"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger
So, I meant wrong - unlawful - but I don't cry for the "victims." As far as your second question, my megalomania makes me believe that everyone agrees (or ought to agree) with me, so yes - that's how most people feel.
This comment has been deleted by mellow teletubby
I do object to organised crime profiteering from piracy though as that can end up with some kid with no kneecaps on streets not too far from where I grew up. People who do this know it is wrong and rely on it for a profit stream so don't care.
Ripping my own DVDs or CDs is not a moral issue. I do not, however, share the rips.
(We can strip mine the rest later.)
That said, I do unlock all my iTunes (film/TV) purchases, and will download items where I've got a scratched DVD, even though the sites make me feel seedy.
Anyway, I sort of feel that music piracy is unethical but not immoral. It's unethical because you are not being honest and open. For a transaction to be ethical both/all parties have to be fully aware of it and agree to it. I mean, you might tell your friends about all the time you spend on The Pirate Bay, but it's not like you would walk up to all those artists and their associated people and say "fuck yeah, I stole your music and I'm proud of it!" Unless, maybe, you know that the artist in question has publicly said that it was okay. You might feel that the services of the record industry in terms of distribution of the artist's work are not worth $12, $15, $18 bucks an album anymore, but they still seem to.
The morality of it is different and goes into all kinds of more speculative things. A common issue raised is that the artists who actually produced the music see very little of the profit from music sales (although this may be starting to change with more direct distribution, made possible with social media promotion of artists - Jonathan Coulton and Pomplamoose come to mind). Another being that artists usually make more from concert tours than from album sales and more widespread distribution of music helps promote concert sales.
And then there are individual circumstances to consider. It's "ironic" that at the stage of life when people tend to be most passionate about music and most need music in their lives (teenage/college years), they are least able to pay for it. Somebody with no money isn't going to be able to buy the album anyway. It's hard to argue that it's really all that immoral for them to copy it from their parents or their friends or to just go listen on YouTube.
Or, at risk of over-simplifying, you're stating that being ethical is a matter of holding to some code of ethics, while being moral has to do with an objective moral code.
But maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're getting at.
Your second paragraph amused me. I remember going to a music festival in 2004 or 2005. In the vendor tent, some indy death metal band was hawking their wares. Their guitar player had an old school barker approach, calling out random people as they walked by, "Hey you! Sexy lady in the black boots! Come over here and buy the best death metal you'll ever hear!" Her response: "Why would I pay ten bucks for something I'll be able to download as soon as I get home?"
Am I nuts?
Ethics, in your conception, is an objective state of affairs where all parties are open and honest about what's going on. There can be no ethical form of piracy of intellectual property because, by definition, piracy can only happen where the intellectual property holder is unwilling to allow free re-distriubtion of the intellectual property. Therefore, regardless of the motives or the honesty of the pirates, it's a one sided affair and, all parties not being in agreement, the arrangement is inherently unethical.
Morality, in this view, is an entirely different question. Some people, like yourself, hold that piracy is not particularly wrong in most circumstances. But others think that piracy is a moral evil. And there is no real point in the two camps arguing because, heh, whatevs, it's a subjective thing. You might as well argument about whether or not The Toxic Avenger is an awesome move or not. Some people like it. Some people don't. They're never goinig to convince each other.
Is that more accurate?
I don't have much of a problem with downloading TV shows that the networks are offering streamed.
I have definite problems with pirating software and games and simply don't do it.
I often rent and copy movies. On rare occasions, I might download something, but I usually rent afterwards to assuage the conscience (downloading is faster than renting, see). There's plenty of movie-borrowing, and it just doesn't seem wrong to copy a borrowed movie.
As for music, I try to make it a point to buy things from artists I like. I also have a lot of music from people I don't think are good enough to pay money for, though...
With regards to music - if I download something and don't delete it after a couple listens then yes - it's wrong and although I still do it I don't try to make excuses (civil disobedience!! I won't let the man oppress me with his high prices!!! Etc!!!) for my behaviour.
Warmest regards, --Your best pal Bob
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