Torrents and piracy

Is it right to download files from torrent which could likely be copyrighted? I feel this is not right but everyone (in my area) seems to be doing it, Including religious books. need your opinions…

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A lot of people seem to be doing a lot of things around us. There is a very good reason for which our beloved Lord said to us: “you are the light of the world”. Others walk in the darkness, but as a Christian you will bring them light. Some of them shall criticize you, even harshly, but others will see something they had never known or seen before, and without even knowing so, you will be an instrument of God’s will.

The law of men condemns illegal downloads. Your awareness or feeling that it is not a right thing is a clear indication that doing so may also be an offense to justice (which comes from God).

The Catechism of the Church has a clear section on the tenth commandment, which will help you discern this and other things.

these words mean that we should banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us

It is not a violation of this commandment to desire to obtain things that belong to one’s neighbor, provided this is done by just means.

“I want to see God” expresses the true desire of man.

There are many just ways to read books and watch movies without having to harm our neighbor. Many old works without copyright can be found in online repositories. The works of many saints can be found in websites of religious communities. As for copyrighted works, the public library system works rather well, allowing you to find them around your area or request them. When we truly want to read a book or movie but we cannot afford the full price, we may purchase an used copy, or borrow it from a friend, or watch it with him.

Why do you want to read the book, watch the movie, or download the file? You are looking for something. Humbleness and obedience will bring you to what you are truly looking for much faster than those shortcuts that have always existed, even before the age of computers, and that are only a shortcut to perdition, though they may seem source of easy happiness and though you may see many walking through them.

Remain close to the Lord, as you clearly are right now…try to draw even closer to Him. One day you will realize something that human words cannot explain, and when that something awakens in you, then truly on that day you will not ask the Lord anything and these words will be engraved in your heart: “God alone suffices!

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It’s wrong. I’ve been trying to make this clear to my children.

My wife is a new author, she has sold maybe 30 copies of her book. I would hate to see people stealing an electronic copy and passing it around. She is way below the break even point.

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Jimmy Akin actually has an episode dealing with this very subject, I recommend you check it out.

I work for a company that has published a lot of books. Imagine what it’s like to see a large, hardcover book of yours scanned perfectly from cover to cover on a “file sharing” site 30 days after release.

It is 100% wrong to take a book and make it available for free - that’s called stealing.

If anyone hears that their book is available on a file sharing site, you can submit a takedown request and send it to the site, which must be submitted by the original author if you are not a company or an officer of the company if you are. Make sure you have filed a Copyright form with the US Copyright Office to help prove you are the author/publisher.

They are required by law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to take it down. Now different stealing sites may have this info described in different ways, like: “report abuse, or report infringement, or just ‘contact us.’” You might see: “To report DMCA claims, click here.”

So, to all authors, type your book title and your name into google and see how many hits you get. Take a deep breath. You are not alone. You might find your book on scribd or another file sharing site.

We’ve been doing takedowns for a while now.


The exceptions I usually make are when I have already legally purchased a copy which subsequently gets damaged or stolen. At that point, I figure I have already legally purchased it for my own use and I have a right to regain what I purchased.

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I’ve done that and I’d say it’s a little bit of a grey area, tending to the white end. The author & publisher have already gotten their cut. Same thing for stuff in obsolete formats like my cassette collection. Yes, I’m sure there is some way to convert them but damned if I know how to do it.
Likewise for in copyright but out of print books. At least the software industry usually releases abandonware.

My problem with e-books or music files is once you’ve “bought” you don’t own them. You can’t sell them or give them away. In the media corps’ ideal world copyright would last forever, there would be no used book or music stores and even libraries would have to charge a fee every time a book was lent out.

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There is no grey area, especially for authors starting out. A single lost sale is money out of their pocket. There are plenty of ways to get out of print books. I buy them all the time. And I’ll be buying more in the next few days. In the anarchists’ current world, anything and everything gets offered for nothing. That is stealing.


Only if the customer ever intended on purchasing the thing in the first place. And there’s not way to measure that. That’s why they put the losses in the zillions when they don’t have a clue what the real “losses” are. Cry me a river. With all their DRM and other nonsense, piracy has become a better option. Sad, but true.

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I think there is a point where it is not stealing such as what if the book or application is out of print and will never be able to be bought again eithier new or used? In such cases I see no reason why downloading it would be immoral since there is no possible way to compensate the creater of it.

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There are libraries that have uploaded old books for the purpose of your being able to download the books at places like legitimately.

Any downloading of anything that is still in copyright without a purchase is stealing. Ed is right. It’s good to ask your confessor further.

Some of the Kindle type services have a function for sharing your ebooks now, too, and I’ve read that this is very helpful within a family with several ereaders. Parents can “loan” the book to children, etc. I’ve got an Ipad, and haven’t looked into this since I don’t use it much.:blush:

I think that Ed has a very good point that would help us all think, “How would I feel if someone took my material for free?”

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No, not true at all. Stealing is not the better option. To a Christian, it isn’t an option at all. We are morally obliged to recognize the rights of others in the ownership of the fruits of their creativity and labor. To rationalize away their right to control their labor, or their right to receive just compensation for their work, is to deny the legitimacy of property rights in the first place – in which case, the anarchists have won.

If you want to read a book without paying for it, go to a library. If you want to own a book, buy it. If you want to listen to a song without paying for it, turn on a radio. If you want to own a copy of the song, pay for it.

The idea that “I want that piece of entertainment, so it ought to be free, so I get to just take it if I want to” is absolutely inconsistent with Catholic theology.

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The tricky part of DMCA takedowns when it comes to torrents is that the torrent files themselves are not illegal, i.e. they are not the illegally obtained material, but rather information to connect to other users of the service and hashes for checking the file integrity. So it’s hard for the government to make a case when it comes to torrent sites, as the torrent sites haven’t explicitly done anything illegal.

There’s only three cases I condone piracy:

  1. You have paid and preorderd the product and its late.
  2. You have every intention of buying it and do. Peopl have seen me in record stores muttering ‘who do I still owemoney too?’
  3. the product is no longer for sale within reason. Like downloading gameboy games.
  1. No way… as after all they could have taken the order accidently(without having the item in store) at which point they may be trying to contact you and give you a refund, meanwhile you’ve gone ahead and gotten the product illegally. That, or the product has been lost/delayed in the post, and the company you bought it from should not be blamed for that(even if they’ve made the mistake of addressing it wrongly).

So obtaining a product illegally just because it’s late should not be done, as it’s the sin of both impatience and a type of theft. Most of the time these days purchasing stuff online they will inform you immediatly when they expect it will arrive late(they usually just give you an “estimated arrival” window that accounts for if there is a delay in postage), and/or you can usually track the postage/delivery.

  1. That another bad arguement, if you intend on buying it, why not, well, go ahead and buy it? Why obtain it illegally and not show patience by waiting till the item becomes legally avalible?

  2. Gameboy games are in fact legally avalible, dirt cheap, second hand… a little site they call Ebay! not to mention Nintendo is themselves re-releasing alot of their smash hit Gameboy games on the 3DS Virtual Console… Even Sega is getting in on the act with their Game Gear games on it too!

I agree the last point is a bit iffy, because alot of the games on those systems are no longer profitably avalible brand new legally(ironically contary to popular belief, the majority of them actually ARE avalible new, due to companies like ArGaming releasing Plug 'n Play consoles, as well as the aforementioned Virtual Console services), but they are in fact mostly avalible through the traditional second hand markets and you don’t have to resort to downloading them as roms from the internet. And besides, Retro game fans respect other Retro gamers who have actually gone and sought out the old games on Ebay. In a way, Emulation is possibly contributing to the demise of second hand sale value of many older games in their original cart form, so it’s kind of damaging in some way the market of second hand retro gaming, a reason why people famous for being involved in retro gaming, like James “AVGN” Rolfe, actually strongly oppose emulation and refuse to use it. They use Ebay instead!

AVGN’s(and even Irate Gamer too) opinions on emulation are facinating, yes it allows more people to play retro games, but it’s a bane to genuine collectors(and “Real thing only” players) as it drives right down the sales value of second hand games. And not only
that it allows people to “beat games easy”, which AVGN in particular also opposes. Classic Game Room also opposes Emulation too, and they have also spoken out against it.

  1. hold on a tick, when it comes to piracy items aka games and music there is no refund. You either get it or you don’t. So no it’s not a question of inpantaints it’s a question of customer service. Also if a game has **** drm on it I’m hacking it and not even opening the box. Spore is a perfect examples of it. I bought game walked over to my pc downloaded hacked version. They got my money I got a game I was able to install on more then just one computer.

  2. because often the items in question are so impossible to get a hold of. CDs do not grow on trees and the local stores only have the most popular. If the store doesn’t make it available then tough ****. Which kinda leads into my third point…

  3. used items do not give the creator any money so it doesn’t matter. eBay gives money to the seller and itself not linkin park, Nintendo, saga what have you.

We put DRM on all of our books that are available as paid downloads. The stealers have no right to steal what does not belong to them. Only the copyright owner has the the ‘right to copy,’ not anybody else.


Everyone needs to respect the fact that only the copyright owner has the right to copy his own work, has the right to distribute his work however he wants and the right to make his work downloadable to one device only.

There is no point. Stealing means stealing. And in the United States and the international community, pirates will continue to get shut down, arrested and fined. Just because it’s digital bits doesn’t make it any less real than a hard copy or program in a box.

It matters. And I will continue to post information about trademark infringement because it’s a crime.

Selling used copies doesn’t matter? Yeah, try selling the last book you downloaded for nothing on eBay.


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In the USA it’s a crime. In Canada we call it free advertisement.

That’s just wrong.


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