Illegal Downloading?

If it’s able to be downloaded illegally it is presumably also available for purchaseable download.

But honestly I wouldn’t know that as an issue… I can’t remember the last time I bought an actual cd. I buy all my music using the amazon mp3 app on my phone :slight_smile:

Here is the reasoning behind illegal downloading is stealing. When you buy a song, CD, DVD, computer program, etc, you are not buying a physical thing only, but also a limited license on how this thing can be used. We have all seen the legal notices on our DVD’s. When we install a program we have to accept the end user license agreement (EULA). So when you buy your CD, you have the right to make copies for personal use but you cannot redistribute copies any more than you can scan a book into electronic format and make it available for download. At leas that is the way the law works in the United States. If not stealing, it is at the very least not honoring a contract (the aforementioned EULA).

Not always. Purchaseable downloads require online payment. Hardly anybody does that over here. We don’t have any laws right now that offer protection for people giving way their credit card number on the internet. (And even if we did, enforcing it would be another issue.)

Throw in the fact that we’re known for producing a lot of hackers and virus programmers… :\

Lame.

I’d move lol.

I know. Welcome to a Third World Country, where piracy has become part of the economy and daily life.

Oh sure. Just gimme a Visa and a plane ticket outta here! :crying: Believe it or not, I’d love to actually purchase original stuff (not just music, but games, comics, DVDs, and even figurines too). And it’s not even for the whole EULA thing. Authentic stuff has priceless collectible value and quality. D:

Believe me, pirated junk is not all that. The only thing good about is that it’s cheap and easily accessible. :rolleyes:

This has been on my mind for some time. Is it okay to watch/listen to music on Youtube? Some artists put it on there officially and legally, but for a lot of music that I like…most of it is placed on there by people who are just like you and me…not the artist nor record companies. Is this legal? I’d say no because you are not only violating the terms and conditions of Youtube (I believe…), but you are putting something up which is considered public performance and thus illegal if given no permission.

So, I would think it would be a sin to watch videos on Youtube of songs or music videos that haven’t been placed on there with permission. It’s the same with commercials and clips from TV shows and movies.

It’s a real pain sometimes for me when I’d like to share a music video.

But for the OP, it is illegal and considered theft.

Suni Moon, the idea of downloading for sampling is not a good justification. I used to think like that at one point, but I realized I was lying to myself. I am stealing. Who is to say one would actually go out and buy the song later? You are also supporting people placing music online illegally and thus cooperating in another person’s sin.

Some of the music I listen to are not available on Amazon MP3 or iTunes…some not even available on CD or are ridiculously high-priced. It’s frustrating. I would love to get the soundtracks for some Godzilla films, but the individual CDs are too high and the boxsets are expensive too. I can settle with the Best-of CD’s.

Google and some of the media companies have an agreement in which Google uses audio print identification to identify the songs on Youtube videos and pay the rights holder when their media is used on Youtube. The same technology removes the audio track in the event that the artist or label doesn’t want to participate in the royalty program. The technology is pretty good but there’s no way it’s going to catch everything, so personally I agree that one should not browse for commercial media on Youtube.

If you want to sample a song or share music video, it’s better to send an iTunes or Amazon store link.

I think we need to move back for a bit before we say stuff like this. Why does this qualify as stealing again? Stealing is taking something and pretty much leaving a hole in its place. In other words, something is lost.

However, the issue raised by the rise of computer copying is that it’s no longer the case. You can just copy something and the thing being lost… well, it won’t be. :shrug:

Now I’ve heard arguments that pretty much revolve around the rationale that while the product itself is not gone, the profit due to it may be lost.

Here’s the problem I see now. From where do you draw profit? Customers basically right? But which customers? The ones in your area? Are you planning on selling across states? Are you going for the global market?

Unfortunately, even if you go global there will still be places where your products won’t be accessible as far as “legal” accessibility is concerned. Hence, you don’t bother trying to sell there. You stick to places where you’ll get the most buyers. Hence, you’re not “in range”.

In comes the question, how can you “steal” profit when the profit itself was not there? Would you really care if some guy in, for instance, the Himalayas downloaded your song for free while you’re earning fat bucks from the many buyers you have at the local level? I mean what’s that one guy’s money to you compared to the wide range you’ve already covered?

And seriously, not everyone has yet been able to enjoy the benefits of online purchasing. You know if I lived in the U.S., I would more likely be using that technology more often than actually going out to shop because I feel more safe in a place where I can get help in the case of identity theft. It’s not the same in this country. Heck every computer I run into here always has at least two-three suspicious programs infecting it. Simply put, the internet here is not safe.

I don’t know about Youtube’s EULA to know if it’s a violation but a EULA violation doesn’t make it illegal. Off topic but relevant example… it’s a violation of Blizzard’s EULA to give your World of Warcraft account information to another person but it’s not against any law to do so.

Whether or not it consitutes copyright infringement is another issue. Since it’s not being put up for the purpose of distribution I wouldn’t have thought so but there are videos that I’ve seen from time to time that the audio is removed because of copyright laws. I think it ultimately comes down to the discretion of the record companies. Also, there are programs that will allow you to rip the audio from a youtube video… that would obviously be an issue. Personally, if I were a record exec I wouldn’t care about youtube and would actually look at it as a good way to advertise a product (artist) I would be very concerned however with programs I’ve seen that will allow you to rip the audio from a video.

All that being said, I don’t think I’d consider it a sin. Going to youtube and listening to a song is not stealing especially in the context of “I heard about this band, I’m going to listen to a song or two to determine if I want to buy the cd”, that to me is no different then borrowing a cd from a friend to make the same determination or how back in the day people used to copy casette tapes for friends which was considered perfectly fine and how a lot of bands got their music distributed. Now if that turns into, “I like this band, I’m going to use this program to rip the audio off of a youtube video as I don’t want to pay for their stuff” that’s a whole other ballgame.

My girlfriend and I use the aforementioned program to rip things that don’t have copyright issues. For example… I’m a huge Lamb of God fan… someone with a lot of time on their hands made 8-bit versions of a lot of their songs, that is they sound like the music from an old nintendo game. I’ve used the program to get that audio.

Ultimately though if you’re concerned with using youtube for this purpose I’d recommend pandora.com it’s an online radio that let’s you “create” radio stations. You can select “like” and “don’t like” so it learns your tastes… it’s pretty awesome and is perfectly legal :slight_smile:

An end user license agreement (EULA) is an enforceable contract. A EULA breach is a breach of contract and a breach of contract is illegal.

All that being said, I don’t think I’d consider it a sin. Going to youtube and listening to a song is not stealing especially in the context of “I heard about this band, I’m going to listen to a song or two to determine if I want to buy the cd”, that to me is no different then borrowing a cd from a friend to make the same determination or how back in the day people used to copy casette tapes for friends which was considered perfectly fine and how a lot of bands got their music distributed.

Cassette copying was covered by the [Audio Home Recording Act](“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio Home Recording Act”). There is no such exemption for digital-to-digital copying (without SCMS copy protection) like a Youtube stream.

Ultimately though if you’re concerned with using youtube for this purpose I’d recommend pandora.com it’s an online radio that let’s you “create” radio stations. You can select “like” and “don’t like” so it learns your tastes… it’s pretty awesome and is perfectly legal :slight_smile:

I second the recommendation of Pandora.

Pandora is a wonderful thing! I believe it even has links for purchasing songs as well…

An end user license agreement (EULA) is an enforceable contract. A EULA breach is a breach of contract and a breach of contract is illegal.

Cassette copying was covered by the Audio Home Recording Act. There is no such exemption for digital-to-digital copying (without SCMS copy protection) like a Youtube stream.

Both valid points. I still don’t think I can consider going to youtube to listen to a specific song a sin, at least if it’s the “official” video put there by the company who owns the rights to it.

Ultimately most bands have legit ways (myspace, reverbnation etc.)to hear their songs to determine whether or not you want to buy it… youtube just makes it way easier lol.

Yes, of course that is fine because the owner has given you permission to use it. But if you download the stream, that is still infringement unless that has been specifically authorized.

Guys this is a question that will not be easily solved just by using a “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” solution. Man’s law is many times unjust. Once it was forbiden for women to vote, and that didn’t make it right. Just because it is illegal to download music and other stuff doesn’t make it immoral. We must knowingly take the risks and be aware of the consequences. In a Muslim country if you convert someone to Christianity you would be hanged, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop spreading the Gospel. If you end up in jail or having to pay for the illegal activities you performed you have to pay for it knowingly.

The problem of downloading is that we live in a egotistic society in which people do not want to share anything and want to get money from whatever they can. The recording companies don’t need to make digital recordings they make them because it cheapens their costs to record but the prices of CDs nowadays are almost the same as an LP was back in the old days. They are also “stealing” from us in the same way we steal from them.

The only thing I am against is the revenue avenue that people who can download certain musics and then sell it to others who don’t know how to. They have a right to demand money to concerts and the likes but they aren’t actually doing anything other than “stealing” (like us) by selling music online…

Just my 2 cents.
Hugs!

I agree that just because something is illegal it is not necessarily immoral (though in most cases it is). HOWEVER, since in this case the law being broken is a matter of stealing which is one of the ten commandments and therefore obviously a sin… it is immoral.

Let’s ask the questions again.

Do you own a copy of the song? Did you pay for it? If you can answer yes then no… then you stole it.

Bottom line is that a song is a product. Your “logic” is basically that since a downloaded copy is not tangible it’s not stealing. If I download an entire cd without paying for it I may as well have walked into a music store and shoplifted a hard copy of it.

Or consider this. Let’s say you’re a musician and you go through the trouble of recording an album to sell to people. Would you be ok with someone downloading it without paying for it?

I realize it’s split between the band and the label so let’s not get into that.

Caesar isn’t even in play here. When you buy a song three groups of people get paid:

  1. The artist
  2. The employees of the record label
  3. The owners of the label

Now (1) obviously deserves to be paid. (2) does as well, as these are by and large wage earning 9 to 5 workers.Yes, some of (2) are fat cat executives but these folks generally do not make nearly as much money from music sales as they do from stock options.

Which brings us to (3). You are stealing from the label owners’ dividends when you steal music. The labels are publicly traded companies. Everyone with mutual funds in their 401k owns the label, as do small business IRAs and pensions and teacher retirement systems and so on. The “fat cats” own only a tiny fraction with their stock options. So when you are stealing music you are stealing from all of these folks and even from yourself.

These folks expect their investment in the label to pay for their kids’ college and their retirement. So the label needs to make money so it can pay them dividends. The label must charge whatever the market will bear for the music. I’m sorry but 99 cents for a song is not an exorbitant price and the comparisons to the Diocletan persecution is just way out there. You can often buy an entire used ALBUM tor less than five bucks. And Pandora is free.

The thing is even when we buy a cd or song, we do not own the song, or the content on the CD. We own the physical thing, but not the intellectual property it contains. So where we may (without violating any laws) sell the CD at a garage sale or whatever, we cannot make copies and sell them because we do not own the content. TO do so would be the same as buying a book, making copies, ad selling them without giving money to the publisher.

You guys are completely missrepresenting what I stated.
First of all, to steal is to take something from someone which that person actually has. A download of a music doesn’t take anything from anyone. Not even the money that you would pay them for the music is taken from them because they never had it. When you steal a CD or a book you are taking something from someone. That something stops existing in the hands of someone else.
The most important thing is not the intellectual property, because that one should be lost once you throw it out there. It’s called “giving”. People can pay you for playing a music, or recording them a CD, but you can’t expect people to pay you for doing nothing like an online distributor does.
I’m not talking about people who download musics and sell them… that is immoral because they are doing the same thing that those distributors do and it’s even worse because they don’t have permission. Or the guys who copy CDs… I’m talking about free flow of information. That is the only possible conclusion that will come out of this century. If you want to win money with information sell it once and sell it high… not 6 billion times at your discretion… Information is free! Just like we are.

First music is not information… it’s intellectual property. Secondly, and I apologize as I do not have the exact verbiage… but copyright law also protects intellectual property from unauthorized COPYING as well. When you download a digital COPY you’re violating that.

If it is official, I would say no sin. If the artist or label allow fans to put the music up, then that is fine as well. However, if they do not allow such stuff to be put up…I would say it is a sin to listen to it. How serious of a sin…I couldn’t say. Ask a priest who is familiar with Youtube if any sin would be involved.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.