Poll: Is illegally downloading copyrighted digital property immoral?
Poll Options
View poll results: Is illegally downloading copyrighted digital property immoral?
Yes, it always is.
69 15%
I think it is to some extent and for some products.
198 44%
No, I don't think it's immoral at all.
164 36%
Unsure.
19 4%
Voters: 450.
Page 1 of 6
#1
I'm not asking you about the legitimacy or illegitimacy about digital copy right law, I am asking you about the morality of breaking them.

Do you agree or disagree? No matter what you say, it's pretty much theft, and you're going to have an incredibly difficult time arguing against that. They are still products which took time and money to make, and the selling of such products make people livings and more. It's just a new type of possession which was previously unheard of a few decades ago.

Also, please avoid 'downloading music and stuff doesn't harm anyone' just yet. Ask yourself - if there were no bad consequences to the overall relevant industries at hand, could it be immoral on principle?

Or, if 'am poor, can't get music or programs any other way unless I save and stuff', do you think it would be acceptable if no-one paid for said product(s)? If no, then why don't you?

I'm taking no sides on this yet.
Last edited by Craigo at May 28, 2010,
#2
Moral, because I don't want to feel bad about what I'm doing.
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#3
I do believe that it is wrong, and I avoid it as much as possible. I think I may have downloaded 3 albums at the most because they were utterly unavailable. But I do believe that it should be done as little as possible, or not at all.
#5
I was under the impression that nothing was really moral/immoral. What are we basing this on?
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#6
It depends what you do I suppose. I never buy a cd without first listening to the whole thing, and I never see a concert unless I have listened to a bands material. So if I didn't download any music I wouldn't buy any cds or go to any concerts.
#7
Not when it acts as promotion (Example: I downloaded Guitar Pro 5, then bought Guitar Pro 6 when it came out, and downloading music and liking it enough to buy a physical copy of it), otherwise yes.
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#10
Immoral to some extent. I always make an effort to support bands I like by buying their music. But not so much when it comes to bands that are very mainstream or that I don't like enough to support.
#11
I wouldnt say its moral or immoral. Morality is all relative. A lot of your threads are on different aspects of morality arent they?
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#12
Eh, yeah it's theft. But on the other hand, it allows me to download things i'd have no chance of getting otherwise. There probably be hundreds of bands I would've never heard of.

I don't find it immoral, but that's because I often buy merchandise(shirts, etc..) from the artists I download from. I often give out recs for bands to increase their popularity further as well.

It's hard to justify, but I honestly don't see a problem with it.

I honestly don't listen to too many big name bands, so that's probably why I feel this way. Not to mention, it's not exactly easy finding half of what I listen to.


Surely downloading music does hurt some sales though.
#13
I think it is immoral. I do it too, but I know I shouldn't be doing it. It's a bit unfair for the people who have worked on it.
#14
Tough question, eh.

I think I pirate music because I operate under the idea that music should be free to access, and anyone willing to donate money to the artist (aka buy the album) is free to do so. That's how I feel about the music I make too. And yea, occasionally I do buy albums. So pirating music, to me, is moral.

As for video games and programs... more thought needed... intuitively I want to say it's immoral to pirate these, but yea. Maybe I'm just an immoral bastard..
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#15
Quote by Zolom
I wouldnt say its moral or immoral. Morality is all relative. A lot of your threads are on different aspects of morality arent they?

Right. Lets take the concept that morality is comprised of propositions, and those propositions only represent opinions and nothing else. No matter where you think the centre of subjectivity is ultimately going to be, be it individually or culturally or by society, there is alterations from individual to individual. The inability of people to all agree on an answer is what makes questions interesting. To go 'oh it's all subjective' is annoying because it avoids why it's worth asking questions like this.

Not that anyone properly adheres to subjectivism when it comes to how people talk/act morally, but that's something for another day.
#16
While I don't agree that it should be illegal, the fact that it is illegal makes it immoral to do; because while it is a stupid, ridiculous law, it's not really unjust, in which case it should morally be followed.
"Old. Man. Dead. Hand."

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#17
Morals are subjective.

Edit:

I see this was already discussed now. Sorry, but the point still stands. Morals are an invention of man, and what is acceptable by one culture or person may be considered heinous by another culture or person. Nothing is set in stone.

I think your motivations and situation behind downloading these things is an important thing to consider.
Last edited by NemX162 at May 28, 2010,
#18
Quote by Zolom
I wouldnt say its moral or immoral. Morality is all relative. A lot of your threads are on different aspects of morality arent they?


Dude, he's asking if it's moral/immoral to YOU and WHY. He's not asking if it's universally moral/immoral.

Here: Do you think it's right?
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#19
As everyone else has said, I think this is a bit of a leading question labelling all the choices moral, but I don't like it.

As you say, these things are all products and you should pay for them, that's essentially the concept of money: you provide services and thus can get services in return.

I'm not going to say crack down on all piracy though, because as has also been said sometimes downloading odd songs or this and that gets you to spend more in the end.
#20
Quote by The_Casinator
I think it is immoral. I do it too, but I know I shouldn't be doing it. It's a bit unfair for the people who have worked on it.


Most artists I know get you to listen to their music (Kekal), let you download their album for free (Kekal again), and then if you want more...You should get paying some cash (Not Kekal, but Kekal's a very great band).
#21
To be completely and brutally honest, I do not steal from my friends or family.

When it comes to music, movies, or even a product at the store, I feel I have the right to take somthing every now and then.

If you think about it, everytime you buy somthing for full price, your the one getting robbed.

I've worked for plenty of retail chains, and let me tell you - There is nothing that you buy at the store that hasn't been marked up by at LEAST %150.

And thats usually clearence items. That means, that if you buy a CD on clearence for $5, its more than likely the actual company paid less then 2.50 for it.

So if you do pay for things regularly, you can argue that your actually the one being stolen from, and you dont have to feel so bad when you take or download somthing without paying for it.
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#22
I pay for all my music, I figure if I ever sell music or something like that I would want people to pay for it as well, and I dislike hypocrits.
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#23
Quote by NemX162
Morals are subjective.

Edit:

I see this was already discussed now. Sorry, but the point still stands. Morals are an invention of man, and what is acceptable by one culture or person may be considered heinous by another culture or person. Nothing is set in stone.

I think your motivations and situation behind downloading these things is an important thing to consider.
If morals were a human invention, you would be correct. However, morals are from God, and are therefore universal and objective. If morals were subjective they would be meaningless.
"Old. Man. Dead. Hand."

-Robb Flynn
#24
I download music for free. If all the money went to the people that made the music than I would feel guilty downloading it and buy it, but so little of the money goes to the artists, and I don't want to give money to the big record companies. They have enough.

Also I think the days of buying music is ending, thanks to the internet. Most musicians don't do it for the money, and all big musicians earn their money by being on adverts and what not, the 5p that would've gone to them from a £7.99 album wouldn't really help them.

I wouldn't say it's immoral, or that it's stealing.
#26
Quote by Captain Sadler
If morals were a human invention, you would be correct. However, morals are from God, and are therefore universal and objective. If morals were subjective they would be meaningless.


Heavens to betsy, remove this post before a flame war starts.
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#27
Quote by Zolom
I wouldnt say its moral or immoral. Morality is all relative. A lot of your threads are on different aspects of morality arent they?

Aye, 'cause I find ethics really interesting. I also find how people respond to questions on ethical levels really interesting.
Quote by Captain Sadler
While I don't agree that it should be illegal, the fact that it is illegal makes it immoral to do; because while it is a stupid, ridiculous law, it's not really unjust, in which case it should morally be followed.

That's ridiculous though. I don't know about you, but I'm not restrained from killing or stabbing anyone because the law says I shouldn't. If society would collapse tomorrow, I wouldn't automatically think 'hey, there's now a possibility that it could be morally permissible for me to kill someone without provocation.'

It's okay for me to fuck a man. If I fuck a man in a country where I could be killed for it, it doesn't make my action immoral. It is the exact same action which is not hurting anyone.

Anyone who thinks that breaking the law is immoral is a lazy and uncritical thinker or does not know what he's saying.
Last edited by Craigo at May 28, 2010,
#28
Quote by Captain Sadler
If morals were a human invention, you would be correct. However, morals are from God, and are therefore universal and objective. If morals were subjective they would be meaningless.

Not sure if serious..

OT: I don't find it immoral, buying a product or not ultimately responds to the interests of a company.
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#29
Quote by NemX162
Morals are subjective.

Edit:

I see this was already discussed now. Sorry, but the point still stands. Morals are an invention of man, and what is acceptable by one culture or person may be considered heinous by another culture or person. Nothing is set in stone.

I think your motivations and situation behind downloading these things is an important thing to consider.

You don't know my positions on ethics, so don't go and assume that I think other wise. I was merely trying to avoid any more of those posts which are seemingly redundant and non-constructive.
#31
It is theft, but I still do it.

Whether it's morally right or wrong, its the same principle as taping music, or loaning a friend's CD, or even downloading videos of youtube
#32
I voted it's not immoral, but now I wish I'd taken the more wishy-washy option.

Quote by Captain Sadler
If morals were a human invention, you would be correct. However, morals are from God, and are therefore universal and objective. If morals were subjective they would be meaningless.

Not...sure...if...srs.


EDIT: But I stand firm that it is not theft.
If music was the food of love I'd be a fat romantic slob.
#33
Quote by Craigo
That's ridiculous though. I don't know about you, but I'm not restrained from killing or stabbing anyone because the law says I shouldn't. If society would collapse tomorrow, I would automatically think 'hey, there's now a possibility that it could be morally permissible for me to kill someone without provocation.'

It's okay for me to fuck a man. If I fuck a man in a country where I could be killed for it, it doesn't make my action immoral. It is the exact same action which is not hurting anyone.


Oh cmon, with that logic nothing can be immoral. Anyways, my opinion is that illegally downloading stuff is always immoral...because you're still stealing, it doesn't really matter who you steal from.
#35
Quote by Captain Sadler
If morals were a human invention, you would be correct. However, morals are from God, and are therefore universal and objective. If morals were subjective they would be meaningless.

If morals were from God they would be meaningless. Meaning is derived from choice. If something is forced upon you then your actions can never acquire a label of morality. And without morality in actions how can one be judged? The whole concept of God is dependent on free will.
Last edited by jfreyvogel at May 28, 2010,
#36
Quote by hobson111
No because there's no way I'm paying 200 quid for photoshop, charging me that for a program is immoral.


My point exzactly .
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#37
Quote by justaramsfan
Oh cmon, with that logic nothing can be immoral. Anyways, my opinion is that illegally downloading stuff is always immoral...because you're still stealing, it doesn't really matter who you steal from.

I meant 'wouldn't' instead or 'would' there, but hopefully you picked that up.

And no. If the law can make morality then humans can create morality therefore individuals can, therefore breaking the law is not necessary immoral. If the law represents independent moral values then breaking the law doesn't make something immoral but breaking those independent moral values. As we all know, there could be enforced laws which go against them.
#38
Well, think about this, what if all your downloading is public domain? Then it isn't illegal, nor immoral. I think torrenting copyrighted material is much different than borrowing a friends cd, because in that case, it is your friends property that he is loaning to you. Ripping the disc is another matter altogether. It's all convoluted, and oversimplified by those who accept or reject the notion's morality. Definitely not something that is going to get resolved in the PIT. However, I digress.
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#39
There is nothing wrong with downloading music. First off all the music that is available to download is from a band that is pretty well off. I mean if its a band that needs support I will go out and buy there CD, but if its Radiohead or Kings of Leon there is no problem downloading that. Music is meant to be heard and enjoyed and if you go into the music business just for the pay out then you made the wrong choice.
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#40
I think it depends on what you're downloading. Is theft always immoral?

Take a small band that make as much money off music as someone makes at an average office job. Their main profit comes from live shows, not studio music. Downloading their music doesn't hurt them financially. In fact, it will probably make them more money because their audience grows and thus more people go to their live shows...

Was a crime really committed? Who is the victim?