Is Downloading Music a Sin?


#1

“Thou shall not steal.” Is downloading music really considered stealing? I think the artists get enough money from concerts. So, is it wrong for a Catholic to download music?


#2

yes, if you are violating copyright laws it is a sin, whether mortal or venial depend on what you do with it, for instance to burn CDs for sale would probably be a mortal sin, ask a priest. How do you know how much money artists get from concerts? Are you their accountant or business manager? How do you know the songwriter is also the performer getting the money? Intellectual property is the writer, artist or performers stock in trade. Stealing it is just as bad as stealing merchandise from a store, and justifying by saying the store makes too much profit from high prices does not mitigate the sin of theft. If you stole the tools in back of a plumber’s truck you have just stolen his means of support, whether or not he charges high fees has nothing to do with the morality of your action.


#3

It’s no different than recording a song off the radio.


#4

[quote=y2daddy]It’s no different than recording a song off the radio.
[/quote]

How many MP3 do you have?


#5

Dude go to iTUNES its 99 cents a song I know what yuu mean about paying 15 bucks for one song but two srongs don’t make it right we can’t rip off the music companies becase they ripped off consumers for many years. Buying single songs solves a lot of that. ITs not worth being in sin for a song.


#6

[quote=PMV]“Thou shall not steal.” Is downloading music really considered stealing? I think the artists get enough money from concerts. So, is it wrong for a Catholic to download music?
[/quote]

Stop rationalizing! Yes, it’s stealing because you are taking what does not belong to you.

BTW, if you are a poor person who lives besides a mansion, do you sneak into the mansion when the owners are not in there, and take some of their possessions and then say, "well, they’re rich, they have enough, therefore what I did is not stealing?

Antonio :slight_smile:


#7

[quote=PMV]“Thou shall not steal.” Is downloading music really considered stealing? I think the artists get enough money from concerts. So, is it wrong for a Catholic to download music?
[/quote]

Sounds to me like you are trying to justify your sin away. THOU SHALT NOT STEAL means exactly that. Using your line of reasoning, it would be okay to steal from rich people solely based upon the fact that they make a lot of money, or to cheat on your taxes. Sorry, but it’s still their money, and you have NO RIGHT to take it away.

On the other hand, would illegally downloading music be considered a venial or mortal sin? I guess that would depend on a lot of considerations - did the person download one or thousands of song? Was the cost to download the music $10.00 or 99 cents? Is this the first time the person downloaded the music, or the 1000th time? Had the person previously purchased the same music legally?

In Manibus Dei,

  • muledog

#8

[quote=puzzleannie]. . .justifying by saying the store makes too much profit from high prices does not mitigate the sin of theft.
[/quote]

Actually, I do seem to remember reading in my highschool theology book put out by the Mother Seton homeschooling program that stealing $100 from a man who only has $100 is a stronger sin than stealing $100 from Bill Gates. Just a thought, I may be confused.


#9

Here is a new question. Is it wrong to download a movie like the Lord of the Rings. I don’t think it is against the law. Is it still stealing?


#10

[quote=jimmy]Here is a new question. Is it wrong to download a movie like the Lord of the Rings. I don’t think it is against the law. Is it still stealing?
[/quote]

It’s not against the law? Do movie studios allow free downloads of movies?


#11

If you refer to the legal wording on most copyrighted material, it allows you to copy for your own use, but not for redistribution whether for monetary gain or not. The individual who obtains the copyright may allow you to copy it. So (if the material allows) you could download for your own use but can’t even give it to anyone else.


#12

[quote=Tom]If you refer to the legal wording on most copyrighted material, it allows you to copy for your own use, but not for redistribution whether for monetary gain or not. The individual who obtains the copyright may allow you to copy it. So (if the material allows) you could download for your own use but can’t even give it to anyone else.
[/quote]

I can understand where that would apply to copying a CD or DVD, but does it apply in cases where you are downloading copyrighted material which you do NOT already own?


#13

[quote=JimG]I can understand where that would apply to copying a CD or DVD, but does it apply in cases where you are downloading copyrighted material which you do NOT already own?
[/quote]

It depends on the owners statement. Most copyrighted music I’ve seen contains the wording that no part of this may be copied for commercial purposes or redistribution. If that’s the case you may copy for your own use, even if you do not “own” the material. You need to check prior to copying.


#14

While I don’t deny the force of arguments that downloading is stealing, I’d like to introduce a parallel in order to attempt to explain the mindset that justifies it. Although only 20-something, I still grew up in the age of cassette tapes. In that time it was considered perfectly normal to let a person copy a tape that you had bought. While it probably did violate copyright law, no one was furtively copying cassettes from their friends because of a guilty conscience. It was done openly and really without question. Downloading has transferred that practice to a new medium. The new furor over downloading is probably in reaction to the new ability to do that same sort of copying on a much larger scale. Now, perhaps our understanding of cassettes was simply flawed and needs to be reformed (probably does, in fact), but I understand why those who are operating off of that moral sensibility have no objections to downloading.


#15

Downloading music may indeed be a sin, I think it depends on what you download. For example: Brittany Spears - Sin, John Maher - no Sin, Bruce Springsteen - Sin, Toby Keith - no sin, Dixie Chix - sin, etc…you see where I am going :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, if you didn’t pay for the music, it is probably a sin.


#16

When I was young (oh so long ago in the days of vinyl) we used to borrow albums from friends and record them on cassette. Nobody ever seemed to get bent out of shape by that. Similarly, if I rip my CD onto my computer and then burn a disc containing various songs for a friend, I don’t consider that stealing.

Maybe it’s a matter of scope and intent. To say that I sinned when I taped that album 30 years ago sounds like scrupulosity to me.

I guess I’ll find out someday - if I’m lucky.


#17

Brothers and sisters in Christ:

I like to read your views about this paragraph from the article “RIAA collects fines, doesn’t pay artists” by Egan Orion for the “the Inquirer” in September 20 2003:

[size=4][size=3]"The notion of copyright infringement as theft was clearly addressed in the 1985 Supreme Court decision of Dowling v. United States. While this case involved hard goods (phonograph records), Justice Harry Blackmun was most certainly speaking of abstract property (copyrights) when he wrote these words in his majority decision overturning Dowling’s conviction of interstate transport of stolen property: '[/size](copyright infringement) does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud… The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use.’"[/size]

I’d like to read about your views of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, and how this court decision affects it.

Shalom, amen.


#18

ok i want download 3 songs by bands that problaly don’t even have a copyright, but is it a mortal sin to download it. I mean i just want to use them to listen to and not sale them. so would it be wrong?


#19

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=2471


#20

What about listening to music on youtube when you’re not downloading it?

I used to do it all the time, but now I only really do it when either the person who made the song put it online or when I own the song on CD, though very occasionally I end up listening to Christian songs when I’m not sure if I should or not


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