Illegal Music

I've recently realized that it's a sin to download songs illegally. I have paid for the songs I own, but I'm not completely sure about the other hundreds of songs that my family owns, and I listen to, on my iTunes. I don't know if all of them were paid for, and it would take days to sort through all of them. What am I obligated to do?

[quote="Tennis42, post:1, topic:242491"]
I've recently realized that it's a sin to download songs illegally. I have paid for the songs I own, but I'm not completely sure about the other hundreds of songs that my family owns, and I listen to, on my iTunes. I don't know if all of them were paid for, and it would take days to sort through all of them. What am I obligated to do?

[/quote]

Delete everything on your Itunes. Upload only songs that you own to it? That would be what I would do.

That would require me having to delete my family's music, and I don't think they'd be very happy with that. I also have no idea what songs were paid for, and don't know of a way to find out.

Yep, either delete them all or just take the time to sort through them.

And way to go!! :D When I made this decision recently, I had half the mind to go through all my songs and write down the names so I could still listen to them legally. But instead, I just stormed through and deleted every one without looking. It's a fantastic penance.

Your IPod is shared with the family as well? Can't you just load your music onto a separate computer, wipe your IPod and start anew? Or is there just one computer in the home?

Even if there is, doesn't IPod give you the feature of choosing which songs upload from your ITunes library and which don't?

Also, sometimes some MP3's are free and some sites offer good deals, so try to save some money and check if any of your songs are free or on a discount.

I'm in a bit of a dilemma as I have recently tried internet radio sites like Pandora and Last.fm which I think are good. I wish I had a good cell phone and network so I could listen to those on the go, I like it more than listening to my music library.

I don't know how you would go about sorting through which songs were downloaded from where on a family computer with multiple people downloading songs from multiple sources. Unless the priest specifically advised you to do this in Confession, I don't know that I'd take on such a project.

Just don't do it again. :)

[quote="Joe_5859, post:7, topic:242491"]
I don't know how you would go about sorting through which songs were downloaded from where on a family computer with multiple people downloading songs from multiple sources. Unless the priest specifically advised you to do this in Confession, I don't know that I'd take on such a project.

Just don't do it again. :)

[/quote]

So should I just make sure that the music on my iPod has been paid for? And since I know it's a sin to do this but they don't, am I obligated to convince them to delete the songs?

[quote="Tennis42, post:8, topic:242491"]
So should I just make sure that the music on my iPod has been paid for? And since I know it's a sin to do this but they don't, am I obligated to convince them to delete the songs?

[/quote]

I think people learn better by coming to the conclusions themselves. Perhaps in a neutral way, bring up in a fitting conversation that you've kicked the habit and have decided to start paying for your music.

Somebody above recommended Pandora - YES!! Also you can make a YouTube account and make playlists of different videos.

[quote="Tennis42, post:8, topic:242491"]
So should I just make sure that the music on my iPod has been paid for? And since I know it's a sin to do this but they don't, am I obligated to convince them to delete the songs?

[/quote]

You cannot possibly be obligated to convince them. They have free will. You can propose, but not impose.

I think PolyphonyChick offers a good strategy. You could nonchalantly mention how you have been trying to purge your iPod of any illegally gotten music. Badgering them to delete their songs is likely to only put them on the defensive. But if they see you taking this seriously and living out what you believe, it may lead them to confront the issue internally and ask those hard moral questions, which may eventually bring them to the proper conclusions.

If someone could pelase respond to this with your opinion I am in desperate need of someone’s opinion.

I have a ton of music in my itunes library I have not paid for(I usually copied my parents’ and my uncle’s cds into my library) this has been going on for a few years. But I never thought about the sinfulness of it so I’m going to decide that it wasn’t mortal since I did not have deliberate consent and full knowledge.

Here is my basic question:

Today I was copying a CD my friend gave to me onto my itunes and I started to think about this more and more and even after it was copied and on my iphone I started to feel guilty about it.

So was this mortal or venial?

I’m right now thinking of going through my itunes and deleting all those albums I downloaded from CDs a few years ago, but I am very scrupulous and what is agonizing me right now is if I am I in a state or mortal sin RIGHT NOW? Cause if I am I guess I can’t go to mass tomorrow morning or saturday morning…and the worst part is I am flying saturday afternoon and I have a fear of flying so boarding a plane while in a state of mortal sin is really scary to me right now.

The other huge problem is I am traveling for the whole summer(about 8 weeks) and won’t be home for good until August, I am not taking my computer with me and I don’t see myself having the several hours necessary to go through all my music and figure out what I did and did not pay for before I fly out on saturday(as I need to pack, do other work, etc.) so if all this music is sitting on my computer and on my ipod and iphone will I still be in mortal sin?

Any advice and prayers would be greatly appreciated as this is really bothering me right now.

I already responded to you in regards to this in another thread, but I’ll respond again. :wink:

There are three conditions for a sin to be mortal: (1) grave matter); (2) full knowledge; (3) deliberate consent.

No one here can tell you whether or not you are in mortal sin. We might chime in as to whether an act qualifies as grave matter, but it’s between you and your confessor to evaluate the other two criteria.

You do not have to spend hours sorting through your playlist and deleting songs before you can be forgiven.

If you feel you suffer from scrupulous tendencies, I would very much encourage you to speak to a priest about that.

Actually everyone I found this answer by Fr. Rice on EWTN’s website so I hope it’s helpful. Looks like it’s only a venial sin if you aren’t doing it for profit or anything!

Of course I’m not saying it’s ok, “it’s only venial so go have fun” it’s still wrong and still a sin of theft but it looks like it is not mortal, so no worries.

I hope this might help someone as it helped me a lot too.

ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage_print.asp?number=310470&language=en

It is not theft.

Downloading music for free illegally is not theft. It is theft as defined by the law of some countries, but it is not a sin against the seventh commandment.
It is breaking the law, which is a sin against the fourth commandment (honour thy mother and thy father) which really, isn’t just referring to mom and dad, but also to all legitimate authority.

I live in Canada, and here it is legal to download music for free so long as it’s not distributed or used for profit (that’s what I can gather from documents and other stuff I’ve read). Therefore, here, it would not be illegal and would not be a sin.

However, I’m 16 and I almost always end up getting confused when reading all these wordy legal documents, so if anyone’s familiar with the Canadian law regarding this, please correct me.

Also, while I do respect just laws placed by the government regarding this…

I still find it skewed that you can go to jail for downloading stuff, but not for killing your own baby. Anyone?

1 Like

Agreed. In the 80’s, it was all the rage to record music directly from radio to cassette and my Dad all the time recorded his albums onto cassette for me all the time. If only used for personal use, you aren’t stealing and I would consider it to be stealing if you are illegally make it available to file sharing servers that people aren’t paying for.

I remember that. Pop in the cassette tape and record what was playing on the radio, back in the days when radio DJs wouldn’t talk as much, especially at night, and they’d play full albums.

Or how about VHS tapes, when copying them was a big thing? What if I recorded something off of television?

Or let’s say things from the library, when I rip a CD from my computer that I borrowed from the library. Is ripping music from a CD for personal enjoyment theft, and a sin? Are any of these a sin?

I’ve wrestled with this in my mind for a little while, and really can’t come up with a conclusion. I have a good bit of illegal music on my computer, I will say that. But that being said, I haven’t sold any of it. Some of it is live performances recorded that were never sold in any capacity. Others old records issued on vinyl/CD that currently cannot be bought in digital format.

Has the church come out with a definitive statement on digital media and stealing? I feel like it’s such a gray area. On one hand going on the internet and simply downloading all of the music you want to listen to for free seems like theft. On the other hand, if that’s theft then we would also have to judge videotaping live television programs, ripping CDs borrowed from other people, recording things off of the radio, letting someone else make a copy of a CD for enjoyment, all to be breaking the 7th commandment?

Very confusing.

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