Winning Essay In High School Ethics Writing Competition Argues That File Sharing Isn't Wrong

from the illegal,-but-not-wrong dept

Well, this is interesting. Despite the various biased, one-sided, "education programs" designed by the entertainment industry for schools, it seems that plenty of students are smart enough to make ethical decisions in a more nuanced and understanding fashion. Michael Geist points us to the rather surprising news that the winner of a high school ethics essay contest wrote his essay explaining why file sharing may be illegal, but it's not ethically wrong.

She argues that there are a variety of reasons why kids still engage in unauthorized file trading, but one of them is that they just don't think copyright laws are morally justified. Instead, they see the benefit and the opportunities presented in easier sharing and distribution of works, allowing more people to hear and discover new artists, while opening up lots of new potential business models. All good stuff.

But what's most surprising is that this essay actually won the contest. While there are plenty of us who understand the views expressed in the paper, you would think that most folks who haven't thought too much about these issues will quickly resort to the "but.. but... infringement is bad!" arguments, and refuse to even consider an essay arguing that copyright infringement can be morally justified. So, kudos to the judges for at least having an open mind on this one.


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  1.  
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    paperbag (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    and Judge was...

    Mike you were the judge weren't you! :)

    Makes me wonder if any of the judges are TechDirt readers hehe

     

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  2.  
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    Overcast (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    That's a bit of a surprise - to see some potential real open-minded intelligence/debate in a school and not just a political/corporate agenda.

    Someone must have missed something. I bet someone will loose their job over this at the school.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    I see that delusional, self-rationalization is alive and well.

    Ethics is about doing 'the right thing". If one believes a law is wrong as a moral matter, our social compact and system of laws provides several forums for seeking redress; the legislatures to seek changes and the courts to make a challenge.

    To engage in "self-help" outside these venues is no more than saying "I do not like the law so I refuse to follow it."

    Perhaps the experts on morality and ethics might want to consider for even a fleeting moment that the same laws they hold in such disdain impose no penalties for non-infringement by using works either in the public domain or with the permission of the person(s) holding copyright in such works. Of course, Fair Use is likewise a means by which to legitimately conduct onself within the bounds of our laws.

    It will be interesting to see how persons such as the writer of this paper conduct themselves in the future when presented with the almost infinite other situations that arise in daily life. The attitude presented here does not bode well for their future participation in society and for society itself.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Re:

    Hi anti mike!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    To engage in "self-help" outside these venues is no more than saying "I do not like the law so I refuse to follow it."


    If a law is considered unjust and/or harmful to the advance of humanity and culture, the argument could be made that it is more ethical to refuse to follow it.

     

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  6.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    "The attitude presented here does not bode well for their future participation in society and for society itself."

    Actually it bodes very well for them. Slowly we are moving towards home manufacturing of items. I have 2 CNC mills, my friend bought a CNC wood router from ?Sears?, my neighbor has a 3D printer, the list goes on. We are moving towards a world were manufacturing equipment is getting cheaper and cheaper. Project Like RepRap are becoming more common place and have $80,000 prizes for building a better version.


    "It will be interesting to see how persons such as the writer of this paper conduct themselves in the future when presented with the almost infinite other situations that arise in daily life. "

    In a future society of infinites they will be very well prepared indeed.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    Interesting.

    The article points to a paper that makes the arument that file-sharing is illegal but not unethical, and you seem to immediately conclude that he must be saying the unauthorized filesharing is "OK". I didn't get that sense at all -- in fact, it occured to me that this paper was instead arguing that unauthorized filesharing and the laws surrounding it ought to be taken to the courts and legislature in order to remedy this legal/ethical discongruity; not that we should all be filesharing because it's not unethical.

    You point out that there are legal ways to address a law one feels is inappropriate, yet you attack one who suggests Copyright is such a law.

     

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  8.  
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    Kirk (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Not as surprising

    An ethics class/competition is one of the places I would expect to see some critical thinking. That's not to say that I'm not surprised.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    I posted this elsewhere and I'm going to post it here again.

    One day IP (and many of the other unjust laws in place) will be viewed by the overwhelming majority of the population much like slavery and racial discrimination are viewed today, as something that just doesn't belong, and the thought of congress et al passing pro IP laws would be unheard of. Don't believe me, at one time the mainstream media tried to censor views against slavery and racial discrimination and it failed, social advancement happened anyways. We are much better off now than we were several hundred years ago and certainly better now than we were thousands of years ago (ie: when pharos had teams of slaves working to build pyramids and it lead to extremely high mortality rates. Sure, technology is partly responsible for these social advancements as well, being that technology does much of the heavy lifting now). IP is an atrocity to humanity, at least as it stands now (I do believe some IP can be a good thing), and most atrocities to humanity eventually end up excessively hated by humanity.

    Things have to get worse before (people rebel and) they get better. The best thing the industry can do now to maintain IP laws in the long run is to lobby for more reasonable IP laws. Otherwise, if they keep on making things worse for the general public, the overwhelming majority of the public will eventually view IP laws like they do slavery and racial discrimination now, as an evil atrocity that has no place in law. and when that happens, the idea of governmental bodies passing IP laws will be unheard of no matter how much these corporations lobby for them.

    A more recent example is the do not call registry, eventually unsolicited calls were views as an evil atrocity by the public and the public stormed congress by the millions to put in place the registry. Industry lobbied hard to keep these laws away and failed COMPLETELY and now you're very unlikely to have these laws go away for a LONG time. Why? because industry completely abused their telemarketing, calling everyone constantly even during the worst hours. It didn't start out that way, but industry kept on getting worse and worse and worse, calling people more and more often, until the people could no longer tolerate it and they viewed telemarketing as an evil atrocity and eventually the problem was completely solved.

    You want IP laws to stick around, don't keep making them worse, because if you make them too intolerable they will disappear completely for a LONG time and no amount of lobbying will reverse the process.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    "Perhaps the experts on morality and ethics might want to consider for even a fleeting moment that the same laws they hold in such disdain impose no penalties for non-infringement by using works either in the public domain or with the permission of the person(s) holding copyright in such works."

    We're talking about the use of restricted works here. Discussion of unencumbered works is irrelevant.

     

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    Pixelation, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    "I see that delusional, self-rationalization is alive and well."

    I hope you look in the mirror when saying that.

     

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  12.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    "Ethics is about doing 'the right thing". If one believes a law is wrong as a moral matter, our social compact and system of laws provides several forums for seeking redress; the legislatures to seek changes and the courts to make a challenge."

    If you could explain how not adhering to the law is inherently 'the wrong thing' then you may have the makings of a point.

    'To engage in "self-help" outside these venues is no more than saying "I do not like the law so I refuse to follow it."'

    You are observant.

    "Blah blah blah it's too much work to say something meaningful so I shall forgo relevance and substance in favour of whatever pops into my head"

    It will be interesting to see how you cope with situations where people ask you to explain your opinion. The attitude presented in your writing does not bode well for communication with other sentient beings.

     

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  13.  
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    Kirk (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:13am

    Re: "self-help" outside these venues

    Wait. Listen...
    I can hear Dr. King from here.

     

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  14.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    hee hee hee .... My thoughts exactly ... the IP maximalists just dont seem to understand that catastrophic failure applies to over reaching laws.

     

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  15.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    Maybe you're right.

    Now go sit to the back of the bus.

     

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  16.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re:

    I forgot go ACTA!!!

     

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  17.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    Re:

    To engage in "self-help" outside these venues is no more than saying "I do not like the law so I refuse to follow it."

    These laws are wrong in many, many ways, and the court system that you're speaking of is failing, and looking for loopholes (ACTA, anyone?). Ethics have nothing to do with following the law. If they did, then Auschwitz guards would be ethical, while Auschwitz escapees would be unethical.

    I, for one, am thoroughly encouraged by the idea of a child who made it through high school with their ability to think independently intact.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    Trust me, you don't want the overwhelming majority of the general public one day viewing IP laws like they view slavery and racial discrimination today, you will NEVER get an IP law passed again.

    Your best bet for long term sustainability is to make IP laws more reasonable, because the only thing I have to do to convince the overwhelming majority of people who are unaware of the length of IP laws that IP is evil is simply to mention the mere length of copyright law. The mere length is outrageous and enough to convince most people that this law was not intended for the public good which will make them immediately question the legitimacy of most IP laws and this questioning alone will convince people that IP laws in general are bad (forget the fact that most of the evidence suggests they are bad).

    I do think some IP laws can provide some net benefit to society, but at this rate it really looks like the end result is going to be the complete destruction of IP laws altogether.

     

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  19.  
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    Flaky, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Morality and Ethics

    Poster #9 correctly points out that the pendulum of public acceptance does not always go with the latest trends of law. Various pressures (certainly lobbying by self-interested groups pushing laws in a particular direction) tend to build up a wall of resentment when it goes too far and then the pendulum swings the other way and nothing that lobbying can do will bring it back.

    Poster #10 brings out public domain where infringement is not an issue. The problem with public domain is that the pendulum has swung so far in favor of the copyright holder that nothing this year made it into public domain. It was a zero year for the public.

    The years of Prohibition as an example is a threadbare and worn example of a law the public will not obey. Make bad laws that go against what the public at large accepts and they will be ignored; just as they are being done today with filesharing.

    To those with profit as the bottom line for distribution this is business threatening as the profit disappears. Most of the trolls here are either sockpuppets for the industry or have a self interest they are serving without publicly acknowledging that link. There will be a few that honestly believe file sharing is bad, either through the continuous pulp mill of propaganda that the industry churns out or the rare one that actually believes that side of the equation.

    We've reached the point, much as it was reached in the early colonial days, that copyright is no longer a good law, as it is. In the American colonial days, copyright was pretty much ignored for world producers and the American government refused to either acknowledge it was a problem nor would they address it.

    Much the same way, the public sees it now.

    For those that say the artists aren't being paid and it will die...so what. Art for art's sake won't die if the protectionist incumbents roll over and die.

    The best thing I can think of to happen to it after seeing all the stuff that hits the lamescream media today would be for those incumbents to go under. Perhaps what remains will be salvageable.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but "civil disobedience" is, in fact, THE way to bring down unjust laws. Just ask Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and the Russian troops who mutinied at the idea of restoring the Communist state by force.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re:

    "Trust me, you don't want the overwhelming majority of the general public one day viewing IP laws like they view slavery and racial discrimination today, you will NEVER get an IP law passed again."

    Maybe that's what the poster wants to happen?

     

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  22.  
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    Esahc (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    By your argument America should still be ruled by England.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I (the poster) am simply pointing out that over reaching laws are doomed to fail, all throughout history they eventually do fail and today we have much better laws than we did 200 years ago or a thousand years ago. IP laws are over reaching and I see no reason to believe that history won't simply repeat itself. and don't think that censorship is going to work either, that's been tried before with laws in the past just as well and it has always eventually failed, each and every time.

     

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  24.  
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    milrtime83 (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    The topic of the contest was "Is it OK to download music, movies and games without paying?" so there were probably quite a few essay's out of the 80 submitted that had a similar view point. It isn't as surprising as if it were an open contest on any topic and this was the only one on piracy.

     

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  25.  
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    HisStoryUn, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Re:

    Right on. Situational ethics is the heart of cancer killing our society today. There is such a thing as black and white - right and wrong still. Not liking the law is never an excuse for disobeying it when there legitamite ways to address the concerns.

     

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  26.  
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    ethorad (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Was about to say just that.

    I'd like to see Rosa Parks writing to her congressman ...

     

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  27.  
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    Henry Emrich (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The argument that respect for "the law" simply *because* it is "the law", is evil. Apartheid in South Africa, the institution of Race-based chattel slavery here in the U.S., laws against "miscegenation" (so-called "Race-mixing"), various nations' historical persecution of religious minorities for "heresy" or "blasphemy"....the list goes on.

    "Law" is *NEVER* respectable *in and of itself*, but only inasmuch as the *conduct* that such "laws" attempt to compel/prevent, is worthy of respect.

    As for the "delusional self-rationalization" thing goes: it's worked pretty well for the copyright-lobby, with all the term-extensions they've managed to bribe over the last thirty years or more.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Re: Pharaohs

    Pharaohs men were all on Good rates of Pay. they were both well looked after and well thought of. Some, who got ill, even had a type of Brain surgery to get well (Trepanning). It is not thought that Slaves worked on the prestige projects, Pyramids, but rather on spreading Human waste on the fields as fertilizer, a job now done only by Caledonians.

     

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  29.  
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    Henry Emrich (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re:

    Mentioning the length of the monopoly works.

    Y'know what works better?

    Pointing them to anything related to the song "Happy Birthday to you".

    The fact that the (corporate) "rights-holders" have periodically attempted to shake down children's birthday parties for the unauthorized "public performances" that typically go on there, is enough to open up discussion over what originally "justified" copyright in the first place -- let alone, what the corporate lobbyists have turned it into.

    the Pro-monopoly folks are cutting their own throats.

     

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  30.  
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    IT Slave, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Ethics and Law don't mix

    It should note that laws reflect our values and society. Behaviour reflects our ethics and dedication to them. It's interesting that if you were to work hard for something would you expect to be paid or just give it away. We tend to make the simple complex to justify our actions to do what we know is wrong. Now are all laws right, maybe not but how do we judge whether they are right or wrong. Is stealing right or wrong and what do you base your judgement on? That will be your guide to ethics.

     

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  31.  
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    Hulser (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    In the essay, the author says..

    "They [kids] break copyright laws in part because they believe that these laws are unjust."

    In their current state, I would agree that copyright laws are unjust. They've gone beyond what was a reasonable compromise between the interests of creators and of society as a whole to a onesided crutch used by content industries.

    I wonder if the author means that copyright itself is fundamentally unjust or just that current coypright laws are unjust?

    I ask because the position of TD (as I understand it) is not that illegal fileshire is moral, but that while illegal filesharing may be immoral and/or illegal, it's not good business. For example, it's one thing to say Ubisoft is being (very) stupid for implementing draconian DRM for their computer games. It's another to say that people have the moral right to download a cracked version of the game for free.

    I just don't see illegal downloads as being anywhere near living up to the term "civil disobedience". If you download a cracked version of Assassin's Creed II because you don't like the DRM, fine. But don't say that it's moral or that you somehow compare to Ghandi, MLK, or Rosa Parks.

     

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  32.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re:

    "you will NEVER get an IP law passed again."

    ", but at this rate it really looks like the end result is going to be the complete destruction of IP laws altogether."

    For months I have been saying ACTA is a good thing. With the same reasoning that was used here. This one little comment has people realizing that we are on the verge of having the IP maximalist push far enough for the bubble to burst and for things to turn around.

    Go ACTA !!!

     

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  33.  
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    lux (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    To say that IP laws are akin to slavery and racial discrimination is absolutely ridiculous - and shows that you are 100% white.

    This is outright one of the most insensitive posts I've ever read, and is completely off base. I find it very hard to believe you couldn't find any other correlation and clearly shows you have only a high level understanding of the topic at hand.

    Your position is very Reductio ad Hitlerum, and therefore is a fallacy.

    Absolute fail with disgust.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    "It should note that laws reflect our values and society."

    Let me fix that for you.

    "It should be noted that laws reflect whatever best suits the goals of those with political power."

    Much more accurate.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah! Everyone knows that current IP laws are more akin to the prohibition laws back in the 20s.

     

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  36.  
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    nunya_bidness, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:15am

    Say Anything for Money

    This year's essay topic was: "Is it OK to download music, movies and games without paying?" There were about 80 entries from high schools in Winnipeg and across the province. The contest, held annually since 2007, is jointly sponsored by The Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics and The Department of Philosophy at the University of Manitoba. The winner receives $1,000.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    To engage in "self-help" outside these venues is no more than saying "I do not like the law so I refuse to follow it."

    Kind of like Rosa Parks? Yeah, I bet you just hate it when they get "uppity", don't you?

    Man, you copyright lovers seem to be all the same.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re:

    I am not saying that IP laws are akin to slavery, I am just saying that unjust laws tend to be abolished when they go too far and I am using slavery and such as examples of how we have progressed. Now slavery is an obvious progression but less obvious progressions, like the abolishment of IP laws, will also find their ways to becoming reality. Just that we as a society tend to advance, first with the most obvious atrocities, later with the less obvious ones.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Now slavery is an obvious progression"

    Err, the abolishment of slavery is an obvious progression.

     

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  40.  
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    Brad Wardle (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Oversensative racial discrimination claim

    @lux I don't think he was comparing the laws to slavery and racial discrimination, but the correlating "public/political opinion" that were largely biased and very wrong. Those laws were changed due to overwhelming, and rightfully so, demand by the public. IP law is of course much less serious than slavery and racial discrimination as far as social issues go.

    I am glad to see that there is a high school out there that is still able to put forth a current and well thought out debate. We need laws that protect artists original works as for many of them it can be their livelyhood. However, most IP law has been grossly twisted to serve the needs of corporations and IP brokers, not the artists themselves. Like most sectors the corporations are pushing way too hard for their bottom line and lose sight of the reasons they were successful in the first place.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Again, I am not saying that current IP laws are akin o slavery, I am just showing how bad laws tend to get destroyed, even when mainstream media and such try to censor opinions against them.

     

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  42.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re: and Judge was...

    Thankfully Techdirt isn't the only island of common sense in the content industry, but yes, it does indeed make me wonder that too (not to mention the student - I hope he wasn't though, because it's even more encouraging to think he reached the same conclusions independently)

     

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  43.  
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    Paul, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re

    Good essay, I dont agree with this part

    "This doesn't make much sense, especially given that Canada has at the same time adopted a more realistic approach along with at least 25 other countries. That approach is to tax consumers on recording mediums, such as IPods, MP3 players and blank audio recording media like CD-Rs, in an effort to compensate artists for revenue lost due to consumers' personal copying."

    Putting a tax on those things because they may be used for illegal purposes is just dumb, It'd be like putting a tax on a xbox 360 because some people are able to mod them and get free games.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Pharaohs

    Some Pharaohs were better than others.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    "It should be noted that laws reflect whatever best suits the goals of those with political power."

    This is true in the short run.

    "It should note that laws reflect our values and society."

    This is true in the long run.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Whether the laws are heavy handed or not, it's ridiculous to compare them to slavery, religious persecution or the Apartheid. Who's being murdered? Got hyperbole?

    It's good to see some light shed on the subject from our youth. They've proven the point that it doesn't matter what the cost of a song, album, movie, etc. is, there's nothing ethically wrong with not paying for something they're using. This helps kill all those stupid arguments saying "oh, if it were cheaper, I'd buy it". THIS is how our upcoming "Generation Entitlement" feels. It's just the continued downhill path we're on as a society.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re:

    Another moron comparing atrocities to file sharing. You people disgust me.

     

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  48.  
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    Anti-Socialist, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re:

    I completely agree. The problem is everyone wants to be a revolutionary instead of working on a solution much like politics and people who judge everything by a "D" or an "R" rather than what works or what's best.

    IP laws need reworked, not killed.

    Let's reward hard work by allowing anyone to copy and duplicate it.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:09am

    you guys are such morons.... Let's just give everything away for free!!! Ya that'll work...

    People don't download copyrighted material because they're taking a moral stand... please this is america. People download illegally because it is EASY and EASY to get away with. THAT's IT. AMERICA LOVES EASY.

     

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  50.  
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    Anti-Socialist, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    With the way people, like you, look at being entitled to something generated from other peoples hard word, it's not much of a jump to think that eventually you'll think it's OK to use your neighbors grill, pool, etc. without asking.

    I'm not comparing digital and physical but it's not a stretch that you would think, in your little Socialist world, that you are entitled to equal shares of everything while not spending your own money.

     

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  51.  
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    mike allen (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Any law can only be enforced if it has the consent of the people.

    Currant copyright law does not appear to have that consent, yes they will fight andd kick to maintain the law but I doudt if even 3 strikes will stop fileshaering.
    the paper is taking that concept and putting it another way giving the authers reasons why that is the case. moral/ethics argument which amounts to the same equation.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re:

    "so there were probably quite a few essay's out of the 80 submitted "

    If this is true I think the fact that there were probably quite a few essays on the subject out of the 80 submitted itself is noteworthy and indicative of a changing culture.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:31am

    Re: Morality and Ethics

    Various pressures (certainly lobbying by self-interested groups pushing laws in a particular direction)


    Oh, you mean like the pirate party?

     

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  54.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    You forgot cheap, filesharing is free.

    FREE and EASY, that is America.

     

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  55.  
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    B-Small, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, the second those become good enough to compete, the Oligarchy will stage a moral panic or some kid will inevitably print a shank and hurt someone and then.... Next on the agenda

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re:

    Exactly, once the level of public outrage reaches a critical mass, goodbye stupid laws. and passing more outrageous laws will only accelerate the process.

     

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  57.  
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    nunya_bidness, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re:

    woo hoo! quite a few of the 80 submitted by Canadian high school students, must be cultural change.

     

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  58.  
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    nunya_bidness, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re:

    by America you mean North America, right? The school in the article is in Canada, and BTW it's an all girl school.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "IP laws need reworked, not killed. "

    I personally don't think the public of the future is going to be sympathetic to the idea of a rework unless the laws are changed to become more reasonable reasonably soon. When those outraged at IP reach a critical mass you will see it disappear.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    "I'm not comparing digital and physical"

    Yes you are.

    "in your little Socialist world"

    No, I'm a free market capitalist and free markets do not have IP, IP is a construct of a non capitalist government that grants unowed monopolies to undeserving entities who falsely think they are entitled to such monopolies when they in fact are not.

    "that you are entitled to equal shares of everything"

    IP maximists are not entitled to a monopoly on anything.

    "while not spending your own money."

    IP maximists are the ones that want to make money while not doing any work or spend any money to invest in giving people a reason to buy but instead in investing in lobbying the government to create laws that enable them to extort the public.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re:

    So you admit that you want to intentionally make the lives of the hard working public who do innovate more difficult than necessary for no good reason just to make the lives of the failure IP maximists, who hinder innovation, easy so that they can make money without doing any work?

     

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  62.  
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    bishboria (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The point of Henry's comment wasn't to compare slavery, etc, to copyright law but to merely point out that following laws just because they are such is not necessarily sensible or right.

     

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  63.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "once the level of public outrage reaches a critical mass"

    What we need is for them to criminalize copyright infringement and arrest a bunch of 12 year olds, for some person go to jail and get AIDs for having 32 mp3s on an iPod, use a no knock warrant to kick in the door of an old lady who promptly dies of a heart attack and doesnt own a computer.

    We need 3 strikes to have the unintended consequence of a person not being able to call for help because of a disconnected VOIP phone. When someone asks "why did" ... they die in a home invasion, a school burn to the ground with kids in it, that cute little girl down the street to get raped, ... the answer will be "copyright law".

    I am big on unintended consequences ... Thats why I want ACTA to pass, 3 strikes to be implemented, and the criminalization of casual copyright infringement.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The entitlement generation is the generation that feels they are entitled to an unowed monopoly on things when they are not.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Comparing (in opposed to contrasting) atrocities to file sharing would be trying to show the similarities. This person is not doing that, instead, they are comparing current IP laws to atrocities and there are plenty of similarities there.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    (ie: when pharos had teams of slaves working to build pyramids and it lead to extremely high mortality rates.

    just to point out, slaves didn't build the pyramids. The pharaohs ability to get his people to build the pyramids was based around their belief that the pharaoh was literally the god Horus living out his life/death cycle. when he died he would bring new life to the land, and this was embodied by the predictable flooding of the nile that kept the river valley fertile. sure there may have been some slaves thrown in there here and there, but a vast majority of the workers on the pyramids were egyptians.

    i have no input on the point you were trying to make, i stopped reading after i saw the mistake, i just can't abide misinformation.

     

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  67.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Self Help

    > To engage in "self-help" outside these venues
    > is no more than saying "I do not like the law
    > so I refuse to follow it."

    So I guess Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were wrong for resorting to "self help" in protesting the racist Jim Crow laws in the south?

    Accordng to you, they should have just written letters to theor congressmen, hoped for the best, and continued to sit at the back of the bus, right?

     

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  68.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Mike .... Minor edit required in you posting

    "He argues that there are a variety of reasons"

    should read

    "SHE argues that there are a variety of reasons"

    Balmoral Hall School is an all girls school.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re:

    "The pharaohs ability to get his people to build the pyramids was based around their belief that the pharaoh was literally the god Horus living out his life/death cycle."

    So he tricked "his" people into becoming slaves and as a society we have advanced past that nonsense, which is exactly my point.

     

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  70.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    it's ridiculous to compare them to slavery, religious persecution or the Apartheid. Who's being murdered? Got hyperbole?

    while no one is being murdered, people are being financially destroyed by the outcome of copyright lawsuits.

    It's hard to argue that people have an unfounded sense of entitlement when media companies are the ones having the laws adapted to fit their business model, rather than adapting their business to fit the market.

     

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    Dan, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree with what you said, but mentioning the length of copyright isn't enough to cause outrage. The lobby professing copyright as an artist's welfare system is too strong.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "i have no input on the point you were trying to make, i stopped reading after i saw the mistake, i just can't abide misinformation."

    What misinformation. Those who worked for Pharaoh were effectively tricked into being slaves.

    Also

    "Hence, some of the Egyptians who became slaves were originally free people who, having committed some sort of illicit acts, were forced to forfeit their liberty, perhaps including the liberty of their spouse and children. It should also be noted that the birth of a child to a slave mother, whether or not the father was free, resulted in slavery for the child. In fact, abandonment of undesired newborn children was not infrequently practiced in Egypt and the Near East, and has also been attested in Greco-Roman Egypt."

    "Another way that one could be come a slave ... was rather the results of their inability to pay off debt.

    Not only did the debtor become a slave, but also his children, and in addition, he or she also gave up all that they owned. However, at other times peasants might sell themselves into slavery for food or shelter."

    http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/slaves.htm

    We have advanced a lot since then, for instance, the law generally doesn't unreasonably punish people for criminal actions of others just because those others are related.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Whether the laws are heavy handed or not, it's ridiculous to compare them to slavery, religious persecution or the Apartheid. Who's being murdered? Got hyperbole?"

    There is nothing wrong with comparing any two things and I am certainly not saying that slavery or any of this is the same thing as copyright or wrong on the same level, just noting that social advancement seems inevitable and likewise, social advancement against ridiculous IP laws also seem inevitable.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (to continue where I left off), well I'm not Henry but I guess I was making the point for him.

     

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  75.  
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    Dan, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    I think the general train of thought is not that 'we are intitled to other people's hard work', but rather 'we the public are intitled to other people's hard work in exchange for the previously provided monopoly priviledge'.

    Copyright is only granted under the condition that it be released to enrich the cultuture of the people and promote the progress of the nation. That agreement has been corrupted. In the corporate world, that would be called breach of contract.

    No one would let their bank extend their mortgage on a whim, yet artists representatives continue to delay the fulfillment of the original contract. Why honor a contract the other party has already broken?

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Morality and Ethics

    "Various pressures (certainly lobbying by self-interested groups pushing laws in a particular direction) tend to build up a wall of resentment when it goes too far and then the pendulum swings the other way and nothing that lobbying can do will bring it back. "

    and when the pendulum swings back away from IP, it will swing with as much force as it swing in its favor.

    As more and more people realize how ridiculous the laws in place are and as the laws eventually find their way out then society will start to realize the true benefit of their absence and this will cause the remaining laws to disappear more rapidly and when they do and society has realized the true benefit of not having such ridiculous laws the thought of having any IP instated will seem as unlikely as the thought of restoring laws enforcing slavery seem today. The idea will basically be unheard of.

    But I suspect it will take a very long time and is very unlikely to happen within our generation even.

     

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  77.  
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    Dan, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re:

    That is another area media is stumbling. Make something a hassle, and otherwise paying customers will seek the easy [and sometimes illegal] alternatives. Steve Jobs grabbed the music industry not because of the label's insisted DRM {that did help}, but rather an easy distribution and consumption system.

    "I can buy only the singles I want, I can listen to my whole collection without changing one CD, and I can carry it all in my pocket. That's progress!!!"

     

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  78.  
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    bishboria (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It's hard to argue that people have an unfounded sense of entitlement when media companies are the ones having the laws adapted to fit their business model, rather than adapting their business to fit the market."

    A very good point, that isn't highlighted enough!

     

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  79.  
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    bishboria (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    Re:

    I'm glad the cavemen got paid to produce their art, tools, stories, etc, otherwise we'd all be screwed!

     

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  80.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re:

    'Heart of cancer', there's a bizarre twist to the issue of mixed metaphors.

    "Not liking the law is never an excuse for disobeying it when there legitamite ways to address the concerns."

    The law is a means to an end, you talk about it like it is an end in itself. 'Don't like the law? Use the law to change it!' I think I'd rather use my brain and decide for myself what the best course of action is. Besides, "legitimate ways" includes lobbying, I don't really want to roll around in the mud with the people who got us in this mess in the first place.

     

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  81.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "There is nothing wrong with comparing any two things"

    I'd disagree somewhat with that. If you're comparing two things just to create an association then that can be a sneaky way to make your opposition look bad. However in this case the comparison is being used to refute the view that civil disobedience is always a bad thing, so it is well put.

     

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  82.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    "But don't say that it's moral or that you somehow compare to Ghandi, MLK, or Rosa Parks."

    So, they should do it in the belief that it is immoral? What a strange way to live. As for 'comparing to Ghandi', I've not seen anyone compare themselves with any of those people. I've seen plenty of people bring up their acts of civil disobedience for comparison, but that is in no way the same thing.

     

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  83.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > It's ridiculous to compare them to slavery, religious persecution
    > or the Apartheid. Who's being murdered?

    So basically you have now retreated from your original assertion that "self help" is de facto wrong. You now tacitly admit that there are situations where self help is not only ethically valid but actually desirable.

    So the only question we're left with is who gets to decide for all the rest of us which laws are okay to break and which ones aren't?

    Let me guess... you?

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So we're looking at a world where no one is rewarded for their work and the end of what has made the US great.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So we're looking at a world where no one is rewarded for their work"

    No, that's a strawman you made up.

    "and the end of what has made the US great"

    No, what made America great was the absence of ridiculous laws that other nations held, like ridiculous IP laws, but now those ridiculous laws have invaded our country and have completely ruined it. Now we want to restore America back to the way it was before IP maximists destroyed it.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What?

     

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  87.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > > > It's ridiculous to compare them to slavery, religious persecution
    > > > or the Apartheid. Who's being murdered?

    > > So basically you have now retreated from your original assertion
    > > that "self help" is de facto wrong. You now tacitly admit that
    > > there are situations where self help is not only ethically valid
    > > but actually desirable.

    > > So the only question we're left with is who gets to decide for
    > > all the rest of us which laws are okay to break and which ones
    > > aren't?

    > > Let me guess... you?

    > What?

    So basically you have now retreated from your original assertion that "self help" is de facto wrong. You now tacitly admit that there are situations where self help is not only ethically valid but actually desirable.

    So the only question we're left with is who gets to decide for all the rest of us which laws are okay to break and which ones aren't?

    Let me guess... you?

     

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  88.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Mike .... Minor edit required in you posting

    "He argues that there are a variety of reasons"

    should read

    "SHE argues that there are a variety of reasons"


    Fixed.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    "With the way people, like you, look at being entitled to something generated from other peoples hard word, it's not much of a jump to think that eventually you'll think it's OK to use your neighbors grill, pool, etc. without asking."

    Ah the slippery slope fallacy. Few people who copy would feel entitled to use someone Else's grill because it doesn't belong to them. With digital goods they just make their own copies.

    Also, sweat of the brow is not the standard for ownership. If it was you'd have to get permission from your tv's manufacturer before you could sell it.

     

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  90.  
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    IronMask (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Hardly Surprising

    "Michael Geist points us to the rather surprising news"

    Umm, hardly surprising when you neglected to mention the topic for the essay competition was in fact "Is it OK to download music, movies and games without paying?". Considering that ALL 80 entries were on the exact same topic it would be logical to assume that the winner would also be on that topic no?

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Hardly Surprising

    Quite frankly I find it stunning that Mr. Geist even draws attention to an essay written by someone in high school.

    Seriously, has he now turned to citing anything he can find that in his academic mind lends support to his view "See, I am right and you are wrong."

    What is next? Perhaps something written by a 6th grade student?

    Mr. Geist consistently makes Mr. Lessig look like a conservative.

     

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  92.  
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    anonymous, Feb 20th, 2010 @ 1:09am

    No matter what her essay said, even if it rings true, I could never justify file sharing. It is just stealing in my eyes. No other way I can look at it.

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2010 @ 2:12am

    "No matter what her essay said, even if it rings true, I could never justify file sharing. It is just stealing in my eyes."

    Even if it's authorized by the copyright holder? Might want to word your sentences better next time.

    Actually, there was a time when copying any work was considered evil even if it was the original author doing the copying.(people though the perfect copies of books they were seeing pop up was black magic, hehe)

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2010 @ 2:15am

    Re:

    *people thought the perfect copies of books they were seeing pop up were created with black magic*

    Me, taking my own advice? It's more likely than you think.

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2010 @ 2:19am

    What a useless article. Ethics aren't an absolute, I'll decide for myself what I consider "wrong."

     

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  96.  
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    Tom, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Ethics, hardly

    The argument that this is an ethical decision is ridiculous.

    The user, in this case, is making a marketing, sales and distribution decision for the owner of property who is not asking for help in making that decision. Just as if I leave my door unlocked and you walk move in, you cannot somehow say that it is ethically sound that you now live in my home because you are, say, helping me by cleaning while you are there or protecting it from other (providing me some unsolicited service).

    If I create a creative work, I own it, period. If i choose to give it away, or solicit others to help me in marketing it, those are my decisions also.

    To steal something that is not offered for free and is clearly owned by me is wrong. That is it easy does not make it right. That one rationalizes as somehow helping me does not make it right either, nor ethical.

     

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  97.  
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    Big Bear, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    I don't understand

    I have read many of the comments here. I see a lot of comparisons of file sharing to civil rights and the repeal of slavery etc...

    When you steal my songs of the internet, you are infringing upon my right to control my own works. I don't see how this can be interpreted any other way. If you feel like spending hours and years developing something only to give it away, then more power to you. Every musician of consequence over the last thousand years, from Von Bingen to Beethoven to Lennon, were paid for their efforts either directly or through royalties, or both. Many great works only came into being from direct commission, not from some desire for information to be "free". Is there anyone on this board that can explain to me how stealing IP is justified in any context? I mean seriously, I can't believe some of the strained attempts to rationalize pure greed that I find here.

     

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  98.  
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    Paul King, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    There's hope for rationality yet if sufficient numbers of the next generation take this view on copyright. Big Bear makes a point about musicians getting paid. Music didn't start when IP laws were introduced and musicians earned a living long before they were. Greed is doing something once (such as writing a song) and then demanding to get paid for it over and over for the insanely long period copyright now lasts for.

     

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  99.  
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    Big Bear, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re: I don't understand

    No Paul,

    Your greed blinds you to simple truths. Stealing is taking something that does not belong to you. If I write something, I should have the legal right to control it for as long as possible. Period. You are not entitled to my work. I spent the money to record it, I spent the years honing my craft and sacrificing stable paying jobs so that I can create music. I spent many hours and lots of money trying to market my material. Just because you can take it does not make it right. If you like what I do, and I have decided to charge you for it, then it is your decision to pay for it or not to have it. This is the way commerce works. You have the freedom and the right to walk away and not purchase what I am selling - you do not have the right to just take it. We musicians are not your slaves - we deserve to be paid and make as much money as anyone else. Again, can anyone offer a logical justification for stealing IP? Anyone?

    I didn't think so...

     

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  100.  
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    Phil E. Drifter, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 3:13pm

    Re: 'loose'

    You should 'loose' your job over your horrendous spelling.

     

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    Fathuk-eud, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Delusional rationalization

    Relax, Starchy. Listen, a law is not the essence of any morality. It is but a reflection of a few things, from the power structure in place passing the law at the time, the values thereof, and at best, a reflection of the modern outlook on right and wrong. Law attempts morality, but is imperfect, and always open to reinterpretation. An unjust law may attempt to control you in ways that are wrong. A court may decide that is the case after many years. An individual may choose to act in accordance with their understanding of truth in the moment. This makes them self-actualized, not so much a soldier and devotee, as you present.

     

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  102.  
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    jjons, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    spoken like a student who has no bills to pay

    simple: if you pay for music, you enable more music to get made.

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    Re: greed

    you're so right. the Beatles should have been happy with just the money from the very first person to buy each of their records.

    of course, that first few bucks... wouldn't have lasted very long... and Sgt. Pepper's (etc) would never have been able to be made...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 5:16pm

    Re:

    it would be interesting to see if this student writer feels she should be paid if she ever tries to make a living as a songwriter. or a novelist, a director, or a painter. all art should be free, right? (so easy to say when: 1) you have no bills to pay 2) you don't make art full time.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Re:

    but say in the future you/your friends are earning a living from selling your carefully-crafted, home-manufactured items... and suddenly (hypothetically) a technology comes along where those items can be downloaded for free by anyone? you find out that ten thousand people have in their living room the coffee table you designed, and they got it for nothing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 21st, 2010 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: I don't understand

    "Again, can anyone offer a logical justification for stealing IP? Anyone?"

    Why would anyone want to do that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    there are now many, many places to buy music very, very cheaply via the internet. there are no excuses for illegal downloading.

    it hurts all musicians, perhaps indies the worst. the money they would make from people actually paying for their music rather than d'loading could help them enormously (even if it was a small amount)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Morality and Ethics

    "For those that say the artists aren't being paid and it will die...so what. Art for art's sake won't die if the protectionist incumbents roll over and die. "

    sure, art for art's sake won't die. and who wants to listen to someone who can commit a great deal of time to creating good art (for example a paid professional?)... i'm going to have fun listening to the weekend jam-bands, lawyers singing karaoke and so on...

    i mean, why should surgeons be paid? i'd be just as happy with the guy who does heart surgery in an around his day job, i'm sure he'd be just as good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 21st, 2010 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Ethics, hardly

    "Just as if I leave my door unlocked and you walk move in, you cannot somehow say that it is ethically sound that you now live in my home because you are, say, helping me by cleaning while you are there or protecting it from other (providing me some unsolicited service)."

    I thought I'd seen all the poor analogies on this subject; please point out to me where infringing someone's copyright compares to infringing on someone's living space? It seems obvious to me that if someone is infringing on your living space they are taking your living space away from you. However, were they to create their own copy of your living space from the diagrams given to them by someone else.. I fail to see the harm.

    "If I create a creative work, I own it, period. If i choose to give it away, or solicit others to help me in marketing it, those are my decisions also."

    Indeed you do. What you do not own is other peoples copies of that work. There is a big difference between tangible property, where by giving something away you are giving up ownership of it, and intellectual property, where to give something away you would have to sign papers saying you no longer own it.

    "To steal something that is not offered for free and is clearly owned by me is wrong. That is it easy does not make it right. That one rationalizes as somehow helping me does not make it right either, nor ethical."

    The old 'to steal is wrong no matter how I use the word' argument. Next time you see a bargain don't buy it, because getting something at a low price is also called stealing. Unless it's a dictionary, in which case you can use your incarceration to look the word up and point out that the judge is an idiot at appeal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    identicon
    TDR, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    Yes, and the RIAA is busy trying to shut down as many of those places as they possibly can. Or forcing them to sell only DRM-laden lower-quality files.

    You really need to learn about consumer psychology, as it doesn't seem to be your strong point, AC. Obscurity is far worse for any artist than any so called "piracy" could ever be. Make it easy for your fans/customers to share your work, make it easy for them to enjoy it in the way they want, treat them well and with respect, and many of them WILL pay a reasonable price for your work and/or the surrounding scarcities if you do it right.

    Copies of a work are NOT the work itself. I will say this again. Copies of a work are NOT the work itself. Free distribution of digital copies is free marketing, and can work incredibly well for a creator if he or she is smart on how they approach it. When people can get a look at your work without any risk, they'll be much more willing to pay a reasonable price for it if they like it, which if your work is any good, many will. And they'll also be willing in many cases to pay for any related scarcities as well. It comes down to Mike's formula, really - connect with fans, give them a reason to buy, and they will buy more often than not.

    Time to join us in the 21st century, AC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 21st, 2010 @ 6:31pm

    Re:

    "No matter what her essay said, even if it rings true, I could never justify file sharing. It is just stealing in my eyes. No other way I can look at it."

    At least you're honest about it. I respect that.

    I can only suppose the reason that people see it as stealing is the association with so called free-loaders. What I see is that those who share the most tend to dislike free-loaders within the sharing community itself. Both strive for a better way of doing things and both have different perspectives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 21st, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: greed

    "you're so right. the Beatles should have been happy with just the money from the very first person to buy each of their records."

    You mean, no one wanted to support them after they listened to the music? And when they bought subsequent albums they were gambling on those being better? I'm not sure you have the right band.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  113.  
    icon
    herodotus (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 7:11am

    "Your greed blinds you to simple truths."

    And your sense of need seems to blind you to some more complex truths.


    "Stealing is taking something that does not belong to you."

    Well, in the colloquial sense, sure. But in the legal sense, infringing on someone's copyright by making a digital copy is distinct from actually stealing a physical object like a book or CD.

    "If I write something, I should have the legal right to control it for as long as possible."

    I realize that this is a strong feeling among creative people. I felt this way for a long time myself. But it is a feeling that will only lead to endless frustration.

    "You are not entitled to my work. I spent the money to record it, I spent the years honing my craft and sacrificing stable paying jobs so that I can create music. I spent many hours and lots of money trying to market my material."

    No one is entitled to your work, this is true. But then, you aren't entitled to compensation just because you have worked hard. It isn't fair, but then, many things in life aren't fair. Thinking about the injustice of it all is another mental habit that will lead to frustration and little else.




    "Just because you can take it does not make it right"

    No, but it does make it inevitable.

    "If you like what I do, and I have decided to charge you for it, then it is your decision to pay for it or not to have it."

    Would that this were so. But it no longer is. This is reality.

    "This is the way commerce works. You have the freedom and the right to walk away and not purchase what I am selling - you do not have the right to just take it."

    Here is the problem with that: people aren't constrained by your sense of right and wrong.

    "We musicians are not your slaves - we deserve to be paid and make as much money as anyone else."

    Do we?

    Pay has nothing to with 'deserve'. Does Derek Jeter deserve to get payed more than a whole high school's worth of teachers? No. But he does.

    And it's true that we aren't slaves. And yet, just a short time ago, we had to sign contracts that bordered on indentured servitude, just to get access to the apparatus of making and distributing music. We no longer have to. This is a pretty big counterweight to the widespread 'stealing' that so annoys you that many of us musicians forget.

    "Again, can anyone offer a logical justification for stealing IP? Anyone?

    I didn't think so..."


    No one here spends much time trying to 'justify' anything.

    Here's the deal: there is good reason to believe that, however annoying file sharing might be to you, it is never going to stop. Indignation won't work, nor will putting people in jail. Now you might think this is untrue, but there sure is a lot of evidence that points the other way that you might want to consider.

    In any case, what Mike is trying to do is not justify filesharing, but rather to help 'content creators' (how I loath that term) cope with these changes, and turn them to their advantage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114.  
    icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), Feb 22nd, 2010 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I wasn't comparing atrocities to file-sharing. My comment wasn't even about file-sharing. It was about ethics. Re-read it, and quit being an idiot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  115.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ethics and Law don't mix

    ""Copies of a work are NOT the work itself. I will say this again. Copies of a work are NOT the work itself. Free distribution of digital copies is free marketing, and can work incredibly well for a creator if he or she is smart on how they approach it. When people can get a look at your work without any risk, they'll be much more willing to pay a reasonable price for it if they like it, which if your work is any good, many will. And they'll also be willing in many cases to pay for any related scarcities as well. It comes down to Mike's formula, really - connect with fans, give them a reason to buy, and they will buy more often than not.""

    The above is clearly written by somebody with little experience in the matter. Even Radiohead couldn't get the majority of their rabid fans to actually pay for the album when 'free' was an option.

    What most of the people who argue for the 'it's free, deal with it' don't seem to understand is how hypocritical and hypermaterialistic they are. They'll argue that you can support the band by buying the t-shirt or other merchandise... well, the band started out to make MUSIC, not t-shirts. The song is not a vehicle to sell keychains.

    music is so cheap and easy to buy on iTunes, Amazon, etc. that there is no excuse not to spend a 99 cents to 'try out' a band, i.e. buy a song.

    And as for 'copies of the work not being the work itself'... well isn't that like saying, if i write e=mc squared on a piece of paper, that it is, in fact, not the same thing as the formula that made einstein famous? or if i copy out a sonnet by shakespeare, that it is in fact, not the same poem?

    back in the earlier times, things were clearly wrong (slavery, child labor), but people kept doing them until they were forced not too. perhaps new laws and enforcements on stealing digitally will do the same. when they started cracking down in sweden, there was a dramatic upswing on legitimate online music sales, for instance.

    in any case, at this point, there are many online venues to buy music very easily and cheaply-- nearly everything, from popular to obscure. what is so hard about buying music? i bet most people drop 30 bucks a week on coffee, or beer, and think nothing of it (but pee it out 10 minutes after consumption.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116.  
    identicon
    atom, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re:

    that's been said... "One may well ask: How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others? The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." -- Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  117.  
    identicon
    brix, May 28th, 2010 @ 12:59am

    Re:Essay Contest

    Writing an essay in the form of argument is really an amazing one. It's a good thing that the judges of the essay content have an open mind. The writer tackles the topic knowing the fact that the world would be against him. But the flow of his essay explains everything--unethical turned morally justified.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118.  
    identicon
    Minnesota Attorney, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 10:30pm

    file sharing may be illegal, but it's not ethically wrong.

    File share can't be considered as ethically wrong. Not wrong, just illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119.  
    identicon
    Essay Writing services online, Jan 1st, 2011 @ 4:52am

    Essay Writing services online

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  120.  
    identicon
    Knutselen, Jan 1st, 2011 @ 5:38pm

    Not liking the law is never an excuse for disobeying it when there legitamite ways to address the concerns.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  121.  
    identicon
    aankoopmakelaar tilburg, Jan 8th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re:Essay Contest

    I have been looking for a rare blog because I am tired of accessing almost the same topic discussed in a website. This blog is actually hitting what I want to expect. I am very glad that you are now providing the information where I am hunting for many days of surfing the net. Thanks for these posts. aankoopmakelaar from aankoopmakelaar tilburg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  122.  
    identicon
    website development, Apr 1st, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Yes it occurred to me that this paper was instead arguing that unauthorized file sharing and the laws surrounding it ought to be taken to the courts and legislature in order to remedy this legal/ethical dis congruity..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  123.  
    identicon
    business training, Apr 4th, 2011 @ 1:23am

    Yes!

    business training. It is a blink decision it was made by them. May be it can be change for the next competition. Hoping that this kind of issue will solve.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  124.  
    identicon
    buy lomotil, Aug 11th, 2011 @ 6:13am

    Good steps have been used in this article. By giving these type of examples we can easily understand what the writter is saying in this article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  125.  
    identicon
    dealer license, Sep 20th, 2011 @ 1:08am

    appreciate on your positive points

    this one is your very nice work for competition on the topic of wining essay in high school this kind of steps rarely taken by the people so kindly go ahead for more

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  126.  
    identicon
    dealer license, Sep 20th, 2011 @ 1:08am

    appreciate on your positive points

    this one is your very nice work for competition on the topic of wining essay in high school this kind of steps rarely taken by the people so kindly go ahead for more

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  127.  
    identicon
    web application development, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 2:18am

    website design

    great post full of valuable knowledge

    website creation | ecommerce website development

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  128.  
    identicon
    7;o, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    70;

    wooooooooo

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  129.  
    identicon
    ACCA Courses Provider, Oct 25th, 2011 @ 3:30am

    ACCA Paper

    I don't support file sharing, but its up to them to decide what to do and everyone has his own point of view, why not to express it in the essay?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  130.  
    identicon
    ACCA Courses Provider, Oct 25th, 2011 @ 3:33am

    ACCA Paper

    I don't support file sharing, but its up to them to decide what to do and everyone has his own point of view, why not to express it in the essay? Online ACCA courses are a convenient way to get British diploma.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  131.  
    identicon
    bedrijf, Feb 25th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    bedrijf

    Well, this is interesting. Despite the various biased, one-sided, “education programs” designed by the entertainment industry for schools, it seems that plenty of students are smart enough to make ethical decisions in a more nuanced and understanding fashion

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  132.  
    identicon
    aleem, Mar 7th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Travel

    great post gave good information me

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  133.  
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    Term Paper Topics, Mar 14th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    Good information, valuable and excellent posting as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.

     

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  134.  
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    Neha, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:34am

    WEBSITE

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  135.  
    identicon
    Opvoedadvies, Dec 24th, 2012 @ 3:57am

    Opvoeden

    The money must come from somewhere, and for decades it has come from consumers. But with the advent of "file sharing", anyone with an internet connection can have access to almost any piece of music without paying a cent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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