought a video, it's not unethical to download the exact same title.

If I had produced and released a DVD, would it bother me if people downloaded it instead of buying it? Of course. Would it bother me if someone bought the DVD, and later downloaded a copy because their disc got damaged (even by their own neglect)? No. That's my personal view.

I never said that I advocated copyright violation. I absolutely do not. And I don't advocate downloading in lieu of purchasing. In fact, I don't even advocate downloading a title that you've already purchased--I simply said that I personally don't find it unethical.


-Jim
Tom Cutts
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Two points:

You are inflicting "your personal view" upon others when you state that it is OK to violate copyright law because if you were the copyright holder you wouldn't care. It is unfair of you to inflict your opinion on others like that.

You have stated that you have no problem with freely attaining a copy of a product which was not made from your own personal copy. That violates copyright law, and the intention of the existence of copyright.
jimtron
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Quote:
On 2005-12-20 19:32, Tom Cutts wrote:
Two points:

You are inflicting "your personal view" upon others when you state that it is OK to violate copyright law because if you were the copyright holder you wouldn't care. It is unfair of you to inflict your opinion on others like that.

You have stated that you have no problem with freely attaining a copy of a product which was not made from your own personal copy. That violates copyright law, and the intention of the existence of copyright.


I think you're misunderstanding my views. I am stating my personal opinions here. I NEVER said "it is OK to violate copyright law". I am not advocating anything, or excusing anything. I'm speaking hypothetically and expressing my personal opinions.

I agree that downloading a file, even if one has legally purchased the same title previously, may violate copyright law. As I said in my last post, I do not advocate downloading files.

Again, my point was that in my personal opinion, it is not unethical to download a file that you have legally purchased. I am only speaking personally, I am not "inflicting" my personal view "upon others;" I'm merely expressing it here. I never spoke about what I think others should or shouldn't do, and I never said it was OK to violate copyright laws.

When you express your opinions on the forum, are you "inflicting" them "upon others?"
Tom Cutts
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Jim,

Are you getting confused? This topic is not about downloading a file you have purchased. This topic is about downloading a file which you did not purchase and trying to justify it because you own some other form of the information.

When you publicly state that something is not unethical, you are advocating it to a certain degree. You are NOT speaking hypothetically. You are making claims.

Before you progress one bit or type one more word on this matter, I suggest you resolve the "may" in
Quote:
may violate copyright law.
Until you have resolved that question, the rest of this is moot.

There are several great threads on copyright which you can search for. Some of these will link you to the exact wording of copyright law.
jimtron
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I think I still haven't made my point clear to you.

Whether it violates copyright law or not, my position is the same.

If copyright law explicitly forbids downloading a video, even after legally purchasing it, my personal opinion is: for me, it's not unethical (as long as the title has been legally purchased).

In my opinion, illegal does not necessarily mean unethical (though it often does).

Tom said:
Quote:
Are you getting confused? This topic is not about downloading a file you have purchased. This topic is about downloading a file which you did not purchase and trying to justify it because you own some other form of the information.


I'm not getting confused, I've always been confused. But here's a quote from the original post of this thread (emphasis added):
Quote:
He then burns them to dvd and that way, he says, he "preserves" what he has bought.


Also, what I've been talking about is downloading a title that has already been purchased. So I beg to differ with your statement about what this topic is about.

By the way, here is my first response on this thread:
Quote:
In my opinion there is nothing remotely unethical about downloading a copy of a video that you legally purchased elsewhere, as long as it's the same title with the same content. If you have a VHS version, and you download a newer DVD version with additional content that's not on the VHS version; that might not be so kosher. But if your legally purchased video gets damaged and you download a copy of the same version, surely there is no harm done.

Legally, however, it might be problematic. Sites like Napster have been sued, and the RIAA has sued individuals for downloading mp3's.


Buying and selling used DVDs, which is perfectly legal, potentially does more harm to the creators than downloading a title which you have already purchased. The creators make no money when a title is resold, and resold again.
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