Stealing items off the internet

Im a teen guy and I love computers- I got my first one when I was 9.
well in the past couple of years ive started to learn how to download, distribute, copy, even do a little hacking myself. In that time ive downloaded 35+ games, just as many songs and soundtracks a few movies etc etc

Its not been till recently that Ive really thought about wether it is immoral or not. The funny thing is I HAVE been to confession about it- but my confessor wasnt quite sure how to elaborate- he wasnt really in the computer era if you get what I mean

Some things I use for good- e.g I will download soundtracks for movies that are sometimes spiritual :stuck_out_tongue:

Say to install a program, I have to tweak it- maybe to get around a registraion requirement- Is it stealing? because im technically changing the program. Maybe its just the fault of the creator to not protect his program

If I do stop should I remove all downloaded content???

All of this that you speak of is violation of Copy Right laws.

Breaking any law is sinful in nature.

Let me ask you this. If your neighbor goes to work in the morning and you notice his front door open does that mean you are free to enter his house and take his property? After all, he didn’t lock his door.

Stealing is stealing is stealing regardless of whether it is material property or intellectual property, in the case of games and music I venture to assume it is both. If you have any doubts, look at some of the penalties handed down by the courts recently for internet theft.

Just because downloading files on the internet is easy and popular does not mean it isn’t stealing. Many different people worked to create those things you take for free and they deserve their compensation for it. There are far too many people who wouldn’t take a loaf of bread from a store without paying for it yet have no problem stealing music or videos.

In addition to what everyone else has said, i’m guessing the ISP you are using is in your parent’s name and it would be them who would be busted for any copyright violation. Not to mention, i’ve never understood hackers, instead of doing something wrong, why not put your computer skills to good use?

One think is downloading copyrighted software without proper authorization. I do not consider it as stealing for different reasons, but I still consider it highly immoral and sinful. From my point of view I would consider it grave matter because it is disobedience to the Church dictates.

In the case of going around the registration requirements by tweaking a program, I do not think that it is wrong at all if you obtain the software in a legal manner, because most of registration licenses are immoral because they enforce some agreements on you post-facto. However, the caveat is that you must have obtained the software in a legal manner and if you are going to redistribute it then you still have to do it in a legal manner and now also according to all the licensing requirements posted by the vendor because it is not a post-facto clause anymore.

I’m assuming you meant to say “Breaking any legitimate law is sinful in nature” right? In this case, the law is morally legitimate so breaking it would be sinful. However, in the case of an immoral law, Catholics would not be bound to follow it. In fact, we would be obligated not to obey such a law.

Not trying to be argumentative, just wanted to see that point clarified.

To play the Devil’s Advocate, there’s a couple issues at play here.

  1. Copyright Laws differ depending on the country. Some countries have none, for example, others impose harsh penalties.
  2. You might own the DVD, CD, books, but you may want to have a backup.
  3. A philosophical argument could be made that if you had no intention of buying it in the first place, there’s no harm in downloading it.
  4. You’re using a no longer sold copy of the software.

Do I have pirated items? Yes I do. I have downloaded music, and have a couple of gigabytes there. I’ll likely delete the ones I don’t want, and head over to iTunes and legally buy the copies I want there.

I downloaded some comics. I might delete them until I buy them on Comixology. Or keep them on a storage device and not read them further until I buy the copies.

I have several ebooks of Star Wars books. I legally bought each book, and had to get rid of them when I became homeless at one point. Because I legally bought them, I don’t have an issue with having downloaded them.

So those three are pretty clear cut; either I find it acceptable or I will be taking steps to help make them acceptable. There’s two piracy cases that I struggle with:

I have several D&D books, which are in PDF format. They cost 30 bucks a pop. I can’t bring myself to spend an extra 30 bucks per book for incremental increases. I acknowledge this likely isn’t right, and I’m trying to divest myself of this mentality.

I have a pirated copy of Adobe CS2, which is wildly out of date (I think they’re at CS 5 now). I don’t use it for commercial purposes, and ironically I use it to help create materials for my parish. CS 5, full version, costs five thousand dollars. This is one element of piracy I struggle with currently.

I found myself in a similar position to you a few years back (torrents and the like) and my own reflections on the matter it that I was stealing as I was appropriating something that I did not own without giving the owner/creator their due as outlined under the law(that is as giving each person their due).

We can’t blame others for our own actions (as tempting as that is) and even altering code or changing a program without the creators consent in order to acquire it is still theft even if the property is only intellectual (property) it is still the property of another.

In my case when I came to this conclusion I stopped downloading and deleted that which was not mine. Not the easiest thing in the world but, I felt (and still feel) the correct thing to do.

It is hard to answer.
For instance, for education, there certain privileges because the companies want the students to be able to use their software.
Now, in a country where the annual salary is 100 euros, is it stealing to download a software that will cost you 100 euros? (now, suppose that he guy had the hardware given and the energy comes from the sun and the netsuppplier is charity). I simply do not know.
On the one hand, I think that stealing is stealing. But many times the companies put freeware and it is shareware and you have to pay, all kinds of the naughty commercial tricks.
Microsoft in China had got as many Micro software than in the USA but gets 5% of the revenue. You guess that piracy is current there in 95% of the cases. Are chinese all going to hell?
You guessed: I use a lot of downloading that I do not care whether they are from here or from there.
The example given above of the fellow who lets the door open. You do not enter there, but for sure, the fellow is crazy if he does that everyday.
Companies can portect their software and they are able to do so. Why they do not do it is a mistery for my. Why Microsoft does not able or disable software through the net if a mistery for me.
They know me, they know where I am, they know the size of my socks and the toothpaste I use, yet, they keep quiet.
I work a lot for educational purposes and for special needs kids and if I steal from one side to give to the other I do not feel much guilt at all.
But I want to hear other viewpoints for this is a case that bothers me…

If you are downloading things meant to be downloaded for free, then there is nothing wrong with this.

If you are downloading and using things meant to be paid for, and you aren’t paying, then yes, you are doing something immoral, and you should remove those paid programs if you haven’t paid for them.

Does anyone have an opinion about game roms? if you have a proper emulator you can play these on your phone/pc etc. I dont mean the latest games but from old consoles like gameboy advance. these are all free to download on lots of sites.

All three console makers are starting to release older games on their downloading services, because they understand there is a market for this.

I don’t consider illegitimate downloading same as ‘stealing’. When I download a piece of software I have deprived some programmers from my money I would otherwise had given. However it is not the same as stealing a loaf of bread or a book because software is not expendable and your neighbour still has his own copy.

Here is a not-so-pefect example: is sharing a book in common with friends same as ‘stealing’ from the authors and merchants who sell this book? If I deny giving you my book, you will be forced to buy it and support the intellectual owners. But is this right?

Morally it’s exactly the same situation, only that legally it’s not. Software has ‘terms of service’ while books don’t. Sharing copyighted movies/software/ebooks/mp3 online is stealing while sharing objects is not.

Many people feel that the Internet is a kind of communal life. Someone buys something and all his virtual family/roommates/neighbours can benefit from it. For me, it’s not immoral.

In any case I think it’s a sin to download stuff that you can afford otherwise, or that you plan to buy. Many people download stuff that they would not buy in any case. If they could not download them for some reason, they would still NOT have bought them. So essentially they don’t deprive anyone of their money.

Some people might illegally download a software, and if they find it good and useful, they buy a legal copy from the store to thank and support the programmers. So if you really appreciate the work you have downloaded, please consider this.

Yes it is stealing – the “fault” of the creator is not a license to steal and alter his copyright.

And yes, you should remove all illegally downloaded content (and those you have “tweaked” the registration), and use a file “shredder.”

So as they are re-releasing these games does this make those roms illegal or a mortal sin or both :confused:

Stealing is stealing, it affects the patent holder the same it would a shop owner someone steals from. Delete all stolen content, repent and confess. (yes, also stop distributing).

I download anything free I want, but it needs to be free. Now I bought a healing rosary CD and made a copy for my SIL, I gave it to her, so I didn’t steal that in my mind, or maybe I did,

can someone tell me if I did.:slight_smile:

ROMS have always been illegal due to intellectual property laws. And the “you need to delete this after 24 hours” thing isn’t true either, you shouldn’t have them at all.

Some people sell ROMS loaded into a joystiq that you plug into a TV. Can you guess what Nintendo does to the people?

I’ll give you a hint it involves the words “cease” and “desist”.

Might be copyright protected. You are not supposed to duplicate or burn most (many) CD’s to make copies which denies the originator the right to the price of the CD and/or the programmer the right to his royalty. On the other hand, many of these will prevent you from doing ripping and burning. But if it can be loaded, it can be copied. Look at the instructions or load the CD – there’s always some agreement that we never read and it should be in there.

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