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Ethics of Downloading Music; need some opinions on this

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The problem is that for the first time in the history of any concept of authorship and intellectual property, we have reached a critical stage where the cost and effort of mass reproduction by an individual is often less than the cost of purchasing a copy of said property.

When the printing press was invented, most people did not have their own, and it was a complex device even for those who did (for it's day). The idea of purchasing a book and producing a copy of it would have been so cost-prohibitive as to have been a completely ludicrous idea. It was expensive enough in those days to even own a book, much less the equipment (or people) to be able to reproduce that book.

Even twenty years ago, the idea of recording albums to tape was a time consuming process. As compared to the cost of buying a record album, or later a CD, it was not reasonable for most people to be bothered copying that CD to tape... Copies generally had to be made in real-time unless you had specialized equipment, which was time consuming, and it still required the purchase of blank cassettes and some messing around with hooking up a tape player to a turntable or CD player -- not difficult, but certainly something that was not often worth people's time.

Further, you had to either wait for a song you liked to play on the radio and record it from there, or personally know somebody who owned a copy (or had a copy). This also made it far more troublesome to bother copying audio or video recordings.

Enter the Internet and the age of digital audio and video.... For the first time, obtaining music is often as simple as clicking a button on a web page.... and this applies to both illegal and legal sources of music. In fact, cost aside the iTunes Store makes it easier than most P2P networks do to locate and purchase music online (as evidenced by the large quantity of tracks I've impulsively bought from there ;) ).

The problem is that this issue has crept up on just about everybody, and the lawmakers, copyright holders, and consumers are now scrambling to find the best ways to deal with this new world order. Obviously, each group has their own views as to what the rules of engagement should be.

As we have already discussed, however, physical and intellectual property analogies are most imperfect ways in which to draw these lines. A physical product is a finite resource. Intellectual property in the digital age is not a finite resource. Therefore, while I think any person with a moral/ethical base can agree that it's not right to take the fruit of somebody else's labour without compensation (to paraphrase Jacko's words), the problem is the definition of what exactly constitutes the "taking" of that.

The RIAA would have us believe that every time we listen to a song we are somehow expected to pay for it. In a world where they were given carte blanche in making laws, we would have pay-per-play music... Buy a CD for $15, and you can only listen to it 20 times before that music expires and then you have to buy another CD if you want to listen to it again. In other words, they would follow the "bread" analogy, thus turning intellectual property into a finite resource and treating it as physical property.

Fortunately, however, the RIAA (and MPAA) don't make the laws, despite their attempts to insinuate themselves into the lawmaking process.

On the other side of the coiin, you have the somewhat anarchist camp that continually screams that information demands to be free, as if somehow implying that artists should not be in any way compensated for their works, but should conduct themselves in servitude to the public interest. Obviously, this is not a rational point of view in a modern economy either.

To really have an intelligent discussion about the ethical issues around copyright, I think we need to boil this down to what the intent of copyright is. Physical property is sold because it has intrinsic, tangible, and physical value. In a free market economy, a product is manufactured or created in some way, and then sold for whatever the market will bear. For each item that is sold, some cost is incurred in producing that item. Therefore, when an item is taken without proper right or compensation, that item must be replaced, and cost is incurred in replacing that item.

Copyright, on the other hand, does not exist in any way due to tangible costs of the intellectual property.... Costs to develop and produce certainly exist, but the intellectual property is without tangible physical value. Copyright was never developed with the intention or idea that a work has any intrinsic property value in and of itself, nor was copyright even developed with the core intent that creators should be compensated for their work. Compensation was a secondary consideration to the real goal of copyright.

The earliest legal construct of copyright, on which most of our current system has been based, was found in the Statute of Anne in 1709, which stated a primary goal of copyright as being "for the Encouragement of Learned Men to Compose and Write useful Books" This same principle was vested in the United States Constitution in the powers of Congress "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;"

It is interesting to note that prior to the enactment of the Statute of Anne, authors had no copyright vested in their works, but rather sold their manuscripts to a printing company, which then had a monopoly on all future productions of their work. Authors were not even given the rights to self-publish their own works.

Sounds all too familiar, doesn't it? Replace "authors" with "musicians" and "Stationers Company" with RIAA and you have a very similar situation now playing itself out in the music industry, albeit with quite a few more checks and balances than would have existed in the 17th century.

The key point here, however, is that it is not the goal of copyright to make anybody rich, or to force payment for the use of intellectual property. It is the goal of copyright to protect the rights of the authors and give them exclusive determination in how their works are distributed. By ensuring that artists are given credit for their art in whatever form, more artists are encouraged to produce and undertake artistic endeavours.

Now, this still leaves a multitude of grey areas, which ultimately come down to "right of use".... In the pre-digital world, copyright was a very simple thing.... Right-of-use was vested in a physical item, and terms of use were generally unlimited (you can read a book as often as you like, or listen to a CD as often as you like). Transfer of that physical item also implied transferral of the right-of-use. Second-hand sales of physical items were accepted and handled in much the same way as second-hand sales of physical property.

The fact is that no copyright law or principle has ever been intended to restrict consumption of intellectual property -- merely copying and distribution. By the strictest definition, the only person entitled to make copies of a copyrighted work is the holder of the copyright. They produce a finite number of copies, and they sell those copies. In a fully copyright compliant world, standard rules of economics would suggest that the more copies they produce, the lower the value of each copy, although realistically today most copies are sold at a fixed price that the market will bear.

The point is, however, that when selling a CD, you are transferring an authorized copy. There is nothing in copyright that specifically restricts or prevents your ability to do this (in fact, the U.S. Copyright Act has a specific exemption for this purpose). The principle is that an authorized copy is an authorized copy. Second-hand CDs were authorized by the original copyright holder, and the transfer of said CD is a transfer of that copy of the intellectual property and all of it's associated rights and privileges of use.

The problem in an era of digital music is that in many cases the physical medium no longer exists. What then represents our "right-of-use" for that intellectual property? The fact that we physically have the file is certainly compelling, particularly in light of DRM restrictions, which effectively "bind" that file to our ownership in the same way that music on a CD was bound to our ownership by possession of the physical property. In fact, this is a rather compelling argument in favour of some form of DRM, or at least digital signature on the files -- it proves right-of-use in a way that would be very difficult to accomplish with non-DRM music (obviously this could be accomplished without actually restricting fair use of that content by simply applying a non-removable digital signature or serial number that traces the file back to it's point of purchase).

Ultimately, however, when the dust settles, the spirit of copyright law is that artists must be recognized for their efforts in a way that encourages and promoted artists to engage in artistic endeavours. Exclusive rights of copy, first sale, and reproduction are therefore vested in the artists and their representatives to ensure that they receive this recognition, which in today's economy occurs in the form of monetary compensation.

Ultimately, in my opinion, and contrary to what the RIAA would suggest, if the creators and artists (and their legal agents, which the RIAA technically is for many) are receiving their just and fair compensation for this, as defined by both the spirit and letter of copyright law (not their opinions of what compensation for use of the intellectual property should be), then I think our ethical responsibilities have been met.
 

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Jackonicko said:
The obvious problem is that too many people copy CDs and then keep the content in some format and then sell the original.
That is a rather minute problem in comparison to those who place a copy on P2P sites for thousands to download.

In any case, it's clear that by downloading you are:

Taking the fruit of someone else's labour, without their permission, and without paying them their agreed price.

How can anyone seriously justify that?
If its just something one does as a substitute to purchase a song, its clearly unjustified. Its unfortunate that there is no agreed upon price for a single listen (or a very limited number).

If someone does buy music, I think they deserve credit for that just as much as they deserve admonishment for what they keep and don't buy.

From an ethical standpoint, its clear that you feel guilt is an either/or matter, while most of us see it as a sliding scale. We are guilty to the extent we are doing wrong, and innocent to the extent that we are doing right.
 
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Glorybox3737

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Jackonicko said:
"To get the discussion back on the topic of downloading (and hopefully off the topic of bread)...."

OK, BDB, if you prefer:

"If you take the fruit of someone else's labour, without their permission, and if you do not pay them their agreed price for it, then you are stealing."

Most of us do buy second hand books and CDs, and I certainly do. I can see why copyright owners don't like it, but at least thay have been paid once for one physical product.

The obvious problem is that too many people copy CDs and then keep the content in some format and then sell the original.

Moreover, the CD is designed not as a desirable object in its own right, but is intended as a vehicle for delivering one copy of the music to one individual. Second hand sales get around the intent of the copyright owners.

In any case, it's clear that by downloading you are:

Taking the fruit of someone else's labour, without their permission, and without paying them their agreed price.

How can anyone seriously justify that?

Buying used cd's is the same thing as downloading music from p2p. I don't see how you can try to make the two seem different morally.

The only thing that is different is that 1) the cd is a physical product and 2)you're paying for it (although not paying the artist).

You argue about intellectual property...so just because the cd takes a physical form the music is no longer intellectual property??? That one used cd that you bought and kept is money not given to the artist. It may as well have been taken from a p2p.
 
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Actually, I'd argue that it's not the same thing at all, for a couple of reasons....

Firstly, selling used CDs is perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. In the U.S., there is a specific exemption for this under Section 109. This is also known as the "First-Sale Doctrine" It is not only legal, but acceptable in both the tradition and precedent of common law. Remember that copyright refers in it's most basic form as a "right to copy" Selling a CD is not making a new copy, but transferring ownership of a legal copy.

The original CD is a copy authorized by the original holder of the copyright, and originally sold by the original holder of the copyright. The purchase of the CD conveys a right to use the intellectual property contained on that CD. When the CD is sold to another party, the right of use of that intellectual property is transferred to that other party.

Music placed on a P2P site is an unauthorized copy, made without proper right of copying or right of use (since the right to create copies is, for the most part, an exclusive right of the copyright holder).

Further, in almost every case, a music file placed on a P2P site is going to be consumed by more than one person.... From one original CD that was an authorized copy, hundreds or even thousands of additional copies are being made (every time the track is downloaded) without the authorization of the original copyright holder.

Naturally, the sale of a CD assumes that the person selling the CD is not keeping a copy of it. Obviously if the seller is retaining a copy of the music, then the P2P analogy would be correct, and this would be no better than downloading illegally, although in this case it would be the seller who is behaving improperly, not the buyer.

Whether or not the artist sees money from every second-hand sale is not the issue here, and never has been. The only consideration really is whether the material changing hands is an authorized copy, or whether additional copies are being made without authorization.
 

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jhollington said:
Whether or not the artist sees money from every second-hand sale is not the issue here, and never has been.
This thread is about ethics, so I would argue that it is very much the issue. Ethics isn't about covering your ###, its about doing the right thing. Doing something that is a net gain for the artist is far better than doing something that meets the requirements of some rules but does nothing for the people creating the music.

Buying used CDs is fine for placating lawsuit-happy labels (I get a lot of major label music that way), but they do nothing to help artists.
 
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Supporting artists is a laudable goal, but there is no precedent in any other aspect of economics or commerce whereby any originator, copyright holder, or manufacturer sees revenue beyond the initial production and sale of an item or commodity.

This is one area in which the analogy of intellectual property to physical goods is actually very appropriate.

Obviously manufacturers of goods do not see any revenue beyond the initial sale of an item. Nobody pays the manufacturer a "transfer" fee when selling a used item. Once the item has been produced and sold the first time, any subsequent resale of the item does not concern the original manufacturer.

Even the stock market works in this fashion. When a corporation decides to increase their capitalization by placing a block of shares on the market, they gain capital from the sale of that block of shares from the first sale. Every subsequent transfer of shares is on the open market between third-party sellers and buyers, and the corporation that issued those shares does not see a single cent from those sales.

I don't see why artists should be treated any differently in this respect as far as the normal patterns of commerce apply. A CD has been produced and sold on the market. When that CD changes hands, the artist and label may not see any of the revenue, but as long as the original copy is changing hands and no other copies have been made, the demand for the product has not in any way changed... One copy of that CD is being exchanged.... The demand may have moved from one person to another, but the reality is that the same number of copies remain in existence.

When you buy a used CD, you are not violating any copyrights -- more accurately you are not in any way violating the rights of the artist or the record label in doing this, since all you are doing is transferring the right to use that intellectual property from one person to another. When you download a track from a P2P service, you have violated the rights of the artist/label to exclusively control how many copies of their intellectual property exist, and have created additional copies that the artist is entitled to see revenue for.

The moral issue is not solely about supporting the artists. That's certainly an important goal, but the reality is that buying a used CD and downloading from a P2P service cannot be compared on the same moral level... The CD that changes hands was produced by the artist, and is an authorized copy. The artist and/or label has no more right to realize revenue from future sales of that copy then Apple does to take a percentage of second-hand iPods.

From the sole point of view of whether the artist is seeing revenue or not, then getting music from anywhere other than a brand new shrink-wrapped CD or authorized electronic download service is going to be "wrong", but the fact is that there is a great deal more to it then simply that one question. If this were simply about supporting the artists, then listening to the radio could be construed as just as wrong as buying a second-hand CD, since the artist doesn't realize any extra revenue from radio listeners (sure, the radio station pays a licensing fee, but so did the person who originally bought the CD).

Where do you draw this line? How many times is it okay to listen to a CD? What about loaning your CDs to friends? None of these directly support the artist beyond the initial purchase of the CD, and there is only the fuzziest of distinctions between selling a CD and loaning it to somebody.

Ultimately, the problem is with drawing the line between copying and consumption, and this is a line that gets fuzzier with every new media technology. If you own a legitimate copy, there is no limitation imposed by copyright law or any other principle that restricts how often whoever happens to be holding that CD can listen to the music on it. Further, there are so many other legitimate channels by which copyrighted music can be heard (consumed) as to make the line seem even fuzzier.

In the end, if you choose to support the artists through whatever means you choose, by all means you should do so... There are times I've deliberately bought somewhat redundant albums (ie, albums with songs I already have on other albums), just because I liked the music and wanted to support the artist, and while I don't think I've ever bought a second-hand CD, I would be very likely to go out and buy a new copy if it were music that I liked.

I think showing support for the artists one likes is a wonderful idea, but suggesting that it's morally wrong to buy a second-hand CD is suggesting that the artists are owed something which they simply are not.
 

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Glorybox3737 said:
Buying used cd's is the same thing as downloading music from p2p. I don't see how you can try to make the two seem different morally.

The only thing that is different is that 1) the cd is a physical product and 2)you're paying for it (although not paying the artist).

You argue about intellectual property...so just because the cd takes a physical form the music is no longer intellectual property??? That one used cd that you bought and kept is money not given to the artist. It may as well have been taken from a p2p.
This thread started to bore me a little, but I had to make a comment on this.

Buying 2nd hand cds is a long way off p2p. The original owner of the cd purchased it legally, and is selling off a used, no longer required item, not putting it up on a site that 1,000s can download for nothing.

I do buy 2nd hand, mostly out of print cds. It's just not worth buying 2nd hand for current cds as they go on special rather quickly here.

I've paid $30 for a rare, out of print, 4 track EP, and I'm totally satisfied I did the right thing. I could have, if I had the tools (the program), gone and downloaded it illegally, but I didn't. I count this as support for an artist, even if they have only had one bite of the cherry in the initial sale. I can take that 2nd hand cd to his concert and try to get a signature on it. Do you think he'd sign a burnt cd full of illegally downloaded songs? There is the answer right there. ;)
 

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I never said that purchasing second-hand CDs is "wrong", or comparable to P2P. I was just pointing out that its not comparable to purchasing music that benefits the artist, either. I'm not sure if Glorybox3737 was trying to say that P2P is as "right" as second-hand CDs, or vice-versa.

I hadn't realized there was such a large contingent who view music purchases as pretty much the same as any other goods. I'm not sure how I came to the conclusion that what matters is whether the artist benefits. I don't assume my values to be correct, so I'm reconsidering how I discover new music. Its not a bad thing; it'll save me a lot of time and money.

Sorry to bore you Mel. :) Its a topic that obviously interests me, and I think the discussion has been good (though the participation has been unfortunately limited to a few people).

The unanswered question is really how the millions who download songs with no intent to ever buy them feel; I suspect they realize its immoral but just don't care - partly because of the loathesome music industry, but mainly because of greed.
 
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Well it only bored me because it's almost Déjà vu. It's so similar to the thread the other week. It's probably interesting to new members who weren't involved in the other thread, maybe, my excuse.

It's just all this talk about loaves of bread keeps making me want to go make some toast, heaped with butter & vegemite. :p
 

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jhollington said:
Actually, I'd argue that it's not the same thing at all, for a couple of reasons....

Firstly, selling used CDs is perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. In the U.S., there is a specific exemption for this under Section 109. This is also known as the "First-Sale Doctrine" It is not only legal, but acceptable in both the tradition and precedent of common law. Remember that copyright refers in it's most basic form as a "right to copy" Selling a CD is not making a new copy, but transferring ownership of a legal copy.

The original CD is a copy authorized by the original holder of the copyright, and originally sold by the original holder of the copyright. The purchase of the CD conveys a right to use the intellectual property contained on that CD. When the CD is sold to another party, the right of use of that intellectual property is transferred to that other party.

Music placed on a P2P site is an unauthorized copy, made without proper right of copying or right of use (since the right to create copies is, for the most part, an exclusive right of the copyright holder).

Further, in almost every case, a music file placed on a P2P site is going to be consumed by more than one person.... From one original CD that was an authorized copy, hundreds or even thousands of additional copies are being made (every time the track is downloaded) without the authorization of the original copyright holder.

Naturally, the sale of a CD assumes that the person selling the CD is not keeping a copy of it. Obviously if the seller is retaining a copy of the music, then the P2P analogy would be correct, and this would be no better than downloading illegally, although in this case it would be the seller who is behaving improperly, not the buyer.

Whether or not the artist sees money from every second-hand sale is not the issue here, and never has been. The only consideration really is whether the material changing hands is an authorized copy, or whether additional copies are being made without authorization.
That's just all the legal side of it. Legally yes second hand Cd's and P2P is different....but we are talking about morally. The bottom line is that the person buying the used copy isn't paying the Artist.

We all have albums that we get tired of after some time and sell them. Not every album is a keeper. But when we bought the cd we bought rights to the intellectual property. Those rights that we then sell is money taken from the artist pocket and placed into ours.

Buy deciding to sell that album, you've said that you have had your use out of it and release your rights to that intellectual property. So wouldn't the moral thing to do is to properly dispose of the album....letting the next person who wants that album buy those intellectual rights from the Artist?

My whole music collection...except perhaps five albums...is all used cd's. I do that because I don't want the RIAA getting a cent from me. I know that this hurts the artist. Morally I know that I am stealing from them...I don't kid myself.
 
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Well, that's where personal ethics come in. However, I would argue that morally you are not sealing from the artist, any more than you stealing from Apple when you buy a second-hand iPod.

Again, how fuzzy is that line? Are you stealing from the artist when you listen to their music on the radio? How about if you borrow a CD from a friend, or listen to it at a party? This could also be construed as "stealing from the artist" by your definition (you are, after all, listening to their music without compensating them for it).

The bottom line is that the artists and labels have always operated under the doctrine of first sale, and this is nothing new, nor is it any revelation to them. The have a right to revenue from the first sale of any copy that is produced. Transfer of ownership of those copies and the associated rights of use are out of their control beyond the first sale.

Downloading from a P2P service, or even making a copy from a friend is morally wrong because you now actually have taken away their right to receive compensation from that copy.

As much as I firmly believe in supporting the artists, I don't believe that the rules of commerce should be any different for the artists then they are for any other aspect of society.

Is it better to buy a new CD and support the artist? Absolutely, and I'm not arguing that fact. In reality, that's probably the best option. However, the best option is not necessarily the only morally correct or acceptable one.

To suggest that buying a second-hand CD is stealing from the artist is a very slippery slope, which can lead to the rationale that every use of a song must result in compensation for the artist.
 

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I agree with Jesse on this one. The artist's expectation is to sell the first one. Resale just doesn't fit into the business model. I didn't send Subaru a portion of the amount I got for selling my car, nor did I send the Doobie Brothers the money I got from selling a duplicate CD.

By contrast, the payment scheme for TV and commercial actors is set up differently. There's no direct linking of a payment to the initial use of the work at all. The actors get a fee for producing the work. If they're lucky and have good lawyers, they may get paid some amount for reuse.
 

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Please, let's not get into comparison with physical goods. Intellectual property laws and accepted behavior is different.

Second-hand CDs are considered acceptable because of previous socially-accepted practices, and to some extent by copyright law. Had intellectual property been handled differently in the past, most of us would probably see it differently. The practice of selling used intellectual property is one that the copyright holders often dislike, but accept as a fact of life.
 
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Yes, but in this case the comparison with physical goods is appropriate. This may be the only place where this analogy applies, but in this one case it truly does as far as the right of first sale applies.

Again, we're talking about socially acceptable practices, and the rights of artists as defined by our common law system (not just the letter of the law, but the tradition of the law). It is socially and legally acceptable to transfer right-of-use of intellectual property, not just for music, but for just about every other form of intellectual property (the only exception being computer software due to the concept of license agreements, but even this is an extremely grey area under the actual law, since this is little more than an implied contract, and there is room for debate on how binding such contracts can be).

The bottom line is that selling a used CD in no way violates the rights of the artist, as long as ALL right of use is transferred with the sale of the CD (in the same way that you can no longer read a book once you transfer ownership of it to somebody else).

Again, we're not talking about what is necessarily the best solution, and I'm a strong believer in supporting artists whose work I like, but I stop short of considering the legal transfer of intellectual property to be morally wrong.

The RIAA and other copyright holders may have the opinion on how the consumption of their copyrighted material should occur, but neither the letter nor spirit of copyright presently recognizes this, and in fact it is a solid principle of copyright that the rights of artists to control their work is neither absolute nor perpetual. The RIAA is merely a copyright holder, and they do not make the laws nor set policy, despite their tendency to imply otherwise.

It is the responsibility of those who make the laws to balance the rights of the copyright holders with the public interest.
 

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jhollington said:
The bottom line is that selling a used CD in no way violates the rights of the artist, as long as ALL right of use is transferred with the sale of the CD
So I guess this precludes ripping, and then reselling, as you would then not have passed on sole right of use.

h
 

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The_Extremist said:
I will be addressing both sides to be fair. Some ideas I already generated are:

Downloading is immoral:
- stealing a product
- hurting business

Downloading is moral:
- "sampling" content (similar to loaning a book from a library).
- getting "ripped off" from a purchase (paying $15 for what ends up to be a mediocre album)

Any more suggestions or elaborations on these ideas would be appreciated.

TIA for anyone's help.
Morals and ethics are not universal in my view. In short, what I may find acceptable you may find objectionable. However this is not enough as now we tread on thin ice. Music created by someone else, the rights to that music owned by someone else but being taken by me is considered theft. That is the way that I see it.

I know a few people in the industry so I have a somewhat inside view of the music industry. While record companies cry foul we are led to believe that the artists is starving and my downloading is losing the artist money. That is not the case nor is it the answer to your request but it was needed for me to state in order to make my point clearer.

Why do I download? $15-19 a cd is asking too much. Some cds only have 2 maybe 3 really good tracks, the rest are mediocre at best. And you want me to pay how much? :eek: I don't consider p2p downloading stealing. I don't have an actual cd with album art and jewel case that the record company spend money producing. So how am I stealing? In the 80's people put tapes in their recorders taping off of the radio. You can still do it now, of course who would want to use such an outdated technology but the possibility exists. We can capture streams for our ipods now. Same principle with a newer technology.

Hurting business. It's not hurting my business, it is saving me money. Big business always fights change when they see their profits decline, yet instead of trying to figure out a new business model or alter the current one to move along with technology we are forced to use an aging model that no longer works.

Record companies can not stop the advance of technology. Technology gives the consumer choice. It is choice that hurts the industry. For example, the telecommunications industry in the US was dominated by AT&T for long distance and the Baby Bells in the local markets. Consumers had to pay what the carrier said, or they would not have a phone. Plus the customer service was horrible. Once the government broke up the choke hold these companies had on the industry, offering a chance for competition the consumers benefitted the most. AT&T is still around so are the Baby Bells but so are hundreds of others, everyone still makes money but now they actually have to offer more services and better overall customer service to make their money.

That's my take on it. Downloading as much as possible is forcing the industry to notice people are not happy with the current state of affairs. Now we need to put more pressure of the industry to usher in changes that will benenfit you and me. People listen very carefully when you hurt them where it hurts the most. In their wallet.
 

bdb

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From the sounds of your 'insiders' in the music industry, I don't get the impression that they are noticing that people are unhappy with the current state of affairs. It seems they really just learning that people are basically immoral and must be controlled...and the government needs to help. From their comments on the DMCA, it also seems that they're hoping DRM & encryption technology can open an opportunity to force us to buy multiple copies of the same thing. Eyes don't appear to be opening.
 

LukeA

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bdb said:
From the sounds of your 'insiders' in the music industry, I don't get the impression that they are noticing that people are unhappy with the current state of affairs. It seems they really just learning that people are basically immoral and must be controlled...and the government needs to help. From their comments on the DMCA, it also seems that they're hoping DRM & encryption technology can open an opportunity to force us to buy multiple copies of the same thing. Eyes don't appear to be opening.
They just need to hit rock bottom first. Sales will have to tank before record companies decide that people want something different than what they get now. The music business model is ill-suited for this economy where users are creating content for themselves. These record companies remind me of GM a few years ago, when they offered a lineup of generally poor cars and expected consumers to buy them in quantity.
 

Glorybox3737

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jhollington said:
Actually, I'd argue that it's not the same thing at all, for a couple of reasons....

Firstly, selling used CDs is perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. In the U.S., there is a specific exemption for this under Section 109. This is also known as the "First-Sale Doctrine" It is not only legal, but acceptable in both the tradition and precedent of common law. Remember that copyright refers in it's most basic form as a "right to copy" Selling a CD is not making a new copy, but transferring ownership of a legal copy.

The original CD is a copy authorized by the original holder of the copyright, and originally sold by the original holder of the copyright. The purchase of the CD conveys a right to use the intellectual property contained on that CD. When the CD is sold to another party, the right of use of that intellectual property is transferred to that other party.

Music placed on a P2P site is an unauthorized copy, made without proper right of copying or right of use (since the right to create copies is, for the most part, an exclusive right of the copyright holder).

Further, in almost every case, a music file placed on a P2P site is going to be consumed by more than one person.... From one original CD that was an authorized copy, hundreds or even thousands of additional copies are being made (every time the track is downloaded) without the authorization of the original copyright holder.

Naturally, the sale of a CD assumes that the person selling the CD is not keeping a copy of it. Obviously if the seller is retaining a copy of the music, then the P2P analogy would be correct, and this would be no better than downloading illegally, although in this case it would be the seller who is behaving improperly, not the buyer.

Whether or not the artist sees money from every second-hand sale is not the issue here, and never has been. The only consideration really is whether the material changing hands is an authorized copy, or whether additional copies are being made without authorization.

See I see the fact that buying second hand cd's is legally okay...so therefore morally okay in the publics eyes.... but if you take the laws away I fail to see how it's morally different than downloading from p2p....actually even with the laws I fail to see the differeance...

You say that the music industry frowns on it...as they frown on p2p....but the fact of the matter is that the money still doesn't go to the artist...so does it really then matter how the music is aquired? Is the only thing that makes it acceptable is that money changes hand....

Yes it's a slippery slope...legally... morally I see it's black and white.... That's why I buy used cd's...cause the RIAA makes sure the artist gets crap for their work.... So I support the artist by going to thier concerts.... If the RIAA had it's way we'd probably have a system set up like the current subscription services... pay monthly....
 
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