Is listening to music online a sin?

I know downloading music without out paying for it is a sin. But what about listening to music online? For example, you can go to youtube and find many pieces of music to listen to without paying.

You can also listen to music on the radio without paying for it. I don’t see much difference.

But do radio stations have permission to play the music?

Yeah most radio stations have to be licensed. But there are a lot of dead you tube links out there from content that has been pulled because of copyrights, I wouldn’t worry about it. Plus it isn’t like you take ownership of it, you enjoy it and then move on.

The reason you don’t know whether a particular radio station is OK to play any particular song you hear, is that it’s their responsibility to seek permission and pay royalties, and nothing to do with you.

It is not morally incumbent on you to double check everything you hear, and you haven’t stolen anything if a broadcaster plays you a song and they haven’t done their paperwork.

If it were sinful to not know, every Catholic would have to phone the relevant public rights people between every song on the radio, so I’d listen to music which someone else broadcasts, enjoy it, and let them worry about the royalties. :slight_smile:

In the past, music videos were often uploaded to YouTube without permission. That still goes on today. However, nowadays, much, perhaps even most of the music videos on YouTube are uploaded with permission of the artists/labels. They often (but not always) have a brief advertisement before them, and that is how the artist/label is compensated.

In short, no, I would not worry about this… feel free to keep listening :slight_smile:

You’re being scruplous, yes they do. I listen to commerical radio on my phone at work half the day and Sirius/XM on my phone the other half of the day. The TuneIn App on 'droid and I-phone connects you with commerical radio stations ALL OVER the world.

Yes, I thought they did. My point, however, is that many videos on youtube might not have permission. This makes radio stations different from youtube videos.

Many artists have offical YouTube pages for uploading of videos, don’t worry about it. I watch stuff all the time on YouTube and don’t think twice of it.

Radio stations pay the music owners for the privilege of broadcasting it and they recoup that money elsewhere (typically through advertising).

Some rights owners do put up professional music videos which they made on Youtube - the ‘VEVO’ channel is an official one, for example. But ‘end users’ typically make their own amateur music videos and overlay copyrighted music for which they have no rights to do so. In those instances, it is reasonably clear that it’s a non-professional thing. That being said, it’s relatively cheap to purchase an internet-playback license through the various performing rights societies, but the few who do are unlikely to do so without saying in their accompanying text specifically that the music used in their videos is appropriately licensed.

It’s a bit difficult to tell the difference if you don’t know what you’re looking at, but as a rule of thumb, if something looks very amateur in quality (for example a music ‘video’ of either one still image or a succession of ‘slideshow’ images) it’s probably not licensed and you would be better off finding an authorised stream of the music elsewhere. It’s easier to identify ripped movies than illicitly published music. Simply use your common sense and avoid what is obviously wrongly uploaded.

But what about unofficial videos on youtube?

What if you went to a friend’s house and watched a movie said friend rented from Red Box, Blockbuster, and/or through friend’s NetFlex account that YOU didn’t pay for. In your mind, would you be comitting a sin? How is that any different from watching a video on YouTube?

It’s great that you are going through RCIA and want to join the Church, but IMHO, you are way over thinking this.

Edit: My roommate has a NetFlex accout and has given me the user name and password to access the NetFlex account on a Wii or my phone. I’m paying for the internet access, but not the NetFlex account. What say you on this?

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