Can we copy cds/DVDs from the library or from a friend?


#1

Is it piracy to do that or only when you sell the copies or play it before a crowd? Thanks!


#2

It is stealing to make copies of something unless you bought it or unless you have the permission of the artist.


#3

Sometimes under the Fair Use policy you are sometimes allowed to make copies. Check with the software liscense before you do anything. If it is not there or there is no policy, it depends on the government laws. For example, in Canada all P2P program use (aka napster/kazaa/gnutella/edonkey/soulseek/waste/etc.) are legal for any kind of downloading and uploading. However, just because it is legal, does not mean that it is moral. Use your conscience and base it on the laws of the country you live in. In the United States, it is probably illegal, and also immoral.


#4

[quote=MariaG]It is stealing to make copies of something unless you bought it or unless you have the permission of the artist.
[/quote]

I does not matter if you bought it. To make copies for someone else is stealing without the express permission of the original creator. With one minor exception. I make copies of tapes and cd’s and software cd’s. I place the original in a locked fireproof file and use the “working copy” for everyday use. When it wears out it is destroyed and a new “working copy” is made. We do this with the library materials at the parish. We always receive back melted tapes during the summer months.


#5

Under the Federal Freedom of Information Act, the law does allow you to make copies for news & educational purposes.


#6

[quote=Sir Knight]Under the Federal Freedom of Information Act, the law does allow you to make copies for news & educational purposes.
[/quote]

The “Freedom of Information Act” relates to obtaining information held by the government and is unrelated to the current discussion. More info on FOIA can be found here:
Freedom of Information Act

IMO, copying for personal use is simple theft. (With one exception: the making of a backup copy of something you bought for your own use only.)


#7

Sorry, I meant to say “Fair Use”. Under the Congressional Fair Use Act certain things may be copied for educational and news purposes – fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/10923.pdf.

Again, sorry for the mistake.


#8

you are misinformed, fair use doctrine at least in the US does not allow you to copy videos, DVDs, CDs or download copyrighted material from the internet without express permission, nor I might add for those of us less techno advanced, does it allow photocopying printed material. Not for educational use or any other purpose.

The limits of fair use are interpreted rather strictly. For instance, a teacher could make a video with brief clips from several movies, shows, songs for a one-time class presentation, but could not reproduce it or sell it. You can copy a few pages from printed sources for research, but not an entire book or magazine, and not for reproduction and distribution.

A practice I see people doing all the time is to record concerts, burn CDs and sell or pass them out. Another illegal practice is do-it-yourself songsheets or hymnals with photocopied song lyrics. You must have a license to reproduce copyrighted material, like a CCL license through Songselect or similar software.

You could make one photocopy of something from a book or magazine for easier classroom use, but you could not reproduce it for your class without written permission (this includes making an overhead, or in modern parlance, putting it on powerpoint) you still need permission.

Either way it is piracy and illegal. Sr. Mary Ann (I think) Shaughnessy publishes through the NCEA or NCLA guides on legal issues for Catholic educators which are very helpful. For a DRE or catechist to violate the law and the 7th commandment in this way is reprehensible.


#9

I have struggled with this topic and actually created a forum.
Here is the link and you may find more information here:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=7990

Go with God!
Edwin


#10

There are many types of copyright violations, and some are not immoral.

On the one extreme, I agree that it could be called “theft” to copy CDs or DVDs and sell them to others. The money being paid legally belongs to the author, not to the copier.

The moral case is less clear when the copying is merely for personal use. If you need the product you should pay the creator for it. If you are the type of person who buys CDs regularly, then you should buy your copy. In both cases, you are in the market for the product and are avoiding compensating the owner.

But if you would honestly never spend the money for the product, I would not call it “theft” to make a copy from a CD owned by a friend or library. It is unlawful, but I doubt it is immoral because you are not depriving the owner of anything. The owner would never make a dime off of you. I compare it to borrowing a book from a friend.

Finally, if you actually paid for a CD, I see no moral reason why you should not copy if for your own use on the same or other media. To the extent that the copyright law might forbid such copying, the law is unreasonable and contradicts the natural law right of a person to use the goods he purchases as he sees fit.

The violation of a copyright is not exactly the same as shoplifting. Copyrights are artificial legal protections that give monopolies to authors for fixed time periods. You have little effective ability to bargain with the holder of the copyright. To the extent that the law inhibits otherwise honorable private behavior, such as friends sharing with each other, then I say the law is unnatural.

No author reasonably expects that readers will not share their books with friends. Until the CD burner came along, no recording artist expected that friends would not share records or CDs with friends. If the copying is not an alternative to a real sale, then there is no harm.


#11

Similar issues were raised when the record player was invented. Why buy sheet music, covered by copyright, when one could listen to a recording over and over? The same issue was raised over radio. Why buy records, now copyrighted, when one could hear it freely on radio.? The same issue was raised over Video Tape. Sony was sued because one could copy a movie. Memorex was sued also. How many of you copied an album onto a tape?

This issue has been raised repeated throughout history. An early Egyptian Pharoh legislated that writting was only for official purposes and not for story telling. He didnt want story tellers loosing thier livleyhood. The Laws will change to compensate for advances in technology.


#12

[quote=Grayton]There are many types of copyright violations, and some are not immoral.

. . .]
The moral case is less clear when the copying is merely for personal use. If you need the product you should pay the creator for it. If you are the type of person who buys CDs regularly, then you should buy your copy. In both cases, you are in the market for the product and are avoiding compensating the owner.

But if you would honestly never spend the money for the product, I would not call it “theft” to make a copy from a CD owned by a friend or library. It is unlawful, but I doubt it is immoral because you are not depriving the owner of anything. The owner would never make a dime off of you. I compare it to borrowing a book from a friend.

. . .]
[/quote]

The example you give is a theft. It is not comparable to borrowing a book from a friend. When one borrows a book, whether from a friend or a library, there is still only one copy of the book. The original possessor of the book is deprived of it while it is borrowed.

When one copies a book, there are now two (or more) copies and two (or more) concurrent users of the book. By its very nature, this deprives the copyright owner of the revenue from the copies of the book that he would have sold.

One cannot say, “If you honestly would never buy the book, it would not be sin to copy the book because one would not be depriving the owner of anything.” The very act of making the copy does deprive the owner of its profit value. If one wants to possess the book, one must pay the owner of the book his due. If one possesses the book without paying the owner his due, one has stolen the book. Ditto for CDs, etc.


#13

morality and legality are not matters of personal opinion. morality is determined by God, not men, and is inherently discerned through natural law, and revealed by God in his just commands. Legality is determined by men through justly appointed governments, all of whom operate only through authority ordained by God (whether or not they always follow his will).Theft of intellectual property is illegal and immoral, regardless of your personal opinion, the amount of profit may by its sale or the fact that you want to use the content without paying for it.

There is no moral or legal gray area. Stealing is against the 7th commandment, and all the issues you raise have been dealth with by the courts.


#14

Every unlawful act is not immoral. For example, when Father Groeschel was arrested a year or two ago for trespass during a protest at an abortion mill, he did nothing immoral.

Courts have not ruled on the duplication of copyrighted material for personal purposes. I doubt that they ever will. They are going to court against people who are benefitting commercially from copyight violations or people who are sharing with vast numbers of unknown persons in disregard of the rights of the owners. The small fry copier is like the person who doesn’t buy a book because he can borrow it from his buddy.

We should respect the law. We should respect the rights and expectations of artists and authors. I see little reason why an average American who can legally download a song for 88 cents should try to get it for free. But I don’t think people should agonize in their conscience over making a copy of a friend’s music if they aren’t motiviated enough to purchase it.


#15

Now I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong. We have 3 computers. I bought one copy of Microsoft XP Professional. I put it on all 3. Legal? Moral? Am I obligated to buy 3 copies if they are all for my own/family use?


#16

[quote=Detroit Sue]Now I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong. We have 3 computers. I bought one copy of Microsoft XP Professional. I put it on all 3. Legal? Moral? Am I obligated to buy 3 copies if they are all for my own/family use?
[/quote]

Notice my post above about the issue of multiple copies. A guide line that I use is how many different people use the computers simultaineously. For example, I have a lap top and a desk top. I am the sole user of these computers. I put my software on both computers since I am the sole user and I can only use one of them at a time.

On the other hand, if I had family members that could be using one computer while I was using the other computer, then I would be obligated to pay for two or more copies or licenses. This follows the concept that only one person can read a book at a time. For two persons to read the book at the same time, they must have two books and so the author is entitled to the profit for both of the books. Note: there only needs to be the potential of simultaineous use by various family members. One cannot excape the requirement to pay by claiming that there is no actual simultaineous usage.

Most companies would probably say that I am wrong and that I should be paying for the software for both computers in my case. I think that violates the fair use of the software that I paid for. I am the only one using it, and it should not matter whether I use it on one or more computers as long as I am the only one using it.

Now I would also say that the above does not apply to an operating system. Every computer needs an operating system to function and so every computer’s operating system should be paid for. In my case, I have the OEM Windows 98 for my laptop and I purchased an OEM Windows 98 SE version for my desk top. I also purchased an OEM Windows 2000 Professional for my desktop and I have it set up in a duel boot configuration.

Three computers require three paid for operating systems.

By the way, I have never used XP, but I thought it was not possible to install the same disk on more than one computer. I thought that was the purpose of the requirement to get a number from Microsoft. How did you install it on three computers?


#17

Sorry - all 3 computers came loaded with XP. I purchased one copy of Office Professional (to the tune of $400+), which I have installed on my computers. I believed that if I were only using it for my own use, and not copying it or letting someone else copy it, I was okay to have only one copy. I guess I thought piracy was more black and white than that.

At my previous job, extra licenses were purchased for Norton Anti-Virus, because of people taking work home with them, then loading their home stuff onto their work pc. Everyone (about 1500 people) received a copy. I imagine I could just purchase licenses for the extra computers, without having to buy a system for each computer.


#18

When I attended Immaculate Conception Parish in Elmhurst, Illinois, the pastor used to photocopy materials for our bible study group that was clearly labeled as copyright material.

I think if you’re a pastor or have a Ph.D., then photocopying is OK.


#19

An interesting point is whether the content of these forums is considered copyright material?

I’m sure that there is someone who would say you can’t copy and use something they submitted to a forum.


#20

posted by Br. Rich SFO
I does not matter if you bought it. To make copies for someone else is stealing without the express permission of the original creator. With one minor exception. I make copies of tapes and cd’s and software cd’s. I place the original in a locked fireproof file and use the “working copy” for everyday use. When it wears out it is destroyed and a new “working copy” is made. We do this with the library materials at the parish. We always receive back melted tapes during the summer months.

I did not say you could make copies for someone else. I said it was wrong to make copies unless you had bought it. I failed to go on to say why, ie, for backup and personal use. My answer was incomplete, but I am a slightly offended for you to have not assumed that it was imcomplete instead of just wrong.

I’ll get over it. But I try to assume a person meant the best instead of assuming the worst. Clearly when you say “it does not matter if you bought it” you assumed I meant you could make copies for friends or others. :tsktsk: Shame on you.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


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