# File-sharing's moral status?

1. Jun 28, 2005

### Pengwuino

So what do you guys think about file-sharings morality? Do you feel you are sharing with a hypothetical "neighbor" or do you feel your getting something you didnt pay for and it is wrong or do you think its somewhere in between?

And for technicalities, lets say its all copyrighted material and people do not delete their files and its a range of items from games to mp3s to movies.

2. Jun 28, 2005

### arildno

It's a very good question; at the outset, I would think that a (somewhat) comparable situation is if we use a Xerox machine and copy a book which we then give to our friend.
Is this legal or not? I don't know..
Is this example truly comparable to the file-sharing example? I'm not too sure..

3. Jun 28, 2005

### sneez

About the morality part,

How about this scenario. I purchase a licence for some software. (lets disregard for a sec the terms of conditions of the licence). I have a friend who wants to use it and i let him use it on my computer. is that immoral? Lets say he lives far away and i let him account on my PC to use the software of the net. is that immoral? Than if i give him copy of that program so he can work without internet with my licence is it immoral?

I think is against law but not immoral. Is going 75 on 55 highway immoral? Its a law witch community has put forth for one reason or another. Therefore, technically its breaking the law, but i dont see the immoral part of it...

4. Jun 28, 2005

### Smurf

Reckless endangerment seems pretty immoral to me. How is putting your own, and many other people's lives in unnecessary risk not immoral? Do you think drinking and driving isn't immoral either?

5. Jun 28, 2005

### Smurf

The only difference I see between borowing your friend's CD, or playing a game on you're friend's XboX instead of buying your own, is the scale it takes part on. So if we are to say that file-sharing IS immoral, then can we agree that these simple acts are also immoral?

6. Jun 28, 2005

### sneez

Driving over the speed limit is not immoral. Driving at all is imoral?

in germany one can go 120 mil/h and not endangering noone according to german law. Like i said its communitie's laws not some universal moral standard.

Absolutelly not immoral...

sneez

7. Jun 28, 2005

### dextercioby

Morality in itself is not an entirely objective matter and the "file-sharings morality" part sounds conspicuous enough for me.

I see syntax is not amoung your favorites.Maybe you should get a grammar book through p2p... :tongue2: I don't use such software and i don't know how it feels like.But i'm a really bad person myself and wouldn't share my comp.files with anyone,but i'd surely ask for something.A movie,some music,a book.

I would delete the files i'd take,unless i'd be getting something really useful.Or at least move them from the shared folder to the unshared one.

Yeah,i'm an egoistic person.

Daniel.

P.S.As for morality,maybe something really bad,a movie or something,that would propagate from one comp through another.But the act itself is very unselfish.

8. Jun 28, 2005

### Pengwuino

lol what is this

is there so many shades of gray that you can't even take up a perliminary position?

9. Jun 28, 2005

### dextercioby

I adressed the point for most of my post.Some other folks decided to talk about (German) motorways.:tongue2:

Daniel.

10. Jun 28, 2005

### Jameson

Do people consider file sharing immoral because it is against the law? Most likely yes.

It is easy to associate right and wrong with the laws of one's nation, but I hope that we as humans can think beyond words written by others.

Now, is it wrong, when someone sells a product for x amount of money, to simply download it without paying any money? I would say yes. Do I do it? Of course.

Why? Because I think there is no reason why someone needs to charge 10 to sell a CD. It is simply ridiculous. Two wrongs don't make a right, but I don't have any guilt over downloading music. I usually end up buying music from the artists I really appreciate in the end. 11. Jun 28, 2005 ### Smurf Law is (usually) based on morals though. This paticular one is based on the idea that at a certain point you're going fast enough that you're creating an unreasonable risk for yourself, your passengers, and other people on the motorway. It's not immoral because it's against the law, it's immoral because your endangering people. Just because there's a law against it doesn't mean it can't be immoral too. Having said that, this has absolutely no relation to file sharing so we should get off the topic. I have absolutely no qualms about file sharing and do it all the time. It doesn't hurt anyone physically or (most of the time) financially so I don't see why I should feel guilty about it. 12. Jun 28, 2005 ### Kerrie Staff Emeritus I don't believe file sharing is immoral, however, natural consequences with downloading files on my computer have made my whole system crash, therefore I won't download files for that reason alone. 13. Jun 28, 2005 ### Smurf You can pretty much look at it three ways (that I can think of): 1. Stealing is wrong no matter what. File sharing is stealing, so file sharing is wrong. -This is entirely a moral outlook (opinion) and so cannot nor does require any argument to back it up. It just is, and some people feel that way so we can't force them to accept file sharing... yet. -- 2. File sharing is taking profits away from hard working artists and recording companies and is actively harming their lifestyle. 3. File sharing is not negatively affecting the financial situation of the people involved in any significant way. This is where all the debating happens because there's a whole bunch of evidence for both sides, as is becoming apparent in the US supreme court case MGM v. Grokster (even though it's a vicarious liability case them lawyers are still bringing up stuff about file sharing). Edit: 4. File sharing is just too dangerous. 14. Jun 28, 2005 ### Delta Then again it can be a good thing. Most highly commercial groups make money through tours, royalties and merchandise. For those little known groups file sharing can be a good thing. Would we of seen David Bernal does his thing in the Golf GTI ad and a few movies if it weren't for the publicity of his videos over email? And what about the music that's too rare to find in your local shop or even on import. The remixes, white labels, world music. The other good thing is that it can introduce new bands. Say you want to find some jungle jazz artists, search for them download a few tracks and before you know it you've got a new group to get into. Finally to finish with, shouldn't all music be free????? 15. Jun 28, 2005 ### Smurf And these are the arguments often presented by supporters of #3. 16. Jun 28, 2005 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 1) Copying copyrighted music is definitely illegal. 2) Listening to an artist and not paying for it is unethical by most ethical standards. "Immoral" may be too strong a word. 3) The middlemen in the music business (the labels and the RIAA) are really no longer necessary, and add little value to the industry. At best, their only vestigial purpose is marketing. At worst, they screw the consumer and the artist alike. 4) Music can be and therefore should be sold for much lower prices. Filesharing was developed because the consumer market was trying to realign price with demand. 5) There are many ways to share files that do not make you vulnerable to spyware, viruses, and other malware. - Warren 17. Jun 28, 2005 ### motai Is it really stealing though? The original owner of the media isn't having his/her files taken away from him/her, but rather the files are being copied from one system to another, leaving the original intact. 18. Jun 28, 2005 ### chroot Staff Emeritus Give me a break motai, there's more to theft than just tangible goods. - Warren 19. Jun 28, 2005 ### Kerrie Staff Emeritus chroot, you bring up some solid and logical points. the whole reason file sharing over the 'net started was probably due to the outrageous prices of CD's the record companies were charging. did anyone jump on the bandwagon for that rebate offered for anyone who bought a CD a couple of years ago? i got my20 out of it. i think if the price of CD's came below \$10.00/each (not for double albums and special releases necessarily), it might enable more people to buy the music they love and still support the artists, especially if the middlemen were cut out.

20. Jun 28, 2005

### dextercioby

I'm not an expert,but this is called "intellectual theft",like plagiating a book and redistributing (not necessarily selling) it as if you were the author.

Daniel.