Morality of Downloading Music?
#1
Here's an issue I've been wrestling with for the past while, I'd like to hear what all of you think.

What is the morality of pirating (do we even use that term anymore?) copyrighted music for personal use (as in not reselling it etc)?

No property is usurped in copying files, so the violation cannot be theft. Although copyright law is often broken in the process, and I'm sure here is where the common objection to the act lies. But is the practice moral/immoral solely because of human law? Or is there some deeper dishonesty here?
"If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself from them. Keep hell’s torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies.’ Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."

- St. Isaias the Solitary

"Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity
and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven."

- Tao Te Ching 45
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#2
I'm not a music geek, so it's never been a problem for me, but as I see it, there is definitely theft involved. You are directly stealing the royalty for the song which the artist would receive if you purchased it.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#3
(07-12-2018, 12:33 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: I'm not a music geek, so it's never been a problem for me, but as I see it, there is definitely theft involved. You are directly stealing the royalty for the song which the artist would receive if you purchased it.

But what if you wouldn't have purchased it and, so, aren't depriving anyone (e.g., corporate shysters who take almost all the profit and throw a few coins at artists) of anything they'd otherwise have gotten from you? 

I'm not making a claim here, just asking a serious question.

Digital stuff is a weird thing.
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#4
If you aren't willing to pay for something (or borrow from a friend), do you really need to pirate it? We could likely all benefit from a little less media consumption. So why open up another infinite abyss of consumption by allowing yourself to digitally pirate?
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#5
This question comes up often in my environment,not only with downloading music , but all type of software.
I'm a musician from south America 🤷. Pirating has become so common, it's a every day thing, and the law doesn't work.
Some have a theory that everything that's on the internet is in a "public space". I'm still very against pirating, but I don't no anyone, besides my dad , that doesn't pirate anything.
As to software: If you can afford it, buy it. If you really can't, find a free version or another option.
As to music: do you have Spotify? I live and breath Spotify, it only costs you a little per month and you can listen to anything online or you can download it. I never need to download music anymore.

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#6
When I was younger I would pirate everything, now I typically don't pirate anything. At most if I do, it's a try and buy type situation. Download it, try it, if I like it, buy it, if I don't, delete it.

Some people pirate based on a so-called morality in that the people who put out the product are immoral so I don't want to support them. That's fine and dandy, but why do you also need to consume the media that they put out?

My overall thought is that you are not entitled to that piece of software, movie, music or whatever. So what right do you have of getting it for free? If it was a necessity to have that software then ok, I could maybe see a point. However, no software on earth is a necessity, you can easily live without it. 

Anyway, these days there are so many legal ways to get music anyway. If you have amazon prime there's a huge library of music available to stream with Amazon Music. Pandora and Spotify both have free ad supported versions. There's YouTube where many musicians even put large quantities of their music on it themselves plus all of the other random people who upload songs that YouTube doesn't block anyway. I personally see little to no reason to even download an mp3 anymore. I know movies are different, but even there between Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix you're bound to find something that you want to watch. For everything else just wait until the blu ray goes on sale for $5 if you really want it. Video games? Wait for a good sale and for the game to drop to $10-$20 (whatever you can stomach).
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#7
(07-12-2018, 06:40 AM)VoxClamantis Wrote:
(07-12-2018, 12:33 AM)jovan66102 Wrote: I'm not a music geek, so it's never been a problem for me, but as I see it, there is definitely theft involved. You are directly stealing the royalty for the song which the artist would receive if you purchased it.

But what if you wouldn't have purchased it and, so, aren't depriving anyone (e.g., corporate shysters who take almost all the profit and throw a few coins at artists) of anything they'd otherwise have gotten from you? 

I'm not making a claim here, just asking a serious question.

Digital stuff is a weird thing.

I agree that digital is weird, but I don't see a lot of difference between a musician and a writer of science fiction, for example. The writer gets paid a pittance for his labours, and the corporate publisher makes the profit. Does that mean it's OK for me to boost a copy of Analog or Asimov's at Walmart?
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#8
Writers write songs to make money.  Yes, yes, art and all of that, but, they want to make money.
Musicians play music to make money.  see above.

.
I live in a music town.  Music is how a lot of people pay the electric bill and put food on the table, literally, not figuratively.  There are very few famous, wealthy musicians/writers.   Older, retired musicians use that money to pay rent and buy medicine.  I have had musician neighbors ever since I moved into this town, no matter what neighborhood I have lived in.  They wait for that check to show up each month, most of them need  that check to show up. 
.
Yes, corporate makes a bunch, but when you illegally download/pirate anything, the writer and the musician don't get paid.
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#9
Vickycruzlopez made a great point about spotify. It's cheap, and you can have music stored, f'rinstance, on your phone, for offline listening. As a musician, I was always with "A bar" outfits, never made a record you've have heard. But I knew guys. Even if it's easy to download it, the only way it's really square is if it's in the public domain. That was actually part of what got me into old time radio (that, and the cool shows  Big Grin ).

Spotify occasionally does three month trials for as little as 99 cents. Give it a go, see what you think. Heck, they claim to have over three million albums. And they have more cool Catholic music than you'd readily believe. It's actually rare when I can't find something on it. Just my two cents' worth.
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#10
Hmm thanks for the input, although I still believe that you can't call this practice theft, since no goods are stolen. Downloading an album does not necessarily equal a loss of a sale, as would someone going and plucking the same record out of a store.


This might be harder for me to see as well since I even remember as a kid trading music with my friends on burnt cd's and stuff, and that is the same thing as pirating really: distributing copies. Being really into music it's just the norm, but I know this is an area that I need to form my conscience in.
"If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself from them. Keep hell’s torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies.’ Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."

- St. Isaias the Solitary

"Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity
and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven."

- Tao Te Ching 45
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