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Old 12-30-2008, 08:15 PM
 
261 posts, read 1,015,035 times
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Default Is File Sharing Wrong (music, video, software)?

File sharing (peer to peer) is becoming more and more common these days.
Downloading music, videos, and software from sites like Limewire, Napster, etc.

As Christians, should we refrain from this exchange of content? The music and movie industry tag it as "piracy", whereas end users label it as "sharing".

If its wrong, then what is the boundary? Then borrowing a CD from a friend should also be wrong since you didnt pay the music label to enjoy their music.

If its not wrong, then how do you justify end users not being at fault for music companies and software companies losing money or going out of business (because less people are buying their products)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Opinions?
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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You can't be prosecuted for borrowing a friend's CD - ostensibly because the right to one copy of that music was paid for - as long as you are sharing that copy and not reproducing it. (Basically there is only one paid for copy being listened to.) This is why libraries can loan out copies of CDs to library members. Only one copy is making the rounds - only one person or group of people listening to it at a time.

You can be prosecuted for downloading a copy of a file that you should buy before having access to. When you "pirate" that copy you are essentially stealing money from whoever owns the rights to it because you did not pay someone what they are owed in exchange for the copy.

Christians are supposed to abide by the law (except where it directly conflicts with a command from God). So, Christians should not be pirating files.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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So based on the principle that it is okay to listen to the one "paid copy", then why would file sharing be wrong because the person who initially loaded that music file on his computer did indeed pay for his copy. Now he keeps it on his hard drive, and "shares" with those that download (borrow" from him.

We cant deny that it doesn't hurt the music industry when people loan each other CD's. It does. Because if I can borrow and enjoy a CD that someone else paid for, I would not go out and buy it myself.

As for the library lending music and videos to its members, thats the same type of sharing that happens on limewire and Napster. One paid for copy, many individuals borrowing it.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
As Christians, should we refrain from this exchange of content?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
The music and movie industry tag it as "piracy", whereas end users label it as "sharing".
These are the ethical bounds we have established within our family. As the purchaser it is your file to load and play on your electronic devise. The infringement comes when the purchaser gives (shares) the media with a non family member for sale or trade. The question our kids ask is; what if we give it like a “gift”? Our response is; buy the friend a gift card so that they can download and own the “gift” lawfully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
If its wrong, then what is the boundary? Then borrowing a CD from a friend should also be wrong since you didnt pay the music label to enjoy their music.
If I bring my CD on a trip in your automobile for our enjoyment that is fine because when we return home the CD presumably comes home with me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
If its not wrong, then how do you justify end users not being at fault for music companies and software companies losing money or going out of business (because less people are buying their products)
I have a difficult time believing that music and other media companies are “losing” enough money that they will be going out of business because the technology keeps changing rendering media playback devises of two generations (5-7 years) ago obsolete.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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So if you play your CD in your friends car, whether you take the physical CD back or not, two people have listened and enjoyed to the music that one person paid for. It is the same concept.

It is the same concept as you renting a movie, inviting your friends over, and watching it together. One person paid for it, everyone enjoyed it. It doesnt matter whether everyone made a copy of that movie and took it home that evening. They watched it. Thus they will not spend money to rent it themselves.

There are indeed facts to prove that music companies have been losing money since the dawn of file sharing. But lets take your reasoning and say that they are not because "technology keeps changing rending media playback devices...", then why is file sharing (Napster, Limewire, etc) a bad thing? This is contrary to your initial position on the matter.

By the way, I am not being difficult, nor do I live to play devil's advocate. I am just trying to understand the correct thought process which can define right and wrong on this matter.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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Another scenario-
last week I had rented a movie, watched it, and the next day asked my friend to return it. He said that since its not due back for another 2 days, he wanted to take it home and watch it before he returns it.
This is a form of sharing a product that other person didnt pay for.

Realistically, should I risk burning a friendship by telling him "No, go to the movie store and return the video, and then rent it yourself"?

Where do you draw the line? And if there is no definite line, then its a matter or interpretation. Then boundaries are set by a person's conscience.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:31 PM
 
298 posts, read 441,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
Another scenario-
last week I had rented a movie, watched it, and the next day asked my friend to return it. He said that since its not due back for another 2 days, he wanted to take it home and watch it before he returns it.
This is a form of sharing a product that other person didnt pay for.

Realistically, should I risk burning a friendship by telling him "No, go to the movie store and return the video, and then rent it yourself"?

Where do you draw the line? And if there is no definite line, then its a matter or interpretation. Then boundaries are set by a person's conscience.
1. That is not an example of obtaining a copy without paying for it. In that case one paid for copy was shared between two people, so that is not illegal. Piracy is obtaining a copy without paying for it. (Library pays for copy and lets people borrow it = 1 paid for copy, You burn a copy of a movie so you paid for one copy and have two copies = 1 paid for copy and 1 unpaid for copy)

2. If that would burn a friendship then you aren't friends. If doing that would truly violate your conscience then your friend needs to deal with not borrowing the paid for copy.

3. You draw the line by looking at what is illegal versus what is legal. If it's illegal, you as a Christian should not do it.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
So if you play your CD in your friends car, whether you take the physical CD back or not, two people have listened and enjoyed to the music that one person paid for. It is the same concept.
I’m not familiar with any legal precedent that disallows me from playing my CD on your CD player. Are you?
Do you pay for each song you listen to on the radio in your car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
It is the same concept as you renting a movie, inviting your friends over, and watching it together. One person paid for it, everyone enjoyed it.
There is nothing wrong with this, in fact watch it as many times as you would like before it is due to be returned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
It doesnt matter whether everyone made a copy of that movie and took it home that evening. They watched it. Thus they will not spend money to rent it themselves.
If a copy is made then there has been an infringement of property rights, the law has been broken. Simply watching the movie is within the rental agreement and is not an infringement of property rights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
There are indeed facts to prove that music companies have been losing money since the dawn of file sharing.
I’m sure there are and I heard there is a “bail out” in the works for these poor souls!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robzherenow View Post
But lets take your reasoning and say that they are not because "technology keeps changing rending media playback devices...", then why is file sharing (Napster, Limewire, etc) a bad thing? This is contrary to your initial position on the matter.
I’m not familiar with Napster but I believe that to download files, that are not public domain, they must be purchased. To listen to a file on an individual basis, like listening to the radio for example, that option is free. Please be more specific as to the contradiction you are referring to so that I can address it specifically.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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It's stealing.....Ten Commandments
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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When I hear the argument that "you wouldn't steal a car, so why steal music" I think "well, if I could reproduce a car out of thin air, while the original owner still had his car, maybe I would.."

Oh, no I feel that $16 per CD needs to be spent to make sure that the musicians and the record companies keep their $millions.

Wait, is this the politics and controversies forum?
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