Is it a sin to make copies of my music cd’s for friends?
Let me answer by asking it another way: is it a sin to steal?
Rightly or wrongly, the music industry for a very long time has paid the artist(s) on a “per use” basis. In other words, when a song is played on the radio (commercial use), the artist receives a small amount . Likewise, when the artist releases a recording (in whatever format), they are to be paid a small amount with each recording that is sold. Obviously, some artists make more than others, as they are more popular and thus sell more recordings.
When you make a recording of a recording you have purshased for someone else, you are depriving the record industry of the small amounts that are taken out of the sale (and it would be wise to note that there are a lot of people in that chain who receive something). So the $4.99 to $17.99 ( to assume the general part of the range) that each purchase would generate is not made.
It is easy to complain that “so and so” is getting rich. Moral theology has never held that theft, or stealing is right or wrong based on how much the vicitm has. It does, however, generally judge that a small amount taken from womone who is wealthy is less serious than taking the equivalent small amount from someone who has very little in total.
In general, copying cd’s would probably be a venial sin, but that does not justify sinning, simply because it is only venial.
What if I make a second copy of the cd for my other car, technically I’m still stealing, so what am I supposed to do with the cd burner in my computer? What about people emailing me music files, is that a sin too if I play them? The same goes for movie DVD’s, people give me copies all the time, should I turn it down? I would venture every computer literate person on this forum has the same quandry.
[quote=naroad]What if I make a second copy of the cd for my other car, technically I’m still stealing, so what am I supposed to do with the cd burner in my computer? What about people emailing me music files, is that a sin too if I play them? The same goes for movie DVD’s, people give me copies all the time, should I turn it down? I would venture every computer literate person on this forum has the same quandry.
It’s like going to the copier and making a copy of a book and giving it to a friend. It violates copyright laws. I believe you are allowed to make copies of copyrighted material for your own use as long as nobody else uses it at the same time. For example, you can copy a CD onto your computer and listen at work while having the CD at home for use on your CD player. But, you can’t copy the CD onto your computer and give the original to a friend.
It’s a bummer, but it’s true, no matter how many people do it, it is still illegal. Sorry.
Generally it is accepted that you may make reasonable copies for your own use.
As to information that is given you, the industry is in somewhat a state of flux, as it is now possible to make copies in many formats, and people have been avoiding paying the necessary fees by copying from friends, or from other sources now available (such as on the web.) The same thing applies to friends giving you “free music” as to you giving it to your friends; it is receiving stolen goods. How it will eventually work out is any body’s guess.
The point is that there is a moral duty to pay for what you take from someone else. If your friends give you a hard time ( and they probably will), then you might want to take a look at your friendships. That can be exceedingly hard, if you are young, as peer pressure is intense.
But the bottom line is: who are you going to follow, Christ, or someone else? Sure, its “no big deal”. Isn’t that an interesting way to describe something that is both illegal, and somewhat sinful?
And as to the cd burner, you are permitted to make copies for your won use of that which you have purchased legitimately. Hope that helps.