On air: Is illegal downloading immoral?

Right, I have my own login now… after a passionate debate in the WHYS meeting on Friday, the issue of music, television and film downloading, or acquiring themfor free in other ways is today’s topic.

In Britain, the government is arguing for the morality in hunting down poeple who habitually share music online. These people, they argue, are effectively stealing from the hundreds of musicians whose time, energy and money goes into creating a song.

But how many people agree? Surely culture should be freely available?

Have a look at the arguments made on the BBC website here. And another online debate here.

RG for the UK had this to say:

No music artist lives off record sales, most of their income comes from the tours they perform. The studios and publishers are the ones that most profit from these sales. They say they are losing billions of pounds, but this is blatenly incorrect, since most people that download a track wouldnt buy it if they couldnt dounload it. Furthermore many people first download an album and if they like it they will later purchase it, yet they still count these people in the profit loss estimates

Are you prepared to download music for free from the internet or buy pirate cds from a man on the street?

Is it immoral to do so?

227 Responses to “On air: Is illegal downloading immoral?”

  1. 1 nelsoni
    July 28, 2008 at 10:57

    Free in this context means that some one else had paid for it. So there’s absolutely nothing wrong taking advantage of what has given freely to you.

  2. 2 Jack Hughes
    July 28, 2008 at 11:07

    I was horrified by the “independent” article. I struggled through the quagmire of buzzwords and empty waffle to the worst bit which was right at the end:

    “The writer is Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport”

    I can only hope that he is good at the sport bit.

  3. 3 Mohammed Ali
    July 28, 2008 at 11:08

    If the musics weren’t there for free download, they would have been blocked.

  4. 4 1430a
    July 28, 2008 at 11:27

    Hello Everone,
    well downloading Music does not mean its no free.The money put into using the Internet and Electricity actually pays some money for the Song.Therefore i do not think that it is immorality to Download songs from the Internet.
    But if we talk about Piracy and buying those CDs,it is like stealing.I mean the Musician puts so much time and Money in creating the Music and the Pirates copy thousands of Copies in minutes using a simple C.D Driver.Therefore it would be immoral to buy Pirated C.D’s.
    Thank You,

    I hope this was short enough.

  5. 5 Bryan
    July 28, 2008 at 11:41

    If I walk out of a shop with a pair of jeans without paying, what am I going to say when they catch me? That I’m just (down)loading the jeans into the boot of my car, so what’s the problem?

    Musicians also have to eat.

    But if the musicians themselves and everyone else involved in bringing us the music know and agree that they are doing it for free then there is no problem. But is that really ever the case?

  6. 6 Robert
    July 28, 2008 at 11:54

    I agree with Nelsoni. In the past the emphasis has always been on finding the bootleg seller, or the person who places the material online to start with.

    The current tactics are scary to me because they are not looking for people downloading music illegal. Isntead they look for people using the tools. These tools do have other purposes. Why should the record companies have an open ticket to point the figure at anybody unless they have cast iron proof that it was an illegal file rather than a legal one?

    I’m fully open to companies using the courts to charge people with breach of copyright, but they should not get special treatment from the government compared with, say, books or IP issues.

  7. 7 Bob in Queensland
    July 28, 2008 at 12:11

    RG, I fear, has the situation reversed. In most cases the tours are the “loss leaders” to help record sales, not the other way around. There are a few exceptions to this but not many acts can fill venues large enough to be highly profitable.

    As for the morality, stealing is stealing whether it’s somebody’s DVD player or a musician’s intellectual property. Just because something is “socially acceptable” doesn’t make it moral. Fifty years ago drinking and driving was socially acceptable.

    That said, the big record companies don’t do their cause any good by grossly over-inflating the levels of their losses. Their numbers only make sense if every casual pirate copy is assumed to be a lost sale–and this is just not the case.

  8. 8 Bob in Queensland
    July 28, 2008 at 12:22

    @ 1430a

    Saying that it is okay to steal music from the internet because you’ve paid for the phone line and the electricity is like saying it’s acceptable to rob a bank because you paid for the petrol in the getaway car.

  9. 9 nelsoni
    July 28, 2008 at 12:31

    @ Bob in Queensland. No one is stealing any music. Some one has simply paid for it and made it free for other people. There is no free lunch any where in the world. If something comes free to you,(including free music), it’s because some one has already paid for it.

  10. 10 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 12:46

    The music and recording industry have held a monopoly over the price of new music for decades. With the advent of the internet they have failed to change their model or have begun doing so too late. As such, they have suffered for it and there has been a backlash of people who are fed up with paying what at one point in the early 90’s was up to $20 per CD before companies like Best Buy started popping up all over the place and lowering the price to a more respectable ~ $15.

    Is it immoral? To the artist somewhat, I could care less about the recording industry, they had their time to exploit monopolies.

    If the artists want money, they’ll have to change their model somewhat also. Get off your lazy butt and go out and play shows. I will ALWAYS go to shows and pay high ticket prices to support artists.

  11. 11 Bob in Queensland
    July 28, 2008 at 13:04

    @ nelsoni

    One person has paid for the music for their own use. If they make a copy of that music for you, it it stealing and just as much against the law as if you walked into a shop and shoplifted a copy of a CD.

    Rationalise all you want. Theft of intellectual property is still theft.

  12. 12 Dan
    July 28, 2008 at 13:04

    Are we just here for the “Aura” of it all or do we all have the basic needs like eating?
    Artists deserve compensation for their creativity which enriches our lives thus YES…I do think it immoral to engage in illegal downloading.

  13. 13 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 13:13

    Oh oh oh! Or heres an idea, Lars from Metallica and the rest of the whiney bunch making millions upon millions a year and crying that they don’t make enough should cut back on their lavish lifestyles and live a more modest life which is not beyond their means both present and future.

  14. 14 AbuNas2008
    July 28, 2008 at 13:14

    Yes, we are all aware that downloading music is illegal but the music industry needs to realise that they need to modernise and find new methods of generating income instead of the out of date plastic CD’s.

    There are ample amount of opportunities available for record labels and in particular artists to diversify their methods of receiving income through their music.

    50 cent is one example of an artist who managed to exploit his popularity and made hundreds millions of dollars NOT through music CD sales but instead through endorsements, clothing, movies, corporate sponsorship, world concert tours and even mineral water!

    Musicians now should not only be artistically unique and great to stay in this competitive market BUT also develop the skills in being skillful entrepreneurs like 50, Jay-Z, Madonna, Rolling Stones etc.

    Whether we like it or not illegal music downloads or what I call it P2P file sharing is here to stay.

  15. 15 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 13:17

    50 cent is one example of an artist who managed to exploit his popularity and made hundreds millions of dollars NOT through music CD sales but instead through endorsements, clothing, movies, corporate sponsorship, world concert tours and even mineral water!

    Haha, I laughed so hard the first time I read the label and saw that fiddy was behind it. Amazing!

    Jay-Z is a shining example of entrepreneurship and investment of capital in other industries to bring in more revenue. Props to him for being so good at what he does.

  16. 16 imran
    July 28, 2008 at 13:22

    I would just say this: I think in a way downloading music helps the musicians. If it is good stuff,

  17. 17 imran
    July 28, 2008 at 13:28

    I would just say this: the more people listen to a song, the more they are going to spread the word about it, provided it is quality stuff. So downloading music in a way helps the musicians. Besides, a lot of the websites that offer free music, make their living through advertisements and in turn, pass on some of their profits to music companies. Hadn’t it been for the internet and the readily available free music, most musicians would have remained unknown to most of the world.

  18. 18 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 28, 2008 at 13:37

    I don’t download songs but I don’t care if other people download. I buy all of my CDs, I perfer to have an album than just pay for songs that I like. I don’t think it is immoral at all. Most of the recording artist don’t get most of the money from their record sales anyways. I really don’t care about the studios.

  19. 19 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 28, 2008 at 13:40


    I completely agree with you concerning the artists who claim their lifestyles have been affected by the drop in record sales. These people are still making more money than most people. Why should I feel sorry if you don’t make a few more million dollars.

  20. 20 Shaun in Halifax
    July 28, 2008 at 13:46

    Unless I am mistaken pre-Napster, buying CDs benefitted the record company at the expense of the artist – the lion’s share of the profits went to the label. Post-Napster, the lowered CD sales have hit the record labels hard and have forced artists to tour more to make their money. And then you have bands like Radiohead which essentially gave their album away under a ‘pay what you want’ package. The labels were REactive instead of PROactive with regards to internet distribution and they have suffered appropriately.

    Talking about the morality of illegal downloading is a useless effort, since it won’t change the fact that the technology exists and people are using it. Filesharing is like nuclear tecyhnology: it’s here and nobody can un-invent it. What you have to do is learn to live with it and hopefully harness the benefits while minimizing the drawbacks.

    I’d feel much better paying a fee for my songs if I knew that >50% of my payment actually went TO the artist.

    Lastly a quote from the article:
    In different ways, government is beginning tentatively to articulate a new way forward. Wherever possible, it should be voluntary, self-regulatory or co-regulatory, such as the successful way in which the advertising industry has operated for many years.

    Anybody who believes that load of fertilizer needs to read This article on Edward Bernays.

  21. 22 John in Salem
    July 28, 2008 at 13:59

    When satellite dishes first came out I had a black box decoder that could decipher any signal, including premium movie channels, and my rationale for not paying was, “If you don’t want me looking at your signals then get them the hell off my property”.
    It’s a brave new world out there and relying on an honor system is a guaranteed formula for going broke. Any artist who thinks they should have total control of their product should either stick to playing on street corners or learn how to use the system to their own advantage.

  22. 23 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 14:04

    @ Angela

    But it’s still their work. How would Van Gogh felt if I decided to rob a gallery of his since his art was worth a lot, or at least is now. Since he would have had a lot of money, what’s a little less? You could use that argument for burgalizing people’s homes as well. They’re rich, they won’t miss a TV. It’s simply not yours.

  23. 24 Dennis
    July 28, 2008 at 14:07

    Downloading is very immoral! It shows disrepect towards the artists and other people associated!

    Syracuse, New York

  24. 25 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 14:08

    Shouldn’t be “pirate CDs from someone on the street” and not presume it’s going to be a man? Lawbreakers aren’t just males.

  25. July 28, 2008 at 14:10

    There is a difference between downloading a copy of a movie or a song and buying a pirated copy on the street. The first is more akin to borrowing it from a friend or from the library. The second is putting money in the pocket of (organized) pirates.

    It becomes hard when we talk about services like the defunct AllofMP3, for instance, which allowed users to download MP3s for as low as 1 cent/ track. Is such a service a sort of music library or a pirate organization? How about Rhapsody, which offers access to over 4 million tracks for as little as 13 dollars a month? That’s less than the cost of one CD nowadays.

    There are countries that allow dowloading for personal use, which is fine, in my oppinion. Most people will buy the CD/DVD etc. if they really liked it and want to hold on to it. Downloading is bad news only for bad artists. It used to be that with enough MTV airplay and marketing (payola anyone?) you could use one good single to push the sales of a crappy album. Now downloading levels the playing field, and gives the consumers a chance to sample the merchandise before committing themselves (and their wallets). I see nothing wrong with that.

  26. 27 Nick in USA
    July 28, 2008 at 14:11

    @ Brett

    I couldn’t agree with you more about Lars from Metallica. First of all, I think that band is ridiculous, but I’m not here to offend their fans. Second, his fight against Napster was the lamest thing I’ve ever seen a rock star do. It just proved to everyone out there that he is more concerned with that 14 year old kid’s allowance than he is with making music he can relate to. I have always had a hard time believing that people actually like that band.

    Is downloading stealing? Yes. Do I feel bad about big price fixing record monopolies losing money? Nope. They have forced people to find an alternative to paying their outrageous prices, so now they have to lay in the bed they made for themselves.

    Personally, I don’t really listen to the music they produce, so I don’t really steal from them. I do download a lot of more interesting music off the internet though. There is so much good free music from unknown musicians on the internet, so there really is no good reason to download that illegal junk music produced by the record companies. Unfortunately, we receive a constant barrage of that junk music on the radio too. There are a lot of radio stations that will play the same 10 songs over and over. I’m always amazed at this. I think the record companies are buying air-time on these stations. Does anyone know if this is true?

  27. 28 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 14:13

    @ Laur

    Downloading is not akin to borrowing from a friend or a library. When you do those things, you RETURN it. You don’t still have it. When you download it, you have it forever.

  28. 29 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 14:17

    Second, his fight against Napster was the lamest thing I’ve ever seen a rock star do.

    Ironic as it was, I went to the Napster Tour for bands supporting Napster back in 99-2000 haha. I supported the artists supporting P2P. Face to Face, Alkaline Trio, and I think it was NFG or Saves the Day, one or the other. It was quite a nice tour 🙂 And they had kind words to say about Lars and the rest of the Napster-Crusaders lol.

    And please let it be noted, there are PLENTY of artists who support P2P. This isn’t an Us vs Them – Artist vs. Consumer battle. It’s more of a Recording Industry vs. Consumer battle; The artists are often split.

  29. 30 Erin
    July 28, 2008 at 14:17

    I listen to a lot of smaller artists. If someone burns me a copy of something new and rather unheard of to listen to – if I like it, I buy it… to support the band, and because I really like cover art. Not only that, but there is just something about owning a CD – the look, the feel. It is the same reason I would never buy an Amazon Kindle. I like BOOKS too much.

    I have always wondered about intellectual property law, and even posed this question in an undergraduate econ class years back. Artists have been complaining about illegal downloading, unauthorized prints of their books being sold, etc. because so many people have access to the material. What about libraries? The library purchases the book/DVD/CD and then an entire community can enjoy it. One purchase, thousands of people using it. Artists don’t get paid for that either, but it is somehow okay? Confusing.

  30. July 28, 2008 at 14:19


    How about download => watch or listen => delete? Is that ok in your oppinion? I do not think that a self-destructing file format be acceptable to the *IAA if consumers don’t pay good money to get it.

  31. 32 nick
    July 28, 2008 at 14:22

    Downloading is completely reasonable to anybody that has not been intoxicated by the free ride that all of the affected industries have been enjoying all along.

    Downloading is just a symptom of a greater problem, the industries failing to adapt to a sea-change in the distribution of all kinds of media. The internet has brought about a drastic change in the way that people get information – on demand.

    The industries just need to adapt to this new age and focus on things that do make them money.

    I for example grew up with a computer (I am all of 23 now), during the birth of napster, and now embrace bit torrent. I do also realize the economic impacts of my decisions. Sure, I might still download an album – but I buy a copy of it IF it is worth the cash to me – after all I do want the artist to keep producing things that I enjoy.

    To the industries: Take some classes in basic economics! Produce (and charge people) for things that they will pay for!

  32. 33 Robert
    July 28, 2008 at 14:22

    Using morality as an arguement is low even for record companies. In the early days of this war they created CD’s with DRM to stop people pirating CD’s. The idea was that the computer would play the cd but it couldn’t be copied. Fine, no problem with that. But those DRM programs damaged the computers and left them open to viruses. If this is the respect that the record companies give to people who have paid for the product why should they expect any in return?

    I use downlaoded music to preview songs before buying the album. I can’t hear the radio or internet radio as I’m not in the US or the UK. If I like the album I buy it and go through the ardous process of importing the physical CD and rip it for use of my IPOD. If I don’t I delete the song (not enough space on the computer to keep music I don’t like).

  33. 34 nelsoni
    July 28, 2008 at 14:23

    @ Bob in Queensland. I am by no means rationalizing intellectual theft. The companies that offer free music on their websites have it paid for by advertisers and therefore free to the end user.

  34. 35 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 14:23

    How about download => watch or listen => delete? Is that ok in your oppinion? I do not think that a self-destructing file format be acceptable to the *IAA if consumers don’t pay good money to get it.

    That’s the argument for people who are pro-streaming. The music isn’t actually saved on your computer (or easily saved) and the quality isn’t perfect. This way people get a preview, but don’t have to worry about the ‘honor code’ of deleting once you’ve heard it.

    Websites like PureVolume, Myspace, and others utilize streaming of audio and bands or labels can also put an option to download the song if they want it out there.

  35. July 28, 2008 at 14:28

    “Immoral”? Na! Download away, you are helping the business.

    The Internet has brought about a necessity for certain mind sets to be changed.
    And Morality is one of them. Time to readjust the mind set.
    Throw it out the window and walks back in the door.
    The entertainment industry have been very slow to figure out that by giving it away, you make money. And the more you give away the more money you make. But they haven’t got their heads around that.

    I have been using the Internet since it’s conception, and the WWW when it arrived certainly changed the way I live and work, in every respect to the better.

    Which is ironic, because the Internet and its basic application; file sharing, was designed for things to be given away!
    Funny they missed that bit.

    Back in the 80’s the record industry, all three of them, took a knock when people realised that they too could print records! And they did.
    Independent Labels swiped 50% of the market in no time flat.

    Do remember that it’s only the fat cats who whinge about this downloading game. As a very small independent producer I give away my latest ‘product’, a collection of music and video from South African artists, poets and musicians, and would be delighted to see a million or so downloads. Download away! That’s what I say. The more downloaded, the more money we make.

    What is immoral is the vast amounts of money made by the entertainment industry on what is essentially 80% packaged rubbish.
    And their incredibly slow “rear view mirror” attitude.

    Wake up and smell the coffee! There’s gold in them thar hills!
    hint 1: In the German country side it is not unusual to see a “farm shop” by the side of the road. But no stall keeper. You take your eggs and whatever, put the cash in the tin.
    hint 2: I have been using a bit of software for years, free. But having got paid a large sum for a job where I used that software extensively, rushed to web site and made a substantial contribution to their PayPal account.



    (yeah yeah Ross, I know, but even in real life I go on a bit!)

  36. 37 Bob in Queensland
    July 28, 2008 at 14:32

    So people…are some of you really saying that theft is okay so long as the victim is rich enough and you don’t like them?

    Come on…steal music if you must but don’t try to justify your actions on the grounds of “they’re rich enough…they deserve to have their stuff stolen”.

  37. July 28, 2008 at 14:35

    @ Brett:

    I have actually bought albums after hearing them on Internet radio (mostly from Magnatunes), so I’m living proof that streaming is actually good for the industry. But streaming only works if done properly. Shoutcast and similar technologies are unobtrusive and convenient. Myspace music is annoying – would you listen to music on your iPod if you had to select each track and press “play”? And, to my knowledge, there is no free service out there that legally streams feature films.

  38. 39 american_downloader
    July 28, 2008 at 14:35

    I recently downloaded a great video game – The Witcher – a monster killing role playing game.

    I would have gladly paid for this, however I found out before purchasing that the version sold to us Americans is one that is watered down and censored.

    The funny part of this whole story is that this game is nowhere near as “distasteful” as an “R” rated movie.

  39. 40 Angela in Washington D.C.
    July 28, 2008 at 14:39


    I completely agree with you that it is the artists work. However, I don’t download music. I buy all of the music I that I listen to but I don’t care if other people download music.

  40. July 28, 2008 at 14:41

    Bob; “they’re rich enough…they deserve to have their stuff stolen”.
    There is a big difference between housebreaking, mugging and downloading.
    Do not confuse the issue with outdated metaphores!
    That’s what I mean about a change in mind set.
    It is a “problem” specific to the Internet.
    That has to be remembered.


  41. 42 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 14:42

    So people…are some of you really saying that theft is okay so long as the victim is rich enough and you don’t like them?

    You are not ‘stealing’ something. You are utilizing a piece of art without paying for . You are not taking something from someone else, it so it’s not ‘sealing’ or ‘theft’ in the traditional sense. You are theoretically depriving the industry and the artist from some miniscule potential profit.
    It would be similar to going to the art museum or a gallery and taking a picture of a piece of art you like, then displaying that picture in your household for your personal enjoyment.
    The artist didn’t make a sale, but didn’t lose anything. They were just deprived of the profits which would have been gained, had you decided to purchase that art. Keep in mind also, that the majority of songs I and others have listened to over the net, would not have purchased in the stores anyhow. So the artist would have never received those profits from me or others had I downloaded the music, or walked past the album in the store.
    The point was made earlier, that the music or art was paid for by someone at some point down the line. You are receiving a copy of the artists work. Someone at some point failed to abide by the stated or implied liscensing agreement that comes along with the purchase of a CD or record or other form of the media.

  42. 43 Bob in Queensland
    July 28, 2008 at 14:43

    @ nelsoni

    If you’re talking about genuine “free” music which the copyright holder has placed online for unrestricted downloading then obviously there’s no problem. However, that’s NOT what this topic is about. P2P networks allowing unauthorised downloads are illegal, as is “burning a copy for a friend”.

    Of course it goes on and I’m not so naive to think it will be stopped. I also believe that if the artists and record companies want to do something about it, they have to lower their charges and offer “value added” extras to make it attractive for people to spend their money.

    However,the question that sparked this debate was about the morality of illegal downloading and, really, there shouldn’t be a debate. Theft is wrong whether or not you like the victim.

  43. July 28, 2008 at 14:46

    Illegal downloading – immoral? Yes if you believe that any form of theft is immoral. I think you missed the point with the sensational wording of the question. Information – and how it is shared – is at the core of the web – one such way of attaining this (music, videos etc.)is by illegal downloading – but I don’t think a debate about the morals of illegal downloading is anything but an exercise in well moral arguments. Much better to look at how the internet piracy will change business models and has changed dissemination.

  44. July 28, 2008 at 14:46

    There are so many things about the music business that is “immoral”. Most of it committed by the media giant companies. When you buy an album, the musicians only make about $1 and that is called a “good contract”. The only musical groups you will hear arguing against P2P networks are the ones that own their own distribution company. Matalica, Madonna, and many of the really big names are examples. The rest serve two masters. They need the distribution and promotion companies to even get a chance to be heard on the air. But they want to appear on the side of their fans. In the end bands make their money selling concert tickets (and don’t even get me started on the cozy relationship ticketmaster has with the government.), and selling T-shirts and concessions. Many bands have tried to break the bonds of these marketing constraints. Even at its height, Pear Jam failed. In truth most bands love the fact that their music is reaching the ears of so many people. The more people that hear them, the more people that are likely to buy a ticket to a show. Albums are nothing more then advertisements for a show.

    So, do I find it “immoral” to d/l music through P2P networks? “No”. As a matter of fact, I had become disenchanted with buying albums because I would often buy an entire album only to find the songs on the radio were the only decent ones on the album. P2Ps have allowed me to hear it before I buy it. Often the commercial release comes with stuff that wouldn’t be available online.

    The music industries business demographics have changed. They need to learn to deal with it and reinvent themselves. Welcome to the world known as “the free market”.

  45. 46 Paul Savage
    July 28, 2008 at 14:46

    Yes its both illegal and immoral. Its amazing how we find reasons to justify our immorality. If people have created something then they should get the rewards of that. If we cheat in the small things and jusitfy it dont complain when others cheat in the big things and the world goes down the tubes.

  46. 47 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 14:47

    I have actually bought albums after hearing them on Internet radio (mostly from Magnatunes), so I’m living proof that streaming is actually good for the industry.

    Exactly, I was just making the point that if you are supporting ‘previews’ of music, that streaming offers more secure ways for the recording industry to make sure that high quality copies arent made and circulated on an honor system.
    Yes streaming comes with limitations, but is it the recording industries job to make it as convenient as possible for you to get their music onto your computer or Ipod without first purchasing the cd?

    In an ideal world, the song would be valid for 5 days or a week or something then when that time runs out, the song is locked and can no longer be played and a new copy will be unable to be played on your computer should you just delete it and re-download a new copy.

  47. 48 Shaun in Halifax
    July 28, 2008 at 14:51

    Request for WHYS Staff:

    This is going to be a very contentious topic today, and I can anticipate some of the guests making blanket statements like “everybody knows” and “It’s a fact that.”

    Would it be possible to have them cite their sources or, barring that, have somebody give a URL for just how much money illegal downloads cost both the record companies and the artists in terms of lost revenue?

  48. 49 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 14:57

    Brett, Brett, Brett

    You don’t think intangibles are property? Can’t be stolen? When people sell a business, they normally pay extra for “good will”, to compensate the owner to continue using the name, which includes the customer base, that the prior owner had spent years trying to build up. That’s intangible, but is of value.

    Taking a photo in an art gallery is NOT the same thing as duplicating something. When you download something, you have an EXACT copy of the original. It differs in no way. When you take a picture of the Mono Lisa, you either have something on film or on digital camera, that you print out. It’s a print, the Mona Lisa is an oil painting on canvas, and is very different than the copy you have of it.

  49. 50 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 14:59

    We’re also limiting this to music. These peer 2 peer places also have software, ebooks, etc that people download. Are you telling me that downloading, say Rosetta Stone, software that costs $200, isn’t stealing, when you’d have to shell out $200 otherwise to get it? Just because it’s like a “photograph” of the original, despite it being a photograph that is interactive, and teaches yo ua foreign language?

  50. 51 parth guragain
    July 28, 2008 at 15:03

    the main cause of illegal downloading is that original are very expensive.if we pay and buy also we so many times land into buying fake ones.

  51. 52 Bob in Queensland
    July 28, 2008 at 15:08

    As Steve says, intangibles certainly are property. It’s not just music of course–if you believe it’s fine to steal a track off the internet, do you also condone photocopying the latest best seller? How about plays? If you wrote a musical that became a success on Broadway would you be happy for me to steal your work and produce a version here in Australia without paying you?

    How about patents? I once designed a small electronic circuit that made TV pictures appear sharper. Should I say “oh well” and let it happen if Sony decide to incorporate this circuit into their TV sets?

    I agree with much that has been said about the greed and inflexibility of the record companies but this is beside the point. Theft of intellectual property is still theft and nothing I’ve seen anyone post has changed my mind.

  52. 53 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 15:11

    @ Bob

    Also, if we go to the “greed and inflexibility” of record company arguments, why not extend it to pharmaceutical companies? I mean, they keep prices of life saving or elongating drugs high, to make money. Should the government come in and copy the drugs and give it for free? Also, while we’re at it, do drug companies even have an incentive to find cures for things? Maybe they deliberately only make treatments and cures, because if they cure something, you won’t need to keep buying their product..

  53. 54 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 15:12

    You don’t think intangibles are property? Can’t be stolen? When people sell a business, they normally pay extra for “good will”, to compensate the owner to continue using the name, which includes the customer base, that the prior owner had spent years trying to build up. That’s intangible, but is of value.

    This is the problem with P2P and metaphors. There simply is not a metaphor which adequately describes or depicts file sharing. There can be an argument that supports one side of P2P and you can use a metaphor for that, but there are always flaws and differences amongst the metaphors.

    It still doesn’t change the fact that you are not stealing. You are obtaining a duplicate of an origional from another willful individual and infringing on liscensing and copyrights. This deprives theoretical or potential revenue and is not a direct loss or theft as the revenue was never there in the first place, it’s all potential. You are in posession of an illegal (based on the copyright) copy of a piece of art, that is illegal yes, though you don’t have to ‘steal’ it to get it; Nor did you.
    Did you go into the artists house and download it into your Ipod? Did you hack into the recording companies computers and steal the song? No. It was given to you by another individual, there is no theft, just copyright infringement.

    Sure it has flaws, but I think it should be labeled correctly. Your not stealing a song, your asking someone for it and they are giving it to you. Whether they purchased it and have limited rights to it or not, no one is stealing it. The 1’s and 0’s don’t belong to the recording industry, the copyright on their arrangement does.
    This is why the physical and monetary theft metaphors, I just don’t buy them. It’s nowhere close to comparrison.

  54. 55 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 15:17

    @ Brett

    ” It was given to you by another individual, there is no theft, just copyright infringement.”

    That’s like saying that the guy in the white van trying to sell you speakers, that you know are hot, gave it to you, and you didn’t commit any crime. Receipt of stolen property is a crime if you reasonably should have known it was stolen.

    The copyright is like a “Property of: Brett” sticker on your stereo that I find in the street. It yours, not mine, if I take it, i’m stealing it even though it’s in the middle of the street. There are actually rules for found property, though that’s a different situation. The copyright is the warning that you know it’s not yours, so by downloading from someone else, you are in reciept of stolen property.

  55. 56 nelsoni
    July 28, 2008 at 15:21

    P2P Sharing sites are the modern day Robin hood in the music industry.

  56. July 28, 2008 at 15:21

    Illegal downloading is absolutely immoral. It is against the copyright law. It couldn’t be profitable except Illegal Down loader. Artist and Company always loosing their profit from such types of illegal work.

  57. 58 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 15:23

    We’re also limiting this to music. These peer 2 peer places also have software, ebooks, etc that people download. Are you telling me that downloading, say Rosetta Stone, software that costs $200, isn’t stealing, when you’d have to shell out $200 otherwise to get it?

    This is the reason that software developers need to implement cd keys or product keys, required online registration and confirmation, etc. There are plenty of ways to thwart theft such as this, but industries are either too slow or unwilling to put the money into its design. Does it make it right to copy it and use it? Certainly not. But it will occur as long as it is easy and quick. There is not going to be a ‘moral revolution’ where the public all of the sudden becomes sympathetic to the recording industry and deletes all their p2p software and runs to the stores in a shopping spree for all the CD’s and tracks they once downloaded.

    So lets go, lock your art and music up, make it secure. If your unwilling to do so, get out of digital media.

  58. 59 gary
    July 28, 2008 at 15:25

    This question has a simple answer. If a person is not given an item, and didn’t make it or buy it, they have no ownership of it. It’s intrinsic or presumed value is not important. What entity loses, as well as the amount of value lost, is irrelevant. The object is stolen. The person taking it is a thief. Theft is immoral.
    Many people make a distinction between theft of big things, like autos or large sums of money (or lives), and thefts of litle things like office supplies and such, where no such distinction is warranted. “Getting away with it’ reinforces the moral defect. Staking your life upon some yet to be demonstrated moral detent that will prevent the petty thief from taking larger properties, means of livelyhood, or even human life is just silly.

  59. 60 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 15:28

    @ Steve:
    That’s like saying that the guy in the white van trying to sell you speakers, that you know are hot, gave it to you, and you didn’t commit any crime. Receipt of stolen property is a crime if you reasonably should have known it was stolen

    Steve, I’m sorry but when I see a song listed on Limewire or anywhere else on the internet. I see no such labels or notifications of the terms of use or agreement. How then am I to know it was stolen or that I am infringing on the copyrights? (This is not an excuse, but a point which needs to be addressed) Plenty of the bands I listen to either now or in the past have supported P2P.
    Furthermore, the metaphor of vans and selling of speakers is again, lacking. No one pays anyone for the transfer of these files so there is no comparision. And on the van comment, it would be more accurate if you likened it to a flea market where everyone is exchanging goods and there is no way of telling if they are stolen or legit. There are plenty of legit files on P2P networks which can be traded legally. This is not a Van in an alley situation.

  60. 61 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 15:31

    @ Brett

    “Steve, I’m sorry but when I see a song listed on Limewire or anywhere else on the internet. I see no such labels or notifications of the terms of use or agreement. How then am I to know it was stolen or that I am infringing on the copyrights?”

    I pray you’re pulling my leg, right? That’s like saying you walk into the black market and don’t see any signs saying the products there are illegal. The only way you can legally get songs is in a record store or a place like itunes. Not limewire. That’s like going to buy a brand new Porsche at a fish store and wondering if it was stolen.. A reasonable person would know that the stuff on limewire is illegal.

  61. 62 Chris (Texas)
    July 28, 2008 at 15:33

    Let’s face it, the world is changing. The music and movie industry can’t site idle and expect to enforce old ideals on a new generation. They need to think out of the box and embrace the new technologies that are at their disposal for distributing their media.

    You will notice that in the face of illegal downloading, many television networks in the US have begun to offer full length episodes of their series on their website. If people are going to download your videos any how, why not just make them free? At least then you can control how it is distributed and make money with advertisements.

    A few bands have embraced these distribution methods by releasing free albums with the option of “donating” to the band. When Radiohead did this, I would say it was a complete success. However, is this just because it was a new idea and it got so much publicity? That is a fair possibility.

    Software, DVD, and music piracy will never cease to exist. We’re only human and it’s hard to pass up the special listing price of “free”.

  62. July 28, 2008 at 15:36

    downloading of copyrighted stuff is legally illegal, but the moral opposite is debatable. the music and software industry, though entitled to the intellectual property rights and returns on their time and money well invested, they do generate supernormal profits.

    they put their works online, hence, some are encouraged by the artists and developers to acces at the the lowest possible fee and the ultimate price would definitely be zero.

    i download a lot of stuff, free and pad-for.

    Freddie Singini
    @ University of Zambia

  63. 64 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 15:37

    @ Steve:

    I’m just playing devils advocate. I know full well that most will be ‘stolen’ as everyone on here seems to put it. I havent used P2P to download music in a very long time and as I said before, I would use it to get songs from bands who supported the distribution of their music (Bands such as “Fifteen” among others). I’m sure though that plenty of people would use that defense if confronted with lawsuits. And it is a good point. There is no explicit tag on the music files which denote the copyrights and useage agreements.

  64. 65 disgrunteled
    July 28, 2008 at 15:39

    Is it immoral that the lawyers working for the **AA are probably making more than the average artist?

    The scare tactics and dirty business practices of these groups are disgusting. The US legal system needs to give them the kick to the teeth that they deserve.

  65. 66 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 15:40

    @ Brett

    They don’t even need to put a tag on it. And I seem to recall, when you even try to download something, at least limewarn warns you, does it not, that no license could be found? A reasonable person would know that the files are stolen, and that’s all that really is necessary. Willful ignorance isn’t a defense (there were cases of drug runners crossing the US border who simply didn’t ask what was in the package) and that wasn’t a defense.

  66. 67 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 15:40

    You will notice that in the face of illegal downloading, many television networks in the US have begun to offer full length episodes of their series on their website. If people are going to download your videos any how, why not just make them free? At least then you can control how it is distributed and make money with advertisements.


    Also have you noticed in the past 4 or so years, corporations have begun using illegal downloads to work for them (somewhat). Look in the bottom or top corners of TV shows and what do you see on plenty of them? Small adverts popping up or scrolling, icons, all sorts of stuff. This brings in advertising revenue as people cant digitally copy the shows and edit out commercials. Users are literally forced to see them while watching the program, downloaded or otherwise. At least they are getting increased advertising revenue and viewer base with such ideas.

  67. 68 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 15:42

    @ Steve:
    And I seem to recall, when you even try to download something, at least limewarn warns you, does it not, that no license could be found?

    Sorry, as I said, I haven’t used that stuff in a long time, I didn’t know they were doing that now. At least it’s a step in the right direction.

  68. 69 Darrin Auxier
    July 28, 2008 at 15:46

    No matter how people try to justify it to themselves, the answer is that “yes” illegal downloading is immoral. The problem lies in how easy it is for people to justify it to satisfy their conscience (The RIAA, it’s own worst enemy, makes this justification trivial to accomplish).

    The long-term solution to this is for more people to latch onto sites like Magnatune and other “Indie music” sites which offer legal and free downloads. If you like the music, then please support the musician by making a reasonable donation.

    What’s lacking in the Indie Music scene is a comprehensive rating system to make it easy to find quality music to one’s own tastes. This effectively would write the RIAA and record labels out of the equation so that only the “bad guys” lose.

  69. 70 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 15:47

    @ Disgrunteled:

    “Is it immoral that the lawyers working for the **AA are probably making more than the average artist?

    The scare tactics and dirty business practices of these groups are disgusting. The US legal system needs to give them the kick to the teeth that they deserve.”

    Well, if people didn’t break the laws, then the lawyers wouldn’t need to be billing their clients. Scare tactics? Don’t break the law. If you broke into someone’s house, they would point a shotgun at you. You want to punish people enforcing the laws and not those breaking the laws because you don’t want to pay for your coldplay songs?

  70. 71 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 15:53

    I think we need to make a distinction between morally rationalizing distribution of copyrighted music and legally rationalizing it.
    This seems to have become muddled in the discussion. Moral rationale isn’t cut and dry like many legal rationales. It’s sort of an ‘eye of the beholder’ case.
    The goal needs to be to make it so people dont have to try to morally rationalize it because they aren’t able to take part in such disbursement of material. Again, secure your digital media, recording industries.

  71. 72 Gretchen Eldrich
    July 28, 2008 at 15:58

    I buy what anime I can afford, for the rest that I can’t afford I torrent, the torrented stuff keeps my interest high so when I can afford to buy more anime, I do so.

    Torrents have given me a taste of things that I might otherwise never see, and things that aren’t available in the US yet, so maybe when they are released in the US, I might buy them.

    I’ve also been burned by anime companies like Geneon, who will release one expensive disk after another and then stop operations right before the end, leaving fans hanging. This doesn’t exactly encourage buyership.

    Domestic stuff, largely doesn’t interest me, so I don’t have to much worry about the RIAA and similar groups, may they rot in hell (spit)

  72. 73 Angelina
    July 28, 2008 at 16:10

    As a teen, I feel confused at times as to which songs/movies have lost their copyright protection(many older ones do).One gets these so easily online.If they’re illegal, why don’t they block these sites?If I can’t download a song, I simply check out YouTube & record them on my MP3 player & listen without buying a CD.In developing countries, the prices of these CDs/DVDs are pretty high,so very few actually buy them.Maybe reducing the prices in these places will encourage people to buy the music & prevent illegal downloading.Buying pirated CDs/DVDs is an absolute no-no.

  73. 74 Julie P
    July 28, 2008 at 16:22

    I have yet to download music off the internet without paying for it. As someone who has skill that everyone needs, or wants to use, I have been approached repeated with requests to provide the service at deeply discounted rates, or free because it’s “just a hair cut”. That “just a hair cut” took 10 months out of my life to go to school for that wasn’t free, a state license, which isn’t free, and advanced training, which is free, and years and years of expereincing. The same goes for these muscicians and so forth. They don’t work for free either. We work for MONEY to pay our bills. Just because you don’t value our work doesn’t mean we have to give it away. You try working for free. That is what you asking for, if you download something of value without paying for it.

  74. 75 Lauren
    July 28, 2008 at 16:33

    I think its overkill to pay a group a ridiculously large sum of money to write some songs and perform them. I my opinion, musicians, celebrities and pro-athletes all fall under the same category- people that are overpaid for what they do. You singing a song or acting in a movie is not worth millions of dollars, I don’t care how good you are.

    Maybe people would be more willing to pay for music if the artists hadn’t already made millions simply for the recording the tracks. How about we pay musicians an hourly wage (like the rest of the world) for the work they actually do, and then let them receive the royalties from sales. If they sell $1 million records, they get 80% of the profits and the rest goes to the record company. I know I’d feel less resentful paying for music knowing that the members of Metallica got $20 an hour for the time they actually spent recording and touring solely for the purpose of entertaining people. I mean lets face it -they’re not saving the world folks.

    – By the way, I wrote a song and performed it at my high school talent show, where’s my money???

  75. 76 Rashid Patch
    July 28, 2008 at 16:47

    I don’t download music of any sort, free or otherwise; and I haven’t bought any recordings in years, except when I bought them directly from the artist who performed on them. However, I really find it impossible to feel that the bloatedly-rich executives of media conglomerates who exploit performing artists deserve a cent.

    Simply because some corporations have managed to monopolize the distribution of recordings of artistic performance, does not give them any particular moral claim. If all the hack executives, wheeler-dealers, and lawyers, for all these media conglomerates, were to go stoney-broke bankrupt tomorrow – if they all were forced onto the dole next week – I’m pretty sure that the world would, on the whole, be far better off.

    The issue is not about paying the artists. The artists are not the ones going on whinging about the issue. It’s the media conglomerates who are complaining. It’s not about paying the artists. It’s about paying – excessively, obscenely, interminably – the hangers-on and parasites. And frankly, most of them don’t deserve a crumb.

  76. 77 Will Rhodes
    July 28, 2008 at 16:48

    I 100% agree with Brett!

    The industry should not offer digital music or adapt. Not really that hard. You can go to any amount of towns and see Mr or Mrs Joe Bloggs selling second-hand CDs, Books, Jeans, Shoes, Jewellery, Jasus – just about everything.

    If I should ever be published I would want my work to be read by as many people as possible, of course I want paying for it, but what do the UK government propose to do with all the second-hand sellers? Make them buy a form of license so they can sell? You buy the product and you give it away – who argues that?

    This is simply about profit and raking in money. As has been proven so many times with the market economy that these companies obviously believe in, if you want to sell a product that is over supplied, bring the price down!

    Copying and selling as yours, true piracy i.e. the lower quality product sold as CDs etc from Taiwan, China etc, yes that is theft because nothing of the original product price goes to company and artist. That is the distinction.

  77. 78 1430a
    July 28, 2008 at 16:51

    My dear bob,
    It seems you got the topic all wrong.Its written if Downloading and Bying ‘PIRATED’C.D’s is wrong.I said Downloading is not stealing because here we pay the Electricity bills.But you are saying that it is cheating with the musicians.Cmon how can that be cheating???the popularity that is increased by these online services is massive.
    Do you Imagine the top band be selling so much records if this online service was not provided?So the point is that the musicians get all the popularity for their record through the Internet Service.
    So instead of Blaming the downloads the musicians should actually thank the service providers.
    Thank You

  78. 79 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 16:55

    @ Will

    You don’t understand. A second hand seller is fine. You buy a CD, you listen to it , you sell that CD to a CD store. They sell it to someone else. The license/copyright issues are transferrable. It’s like buying a car, and selling it a year later. The warranty is transferable as well. It’s very different than buying a CD, copying the CD, and then selling the copy to someone else. There is nothing wrong with second hand shops selling CDs, becuase they are originals, and not copies.

  79. 80 John in Salem
    July 28, 2008 at 16:57

    When tape recording became available to the average consumer the record industry said it would ruin them. When VCR’s became available the film industry said it would ruin THEM.
    File sharing isn’t going to ruin any industry that is still vital enough to adapt, and if some of them can’t that’s called “natural selection”.
    You can’t legislate morality and you can’t expect people not to act in their own self interest first. If the laws that protect your business no longer function then it’s time to change your business model.

  80. 81 Nick in USA
    July 28, 2008 at 16:58

    My thoughts exactly Lauren. Athletes, pop-stars, and celebrities do more harm than good for society. Our society makes children idolize these people. So now we have a bunch of little Paris Hiltons running around. What we really need to do is stop caring about these people. Why is some guy who throws a football 40 yards worth paying $50 to see? If anyone has ever spoken to these people in real life, you’d know that they aren’t worth idolizing. I had a bunch of football stars in my college courses, and some of them could barely read. It really bothered me that kids would see them as role models.

  81. 82 John in Germany
    July 28, 2008 at 17:19

    Clarification needed-If you copy a song from a radio station whether from the ether or satellite, and you use it for yourself, is that illegal?.

    For instance here in Germany a good music programme Radio 4 has top entertaining music. you could record it and edit, and would have up to date, old, and any genre music.

    John in Germany.

  82. 83 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 17:33

    @ Nick

    That’s because parents outsourced role modelling to others. Instead of the parents being the role models, or the ones teaching values, parents expect schools and the media to do that. So now girl idolize Paris Hilton, and whatever. That’s our fault, as society. however the music industry shouldn’t suffer because we have horrific parenting in this country. It’s not your place to determine if a ticket to a football game should cost $50. People are wiling to pay that price and they do. If you don’t want to, don’t go, but don’t say they don’t deserve those kind of prices becuase you don’t want to pay for it, and people, especially you, shouldn’t be able to sneak in and watch because you don’t want to pay. remeber, even with football, you can watch free on TV. Music has no such alternative. There’s only the original, and copies.

  83. 84 Walter
    July 28, 2008 at 17:34

    Hullo WHYS,
    I’m in this business but I really think that fighting piracy is a western affair that will never be enforced in Africa. We can’t afford the software in the first place. What do you expect?!

    Walter in Uganda

  84. 86 Walter
    July 28, 2008 at 17:46

    While I was working as a head of ICT at one of the universities in Uganda, I needed to update the ICT policy and decided to go the ministry concerned to consult about the national ICT policy. Alas! They were using pirated software. There you go!

    Walter in Uganda

  85. 87 Shaun in Halifax
    July 28, 2008 at 17:47

    @ Brett and Steve and All

    Just a few points to add to your (highly entertaining) discussion.

    Re: Copy Protection
    In theory, copy protection seems like a good idea. In practice what happens is the cracker/hacker community views the copy protection as a challenge to be cracked. Plus there are a ton of legal issues regarding copy protection. I refer you to Sony’s debacle with the StarForce copy protection that resulted in a lawsuit.


    Re: Intellectual Property Rights
    Up here in Canada, file sharing is tacitly legal. This is due to the wording in our ‘WARNING’ screen. One of the phrases is “Duplication for promotional or profit purposes is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.” The supreme court ruled that because no money is changing hands, file sharing is akin to burning a mix tape for your buddies. No money is changing hands, therefore no foul. Here’s the link to that story from the Toronto Star.


    Re: Loss of money for industry.

    An Industry Canada survey from two University of London economists found that music file-sharing has no detrimental effect on the CD racket and, if anything, is associated with higher physical sales. Here’s the link to that one, and the IC study is linked at the bottom.


  86. 88 Line Walker
    July 28, 2008 at 17:50

    But it’s still their work. How would Van Gogh felt if I decided to rob a gallery of his since his art was worth a lot, or at least is now. – Steve

    i do believe van gogh killed himself peniless and crazy… most artists never see the true value of their work. it gets bought or sold for nothing only to have value after their deaths
    art is truly stolen when the wealthy hoard their money in it, removing it from public view, but i don’t expect you to understand this.

    as for me personally, i don’t file share, but i do prefer to get samples before i buy a disk, whether from friends or site that let you download one or two songs. i don’t have much money to waste, so knowing if a cd’s good or not before buying is preferable. most of the time when i do have more access to the work, i am more likely to buy.

  87. 89 Vijay Srao
    July 28, 2008 at 17:56

    The record(and movie) companies have not come to terms with the post napster world.
    First of all there aren’t that many young people to buy music as before(western demographic change)
    The way music is treated as wallpaper or a commodity.
    Really poor pricing policy(they got greedy ,instead of pricing music and movies in pennies they wanted people to pay nearly full price,then after filesharing became popular they were to slow to bring their prices down.

  88. 90 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 18:00

    @ Line Walker

    If you go to amazon.com you can listen to samples of CDs online. Also if you go to most record stores in the US, they have demos you can listen to. The real reason why people download online for free is because they don’t want to pay. it’s that simple. It’s NOT the same as stealing ketchup packets from McDonalds.

  89. 91 Katharina in Ghent
    July 28, 2008 at 18:02

    I remember the days when the good old records were still sold, and CD’s then came up. The record companies sold the same songs for almost twice the money on CD than the records, so my pity with the record companies is very, very low. They’ve simply gotten too greedy.

    Artists can still make money through working on the stage and similar things, but record companies are a thing of the past and all the better for it. If an artist is good, people will be glad to listen to him/her on the radio (which usually has to pay a fee) or paying to go to a concert.

  90. 92 Benn
    July 28, 2008 at 18:11

    Most of what I take off the web for free I end up actually buying because I want the : better production, the physical item, or because I feel the maker needs compensation.

    I have found music, movies, or tv shows that I like by downloading illegally, and I end up buying them anyways for the reason stated above. I don’t approve of pirated DVDs or CDs but I do like being able to find movies and music for free. My tastes of entertainment has refined due to the availability on the net.

  91. 93 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:11

    There is a lot to read here. My point is, it is illegal to download if you do not pay for it. That is the end of it. When did stealing become OK? Just remember that some of the bigest bands and artest spent many years paying to play in clubs and recording at their cost before they mad it big. We pay for those years.

  92. 94 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 18:13

    It IS theft. Saying a copy is not stealing is like saying that taking spy pictures of someone’s blue prints for a secret idea isn’t theft. They are stealing an intangible, an idea or the result of someone else’s labor. Why are people defending criminal acts on here?

  93. 95 Marisa, in Portland, Oregon, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:14

    I used to download illegally until my law firm handled a copyright infringement case against a poor student who used napster to download a few songs and was forced to pay thousands of dollars to settle. The record companies should be spending their money developing exclusive products that people want to pay for, rather than paying lawyers to sue their customers.

  94. July 28, 2008 at 18:15

    I have actually started buying MORE CD’s since I started downloading music illegally. I have used the internet to find more offbeat, interesting music I would have never found without it, and downloading is a great way to preview albums. If I download something and listen to it more than once, I buy the CD! If I don’t like an album, or don’t even get through ONE listen, I delete the files and forget about it. Last year I bought more CD’s than I had previously bought in the last 5 years combined – my wife is going to kill me!

  95. 97 Andy, San Diego, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:15

    I think there has been a major shift in the industry, on the demand side. The supply side would like to keep the status quo. Recording labels are obsolete. An artist can market himself almost exclusively using the internet. You don;t even need to make CD’s anymore.

    Artists make the majority of their money through live shows. I think downloading is like a free trial or free sample. If I like it, I’ll buy a ticket to a show and the artist makes money. It’s like what business calls a “loss-leader”. If I don’t, then I force the artist to produce better music.

    This model will rid the world of one-hit wonders who have one major hit and then sit on their laurels and never produce another record while they live lavishly off of royalties. If they had to perform live shows, and continue producing good music, the consumer would benefit from a larger variety of good music.

  96. 98 Ryan in Atlanta
    July 28, 2008 at 18:16

    The recording industry did itself a disservice when it fought against file-sharing networks like Napster rather than embrace the technology. Consumers will always be able to find ways around DRM technologies.

    Increasingly, more and more artists understand that progress cannot be stopped. Big name acts, such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, as well as numerous lesser-known artists, are using the Internet as a promotional tool outside the traditional vehicles of big name record labels.

    While I pay for only a fraction of my music, I do not feel guilt because I try to contribute back to the artists through concert attendance.

  97. 99 Tom D Ford
    July 28, 2008 at 18:16

    I don’t download music or movies but I sure quit buying music when they started charging US $20 for what used to be a 5 or 6 dollar album. Their greed lost them my business. I just listen to the radio now.

    And I bet that there are lots of folks like me who quit buying music when the music companies got too greedy.

  98. 100 Seth
    July 28, 2008 at 18:16

    Pirating ideas and content is very, very different from stealing. If I have no intention to buy something, I am taking nothing away from the person who created it.

  99. 101 Serina, Singapore
    July 28, 2008 at 18:17

    Wait a moment, your kenyan guest takes copyrighted music, copies it and sells it because he has to fund his studies?? So why doesn’t he sell fruit on the roadside, make some furniture, clean an office, any number if things by the sweat of his own brow. To justify it as he did is reprehensible and he nothing more than a thief, little better than if he came into my home, stole things and sold them on to friends or family. Unbelievable.

  100. 102 Fenris
    July 28, 2008 at 18:19

    Okay, firstly the “copy” CD’s that are sold are almost entirely in Latin America and asia and were a problem long before file sharing. The two have NOTHING to do with each other.

    Secondly the number of illegal downloads compared to actual purchases is also meaningless as there is no logic to suggest that people downloading the music illegally would have forked out for the songs/TV shows or Movies.

    I am a musician myself and I am completely for giving listeners more access to music. The record companies are too obsessed with making money and having a controllable market to realize that this is just the way things are going to work in the modern world. Today record companies are almost entirely redundant in their current form. They need to adapt to survive.

    As for sympathies. Most of the musicians that are rolled out to complain about it aren’t exactly going to suffer poverty due to people downloading their tracks. Usually smaller artists are happy to have people hearing their tracks. While the record companies and (even more so) the CD stores have ripped off artists and listeners for so long no one could possibly have any sympathy for them. I remember doing some research on this a while back and was surprised to hear that the Recording Artists Coalition had a big issue with LEGAL DOWNLOADS, because their share of that money was dramatically too little. This is something repeated for TV in America with both the writers strike last year and the current actors dispute. If so little of this money ends up in the hands of people that create it, why should we care if we don’t pay for it at all?

    Personally I download music and video, but I also buy CD’s and DVDs. I ONLY buy CD’s or DVD’s for things I really like. I buy no more CD’s then before I started using P2P software (since 1999) and I actually buy MORE DVD’s. But I no longer have to suffer paying for poor quality work at excessive prices.

  101. 103 David, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:20

    How can there really be a discussion about “moral” qualms and “whether it is justified” in a world view that says (and participants that encourage the view) that morality is relative and there is no absolute morality?

  102. 104 Maria
    July 28, 2008 at 18:20

    I think people overemphasize the percentage of the final price that goes to artists. Record companies front money to artists – regardless of their eventual success. They support artists that never make it big.

  103. 105 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 18:20

    Why are people defending criminal acts on here?

    Well for one they are defending them on a moral grounds, not on a legal grounds. There is no doubt that it is illegal. You can make a law against anything you want to make it illegal. It doesn’t mean the act is immoral or unjustifiable. These are two different things.

  104. 106 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 18:20

    @ Seth

    I’m confused. Care to elaborate. YOu think that copying someone’s software isn’t stealing? You have taken nothing away from the person I suppos as compared to having gone in and shoplifted? You have deprived them o the proceeds from the sale of one copy of whatever you download. you have taken something from them. It’s that you choose to ignore that.

  105. 107 michael
    July 28, 2008 at 18:20

    First of all, musicians only get a very small percentage of CD revenues. They make their money on concerts.

    Secondly, downloading music has become the norm. Laws usually follow the norms, not the other way around, and the jurisprudence in this matter tends to prove the law is indeed shifting. The music industry should revise their economical model, like providing free music financed by advertisement.

  106. 108 Frank
    July 28, 2008 at 18:21

    When buying a cd, you have a legal right in the US of “fair use” of the material, which might include burning a copy for a friend, etc., downloading music illegally however (not paying for it) is immoral and illegal, however as long as the technology to do so is available and the penalties for violating the law is remote, illegal downloading will go on. I don’t think it has anything to do with record industry prices, it is simply human nature to want to get something for free, especially when your friends and neighbors are compiling an impressive music library that you cannot afford to duplicate buying music legally. It leaves a person feeling like they are missing out on something that everyone is taking advantage of. Personally, as a musician, I think it is unfair to the artists, but I understand the motivation.

  107. 109 Wayne, Houston
    July 28, 2008 at 18:21

    My personal thoughts on the subject are

    A/ The artist should be rewarded for their work

    B/ The record/media companies earn too much profit and have too much control over artists material.

    I would like to think that free download sites are forcing the record companies to re-evaluate the way they conduct business. More and more bands are distribruting material through their own websites. If the band have paid their own recording costs then I would gladly pay the artist directly for their work.

  108. 110 Benn
    July 28, 2008 at 18:22

    @ steve

    moving the music or movies to a portable player is also coping and is seen by the RIAA to be stealing, does that mean we should not use an Ipod because it is thought to be stealing by some? I have numerous copies of music and movies on my three computers, do you say I should buy separate copies for each three? and what of my Ipod?

  109. 111 Jon, Portland, Oregon
    July 28, 2008 at 18:23

    Recently in Oregon, a man posted a note on craigslist saying that the owner of a particular house wanted to give away all of his belongings, and anyone interested should come to that address and take anything they liked. The actual owner of the house came home to find people going off with his tools, his appliances, everything he owned. The interesting thing is that even though he showed these people identification and proved that he was in fact the owner, they carried on piling his goods into their vehicles until the police arrived.
    The question: how is Peter different from the fellow who posted the original note? He tells people he wants to help them “share” things that they don’t own – if giving away someone else’s work or belongings isn’t theft, what is it?

  110. 112 Rick, Wisconsin
    July 28, 2008 at 18:23

    I don’t download music nor do I buy it either. The music industry tries to take advantage of the consumer by selling the music for high prices. Lower prices means more sells. Lets face it, The people who download music would not buy it anyways. No matter what the price was.

  111. 113 Shaun in Halifax
    July 28, 2008 at 18:23

    @ steve

    What about a backup copy. Is that stealing? If I buy the CD (like I used to) then burn it so I don’t scratch the original, does that count as theft? What about the mix tape you no-doubt made one of your girlfriends way back when? (Or boyfriends, I don’t know. Gotta stay p-c for everybody.)

  112. 114 Samip, Nepal
    July 28, 2008 at 18:24

    I download songs and videos from p2p file sharing programmes like Ares, Limewire. In Nepal you either download illegally or you buy pirated discs. I don’t know about others, but I ain’t falling for the latter.

  113. 115 American Joe
    July 28, 2008 at 18:25

    Sometimes it is not about stealing –
    Back in the day there was a program for sharing called Audio Galaxy. This program helped me discover countless artists by providing recommendations based on what I like. I would then buy the albums for all of this great new music.

    I get more variety, and exposed to new artists, and the artists I like get supported. Yay!

  114. 116 Joe in Portland, Oregon
    July 28, 2008 at 18:27

    I believe if I like the music, I should reward the musician by buying the CD. I think that part of the discussion is a matter of respect for the artist and producer.

  115. 117 Roy, Washington DC
    July 28, 2008 at 18:27

    Artists get a tiny fraction of the price of a CD. The music industry gets the rest. Regardless of what one thinks about file sharing, how is the music industry not ripping off the artists here?

  116. 118 Chucke
    July 28, 2008 at 18:27

    I don’t believe that file sharing is bad. In relation to music. I think that they’re is only one or two tracks that are good on a CD, and my friends agree. The rest of the music on the CD is considered filler tracks. I have also found new artists around the world, but not interested in paying for shipping if I wanted to buy a Cd from the U.K. considering that I live in the U.S.


  117. July 28, 2008 at 18:28

    When did stealing become ok i hear a lot. When did listening to music you didnt pay for become stealing? Standing outside an open air gig, listening to some elses radio…where does it stop?

    Couple of other points…
    As a photographer i have an income stream from residual earnings. If you print my image or use it for your business you pay me. If you look at it or take a copy from my website for your desktop wallpaper. Whatever.

    Why should i pay the record industries for the dross they put out and create. In my mind it is on par with the drug industry justifying using huge profits to create non essential drugs like Viagra. (yeah a little out there but so is this whole concept)

    And……what is with the record industry suing dead people and kids? Just what is the point. Why create and pursue a model that is not sustainable in the current technological environment. All they are doing is trying to use laws that they got their lobbyists to create. How moral is the business behind the industry. It is equally an important question

    Downloading for personal use is fine in my books.

  118. 120 Benn
    July 28, 2008 at 18:29

    The idea that a digital object is not the same as a real solid object. You can copy a digital object forever, you are only limited by storage capacity. You can not compare downloading music and movies to stealing someones belongings.

  119. July 28, 2008 at 18:29

    Illegal, yes (Breathing too much air was illegal in England in the middle ages). Immoral, don’t know or care (Define the word).

    All I care is how much comes out of my pocket for the quality of a

    CDs don’t have much quality anymore, there’s 7.1 DTS Surround music,
    128khz and SACD with MUCH MUCH better audio quality and resolution.

    I won’t pay anymore $10, $14, $20+ for a CD with 2 or 3 songs out of 9 that it might contain. The bootleggers have the price right, they are not
    living in the dark ages of monopoly like the big music dinosaur industries are.

    I much rather buy a Movie than a music CD or MP3 song, a movie generally costs MILLIONS TO MAKE (100, 150, 200 million U.S. dollars are common now a days), it has 1.2+/- hours of VIDEO
    AND A 1.2 +/- HOURS OF AUDIO, a CD generally has 60+/-
    (Usually -) minutes, and as mentioned, 2 or 3 songs (10+/- minutes worth). If movies sell from $5 to $15, $20+/- dollars for a product that has more time and quality, why would I pay the same for a music CD that record companies overcharge for, when even I can record in high quality 6.1 or 7.1 surround sound, FOR PENNIES!?!
    I might not be famous, but it just proves that the quality is not there in
    the record company product for the price they ask for the product they sell.

    Besides, I don’t feel bad for downloading a song from someone who
    has 10 houses worth $50 million each or so.

  120. 122 Zdenek
    July 28, 2008 at 18:30

    It is natural that if we can obtain goods and services for free we will do so. In my country the czech republic downloading is legal but uploading is not, so if I download I am not stealing. Many corporations and governments use questionable methods in their business practices, such as exployting cheap labour abroad, or a child labour so their appeal for morality is unfounded. The other side of the coin is that record companies play an extremely important role, they basically help us to know what good music is on the market. If the label companies did not exist we would not know what to listen to because there is simply so much staff out there. So they play an important role and it is in our interest that they make a buck too, but they will have to adopt to the new environment.

  121. 123 Ricardo
    July 28, 2008 at 18:31

    I live in the northwest USA, 20 years ago nobody heard salsa around here, no anglo record store would have any salsa for sale. Thanks to the internet and file sharing now Salsa is a big success. 3 big name groups came to my city over the last 2 years and I’ve paid $40 to see each of them


  122. 124 Keith
    July 28, 2008 at 18:32

    I believe that it is immoral to obtain music without paying any price for it. However, I also believe that music should not be as expensive as it is. For example: Radiohead allowed its newest cd to be downloaded online, and suggested that its fans pay what they think is a fair price. They ultimately made significantly more money than if they had sold it through a record company. The difference in money should be taken from record companies. With the online format becoming so big, it has become an outdated profession, just like any of a number of manufacturing jobs. They hardly provide a service anymore.

  123. 125 Owen, London, UK
    July 28, 2008 at 18:33

    Since according to your Swedish guest, musicians have to earn money from gigs outside, a lot of us now have to put up with an excessive number of outside festivals in the summer which make it impossible to have your windows open in hot weather if you live near a park or other venue.

  124. 126 John in Portland, OR
    July 28, 2008 at 18:34

    I recently saw a short film by a prominent young writer-director in which he (fictionally, of course) was standing on the street selling pirated DVDs of his own movie. His point was that he could get $9.90 in profit from a pirated disc as opposed to the 85 cents he received in royalties after the media company got its cut. How much does distribution really cost, and what bad deals are conglomerates enticing hungry young artists into? Something to think about.

  125. 127 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 18:35

    @ Roy

    Don’t diflect the topic. It doesn’t matter how much the artists make, and what they make doesn’t justify anyone stealing the songs. The artists had a contract, the terms of the contract was something they agreed with. You cannot steal something because you don’t like the agreement other people made of their own volition.

  126. 128 Tom
    July 28, 2008 at 18:35

    Just on a point of information – re artists getting cheated by illegal downloads

    A legal iTunes download in the UK costs 79 pence (= USD 1.57) per track.

    The Writer & publisher get 6 pence between them
    The Performer gets 6-8pence,
    Visa/Mastercard 7pence
    Apple 12pence
    Record Company almost 50pence

  127. 129 Rick in Portland
    July 28, 2008 at 18:36

    In regard to the use of any copyrighted material (music or software) without paying, it’s only piracy IF YOU WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BOUGHT IT. The bits themselves have no inherent value like a physical object would. The artists/record companies have lost nothing if I couldn’t have afforded to buy the CD anyway.

    The key issue is that downloadable music is grossly overpriced. If I could buy an album for $2, with half going to the artist I would be delighted to do so.

  128. 130 Zac in Portland
    July 28, 2008 at 18:37

    Yes, I download music and I don’t have any issue with it. I still purchase plenty of albums and choose who to support. The music I download is largely music that I was never going to buy anyway. If it’s free and enjoyable enough I’ll add it to my collection, it’s of real quality then I’ll buy it. I don’t feel the music industry is loosing anything by me downloading. Last week alone I purchased five albums. Two of those were from a used CD shop so the band didn’t get any money anyway, and that’s perfectly legal and far more cost effective then me buying it new.

    I also frequent the Library fairly often where I can take home 15 CD’s at a time without dealing with the risk that comes with online downloading and the quality is often better.

    I also attended two concerts last week, and on the weekend purchased tickets for two more shows.

    By downloading I’m able to expose myself to far more then I can listening to the radio and in many ways the musicians are able to benefit from that. By me attending their concerts or telling others about the band is probably the most direct way they are benefiting.

  129. 131 Orlando
    July 28, 2008 at 18:37

    Our intellectual property laws date from the time of King Henry the VIII and have long been recognized as necessary to reward artist and inventor for their creations so that they will continue to create. They after all have to live, and, since their effort provide the riches values to us all, we have decided long ago that they shall have a legal monopoly right for a period of time to benefit from their creations. Without that right to exploit their creations they will and, indeed, must create less or not create at all, as they must work at other thing to make a living or decide that creating isn’t worth it.

    Now, it may be that as a matter of law and politics that one, such a Pirate Bay, rejects these obvious truths and well settled legal principles and insists on providing creators’ property to other for free, but don’t claim that you are doing it for freedom’s sake or that, tough, the artist must make money by other means, when, as is true with Pirate Bay, they are getting rich by exploiting the value of
    the music that they’ve stolen. Pirate Bay isn’t working for nothing. If I took all of their profits, they’d quit their business without hesitation.

  130. 132 Shane - Salem OR, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:38

    The artists need the backing of money that these corporations provide but their business models must adapt. Perhaps creating their OWN type of file sharing software would be in order.

  131. 133 Billy, The United States
    July 28, 2008 at 18:38

    The way I see it, a good portion of the money I pay for a CD goes towards all the extras and packaging and marketing done to publish that CD. I’m usually not interested in any of that so I don’t see why I should be forced to buy all the extras if all I want is the music. When I download the music I only feel indebted to the artist since I’m not receiving any of those extras. For this reason, I prefer to go to concerts or buy my music directly from the artist when possible to support them since a larger portion of the money goes to the artist and the money that doesn’t goes to something I’m also willing to pay for. All of the extras is what the corporate music world has built itself around and they need to realize we are no longer forced to take prepackaged music.

  132. July 28, 2008 at 18:38

    Another industry that ought to be mentioned is the sports industry.

    They pay MILLIONS to anyone who literally plays children games
    very well, bounce balls,grab balls, toss balls, hit balls, run while grabbing
    balls…. C’mon, it’s just that, grabbing or kicking balls and running.

    Yet you don’t see them whining about others doing the same
    in the street, “No, you can’t grab balls and run!! You are ripping
    us off!! You are doing something ILLEGAL because we copyrighted
    grabbing, or kicking or tossing balls ™ and running with them.”

    Same is for the music industry, anyone can make music, anyone can
    share it, they real core of this issue is the price they charge for the
    crappy quality they provide, they want to get pay too much for
    very little.

    I won’t buy another CD either until it costs $3 or $5, and until it has a
    superb resolutions 1028khz +, 1028 bit +, 7.1 + speaker output.

    Not the current outdated cheesy 2 channel quality.

  133. 135 Anya
    July 28, 2008 at 18:39

    I agree with one of the guests on the show that when it comes to morality issue, it is different if people share the music for free, or if they copy it and sell it for profit.
    I think, sometimes, imoral things happen ligally.
    I do not have very much knolage of the music industry, but I hear that sometimes the way the contracts work, is the Record labels are first to make money, and the musicians are left out. People hear such stories and therefore have very little simpathy for the Record labels that at times have a reputation for expoiting the talants of artist.
    I personally do not download music or movie illigally, but I can undertand that when the industry does not have a reputation for morality (even though all the deals are perfectly legal), even people with reasonable moral standards don’t have a problem downloading the music of the net.
    One of the best things that happened due to illigal downloads is 99¢ songs.
    Sometimes I don’t want the whole album, sometimes I want just one song!

  134. 136 Patrick, North Carolina, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:39

    I admit to downloading some programming but a limited criterion: in terms of television shows, I do download series of one show, Spooks or as it is known in the US , MI-5. First, it is new in the UK and I can not wait until until it comes to the US in a highly edited version, It is in its “natural” state with the Spooks opening and the full 59 minutes of show. However, I still purchase the DVD of the series when they are released because the downloaded version does not have certain features the DVDs have such as audio commentaries by the cast and crew and subtitles.

    I also download the very occasional movie but if it is something I can not find through the normal ways especially if it is not in circulation anymore.

  135. 137 Bret Cali
    July 28, 2008 at 18:40

    I used to work for a record company in London. We dealt in vinyl records and sold worldwide. Often we would sell white labels which were pirated from other artists. The groups that pirated these record tracks often helped by indirectly promoting the artist they pirated. In many instances DJ’s word only have the money to produce a couple of thousand records. The pirated white labels were produced by speculators that were betting that the track would hit. This often had the effect of turning a track into an anthem. The pirates we dealt with came from Brixton and often we would clue them in on hot tracks we heard before the public got a chance to hear them. We imported these white labels world wide.

    Thanks Bret Cali
    Salt Lake City Utah

    Bret Cali

  136. 138 John in Portland, OR
    July 28, 2008 at 18:40

    I’m not deflecting, but rather I think this short demonstrates the desire among the artistic community to take some control over their own product, and to alter the structure of the publishing industry to be more fair. I don’t buy pirated anything, and wouldn’t use this example to justify piracy. What it does show is a guerrilla attitude among some folks toward the monoliths of the publishing world.

  137. 139 Michael
    July 28, 2008 at 18:41


    Well I dont downloading music. Not wasting time for that. I already own all CDs I need in my life. Honestly 🙂

    There is many layers to whole issue called P2P.

    There are people who just simply stealing because they want even if they can buy that in store 5 meters from home. Others downloading because they already own e.g. DVD and just downloading copy of the movie to harddisk. Lets be honest it is much simpler than toying with DVD player. Just click and we rolling. Others like me downloading because stuff I want is unavailable in Europe. I see no reason to subsidize goverment with outrageous duty fees for what I buying in US or Japan (mostly).

    And thats about it.

    I have however one more example why people downloading movies. Here is the deal. Im big Star Trek fan. I bought all VHS tapes (~200!) when DVD was non-existent. One tape costed me ~16-20 Pounds. Belive me a loooooot of money in Poland shortly after fall of Socialism (not to mention insane custom fee). And then suddenly DVD coming in and some greedy corporate guy in US expecting from me to pay for all what I bought earlier once more?! You having a laugh “mate”!

    Pirate Bay crew & others P2P people – unite & keep up the good work! Cheers!

  138. 140 Scott
    July 28, 2008 at 18:42

    How interesting it is that issues of morality come into view when rich people might loose money. My government has invaded Iraq to control oil and has done little for the peoples of Darfur or the Congo. The day the US returns the Black Hills to it’s rightful owners, the Lacota people, i will pay again for music. Will blacks be compensated for Slavery? No. So, to claim theft for music and do nothing about lands and resources stolen from entire peoples is an argument without merit. The US mainland itself was stolen, so don’t talk to me about stealing music.

  139. 141 George, Cedar City, Utah, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:43

    It’s interesting that the BBC ‘gives away’ news. There is no charge and there is no advertising. This does distort the ‘market’ for news, for people who want to make money selling news.

    Right now, the New York Times is in a lot of trouble. Eventually, the process of making things ‘free’ might end their ability to gather news. Eventually ‘free’ music might drive music choice from the market. This deserves to be monitored. How many groups can have mega-tours?

    I guess what annoys me about ‘free’ , whether news or music downloads, is that it creates an enormous divide. Paid news and paid music is oppressive. Paid radio has more and more advertising. Newspapers put flashing ads everywhere, or make you go through advertising screens to get to a story. So the BBC and downloading perk along, but on the other side everything gets nastier.

    Shouldn’t the BBC charge me $100 a year to listen?

  140. 142 Bob
    July 28, 2008 at 18:44

    I think comparing illegal downloading with shoplifting a CD is a flawed analogy due to the fact that a large portion of the cost of a CD comes from the packaging material. So while illegal downloading is indeed a theft of intellectual property it is not ultimately as damaging as the actual theft of a physical CD that cost money to print, package, and distribute.

    Aside from that everyone knows the major record labels are as crooked as Ali Baba’s 40 Thieves.

  141. 143 Justin from Iowa
    July 28, 2008 at 18:45

    I downloaded a lot during college. Money was tight, everyone was doing it, and it was a good way to diversify beyond the radio. Since, money isn’t as much of an issue, and I’ve gone back and bought quite a few CDs that I downloaded, or bought collections by the artist to expand what I’d had.

    I have to say though, that 90% of the music I downloaded, I listen to approximately 10% of the time if not less. It’s the music that really touched a nerve, and which I subsequently bought more cds of and followed the artist, that I listen to most of the time. If I couldn’t freely download those other artists, I just wouldn’t listen to them period… and I’d have missed a few artists who I wholeheartedly support now.

    I think most fans of bands want to support them and buy their music, at least I do.

  142. 144 Alexis
    July 28, 2008 at 18:46

    Well i’m from Peru and here everybody buy cds that are not legaland commercialize them

  143. 145 Kevin, Loudonville Ohio
    July 28, 2008 at 18:47

    It is stealing. My kids do it and I noticed that they do not spend money on cd’s like they use to. They use to spend $50 a month. If you download music, you should send the band a check.

  144. 146 Andrew, Australia
    July 28, 2008 at 18:47

    How people can justify theft is stunningly arrogant. A criminal is a criminal and would these same people feel okay if others stole from them?

  145. 147 Brett
    July 28, 2008 at 18:47

    Again, metaphors are killing this…

  146. 148 Bella, Washington DC
    July 28, 2008 at 18:48

    If I check out a CD from the library, and upload the music to my iTunes, for my own use, being a pirate?

  147. July 28, 2008 at 18:48

    To make music now being an “architect of music” isn’t going to make you a wealthy person. Nope you must go out and be popular and play concerts.

  148. 150 Tara
    July 28, 2008 at 18:49

    The biggest problem with illegal downloading is the day that it becomes so grand that it no longer pays off for people to be a part of the entertainment industry.
    I think before we get to that day, these industries must accept that people will no longer go back to paying for these items when they have recieved them for free for so long.
    They have to consider running their own peer-sharing websites and making money through advertisements.

  149. July 28, 2008 at 18:49

    Don’t forget that it’s immoral to be monopolistic, the radio stations in
    the U.S. are monopolized, they play from coast to coast the same songs
    over and over and over and over and over.

    Why don’t we get new music? It’s not because they have run out of
    artists or songs, it’s because they want to sell music from only those
    artist that work for them from which they are getting profit from.

    About the house being stole.. GO AHEAD! If you can clone a house
    like you can clone an Mp3 go ahead, steal the blue prints, new blue prints will always come up. If my blue print company was getting all the profit from my blue prints anyways, I might as well give them away myself.

  150. 152 Thomas
    July 28, 2008 at 18:49

    It’s not immoral and it shouldn’t be illegal. We will look back at this in half a century and wonder what all the fuss was about. An intangible cannot be controlled, it’s impossible. The sooner we realise this, the less time and money will be wasted on trying to maintain the business models of tangibles in a world of bits.

  151. 153 Eric
    July 28, 2008 at 18:49

    From my perspective the artists lose no money by my file sharing.
    I love cd’s and would prefer to purchase them, but I can not afford to, so I own music I cant afford.
    If I didnt get it from a shared source I would not buy it. And the performer would still not have my money.
    But I do find artists that I would not have otherwise and perhaps I will buy one of their cd’s later or go to a show when they come to town.

  152. 154 james
    July 28, 2008 at 18:49

    This is part of a larger issue that should concern all of us. Increasingly people feel like they should not have to pay for art. Granted, the music industry exacerbates the problem by overcharging the public and underpaying the artists, however, the fact that the notion of free music even exists in public discourse is tremendously frightening. Do we value the work of the artists or not?

  153. 155 Gudmundur Arnar Kr.
    July 28, 2008 at 18:50

    As a consumer I try not to be guilt-tripped into anything as is the case with the morality argument.

    I simply go the path of least resistance and currently that is illegal downloads.

    I live in Iceland, which is one of the most digitized economies in the world, broadband saturation is seemingly total, yet I have to download movies and TV shows illegally.

    I’m not going to have bureaucratic red tape wrapped around my wallet.
    iTunes is not available (in the strictest legal sense) here in Iceland, same with xbox live (which offers movie rentals over broadband).

    If it was as easy to pay for this content as it is not to pay for it, I would gladly do!
    Case in point is Valve’s Steam service which offers video game downloads for a fee, I use that now rather than illegally downloading the video games.

    Another example is DVD or optical media in general, it’s cumbersome! I’ve bought all available series of futurama on DVD, but I never watched it, it just sat on my shelves. But then I found the same content on piratebay and downloaded it, and now all of it is available at my fingertips, without having to change disks….
    I don’t think that’s illegal as I’ve already bought the content on dvds and could have made the copies myself, it’s actually easier to download them!

  154. July 28, 2008 at 18:51

    If it is possible to clone fruit, should we hold this technology back due to revenue issues?

    If something can be reproduced an infinite number of times, it no longer has value.

    It’s profiteering.

  155. July 28, 2008 at 18:52

    I have no moral problems downloading music.
    People also copy and download English courses I have written and copyrighted for my website. I politely ask them to remove the material from the file sharing web site, and they always do.
    I see both sides of the coin and quite honestly I don’t understand the fuss.

    Craig (Spain)

  156. 158 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 18:52

    @ Joe

    Please. You don’t clone an apple, you clone the tree. It needs to grow, it will take years befor eyou get the first apple from “cloning” it. Whereas copying a file is INSTANT.

  157. 159 Shane - Salem OR, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:52

    Perhaps artists need to re-evaluate the value of their music. I keep hearing that it takes “so much work” to make music. I know many friends who make high quality music from home, and work a full time job. I wish I could be paid in wretched excess for doing my job. It seems that most of the greatest artists in the world started doing music at home. It also seems that music was much harder to make then, before computers.

  158. 160 Kuria
    July 28, 2008 at 18:53

    As the consumer of Wahu’s product, I am actually interested in a middle-ground btw the two options. I would like to get Wahu’s Music from Peter, but, at a fee. He distributes it quicker and always has the latest copies of Wahu’s creations. I want to pay for the music because I respect Wahu’s creativity and I want to reward her.

  159. 161 kevin p
    July 28, 2008 at 18:54

    What about music that i’ve purchased more than once when formats changed? I bought vinyl, tape & cd. No record company EVER sent me a copy of previously bought music in the new format. kevin p

  160. 162 JA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:54

    I’m an artist, writer (poetry), musician, inventor, etc..
    My position is that i have absolutely no problem with people making “for copies” for their own use, but when they try to profit from my work without permission, that’s where I draw the line.

  161. July 28, 2008 at 18:55




    Sure, they might loose a million or 20, but there will always
    be something they can wok at, even if pay minimum wage.

    Let they worry about finding a job like I worry about that too.

  162. 164 Chad in Oregon, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 18:55

    It may not be ethical to download without permission but when have record companies ever treated artists ethically? Download every day and break the monopoly but also give to artists by going to their shows buying merchandise etc.

  163. 165 Michael
    July 28, 2008 at 18:56

    You have to assume that the artist and the distributor have agreed to earn money when they make a recording.

    The fraction that each party gets is irrelevant to the moral issue. Stealing the recording is wrong.

  164. July 28, 2008 at 18:56


    Is Monsanto justified in suing farmers who use their seeds for pest-resistant fruit?

    Is money and profit more important than the happiness and wellbeing of the populace?

  165. 167 Carter
    July 28, 2008 at 18:57

    I have no problem with the artist and producers getting paid for thier investment, What I find annoying are the middle men Cable, Dish, and commerical businesses that charge me to not only watch or listen to media on their schedule or devices, but also to view commercials. Things should be place as Free To Air (TFA) and the producers placing ads into the broadcasts. For me to pay to be directed and advertised to is a waste and economically stupid given the technology available.

  166. 168 james
    July 28, 2008 at 18:57


    It’s curious that you have a problem with people downloading your copyrighted material but you don’t have a problem with downloading other people’s work?

    Please clarify.

  167. 169 steve
    July 28, 2008 at 18:58

    @ Joe

    So if it would make me happy, I should be able to steal cars from a BMW dealership because all they would do is make a profit anyways, and I would be happy in an M3?

    Stop justifying crimes! it’s THEFT! I’m sure everyone would be happier if we redistributed all beach front property and gave a certain amount to everyone on earth, but it still theft.

  168. 170 kevin p
    July 28, 2008 at 18:58

    Also i’ve bought cd’s that i WISH i could only keep 2 songs and RETURN the rest of the album for a refund. kevin p

  169. July 28, 2008 at 18:59


    Suppose a button could pressed, much like with music, to make infinite copies of the car.

    Should the cars still go for $30,000+?

  170. 172 northbender
    July 28, 2008 at 18:59

    Many of my friends are composers and performers (“serious” music). They say they never see a penny from royalties; the publishers/record companies are the only ones who make money when people listen to the music they’ve written or played. They, the musicians, are glad to have their music heard, and often just put it on the internet themselves, to share it free, because they aren’t losing anything by it.

  171. 173 Sam
    July 28, 2008 at 18:59

    One of the major reasons someone on a low income (studying myself) pirates is mainly to see how good a product is, if the product is well made and worth a purchase, then a real copy is purchased, regardless of how long it takes to save up.

    I have (in the past) pirated Nintendo DS games, DVDs, CDs, PC games, comics and more. Everything I found worth buying I have paid for and now own, and you’d be surprised how much rubbish is filtered this way.
    (Albums with one hit, shows with one decent episode, and the like.)

    A second reason for pirating is really badly scheduled products. For example: movies. The comedy “Harold and Kumar : Escape from Guantanamo Bay” released in the US in April, and now has a DVD. Here in Australia, the release in cinemas is set for September.

    Three months is fair enough, but five? Almost as bad as the video game Rock Band. If the instruments were replaceable, people would have pirated it by now. So far the release is slated for December, when the game was around since November 2007 in America. A year and a month is not a reasonable release.
    (Especially when Rock Band 2 announced it’s upcoming release at the E3 conference this year.)

    A third reason is DVD Region locks (and more recently, the Blu Ray equivalent). This is almost identical to the film and video game release problem, and as bandwidth increases, will be no problem to pirate as well.

    All of these reasons have solutions, but the corporations seem unwilling to fix same time (or close enough) world release dates, and it’s up to the artists to produce content people deem worthy to purchase, which can only result in the cream rising.

  172. 174 Jon, Portland, Oregon
    July 28, 2008 at 19:02

    If the Bhundu Boys choose to make a deal with a record company, isn’t it their right to do so? Isn’t the argument that “record companies rip off musicians” somewhat patronizing, saying that since the Bhundu Boys don’t know enough to make a good deal for themselves, I have the right to finish off the job of ripping them off?

  173. 175 Bill, Bay area, California
    July 28, 2008 at 19:03

    When did sharing a song with a friend by running off a cassette turn into stealing, just because it was done by a different means of reproduction?

  174. 176 Simon
    July 28, 2008 at 19:04

    I seem to be too polite for live radio…

    The point I was trying to make is that the record labels are now in direct competition with artists, so their requests for anti-P2P legislation should be looked at whether they are consistent with antitrust legislation.

  175. 177 Stephanie
    July 28, 2008 at 19:04

    A product is a product… Material or no.

    If they can prosecute someone for selling brand-knock-offs, then the same applies to music. If you’re selling, or using someone’s product for your own purposes or profit, it’s wrong.

  176. 178 Chris
    July 28, 2008 at 19:04

    I support the fact that musicians use record label companies to help distribute and sell their music. Not everyone has the money nor the know how to market their talents. Personally I prefer bands with no labels, because nearly all artists manipulate their own music to fit what the market will buy, based on their own label’s “marketing suggestions”.

  177. 179 James, Connecticut, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 19:05

    I am a consumer from the USA that does download shared music as well as trade albums with friends. I still buy certain albums / artists, and have actually bought more music because of them sharing thier music with me.

  178. 180 Benn
    July 28, 2008 at 19:06


    Copying and Stealing are two different things. Just look at the spy laws that have been around for centuries, a spy is someone that that takes information but a spy is also a thief if they steal the information (if it is only copied then they are just a spy). Pre-WW1 Germany and Britain extradited spys for stealing documents because they were thiefs, but if the documents were copied then no extradition happened (they were not a thief just a spy). Same idea holds today, if you steal a physical object then it is stealing, if you copy it (even a perfect copy) you are a copier (but you may be found to be breaking a copyright law, although there is enough loopholes to drive your BMW through).

    What I am trying to say is don’t compare stealing a car to copying or downloading music. If you copied the car then you could make a comparison.

  179. 181 Eric, Portland, Oregon
    July 28, 2008 at 19:06

    I don’t think that downloading music is wrong or immoral, the type of music that I listen to is for the most part extremely obscure, with artists releasing only 200-300 copies of a cd or vinyl, and many of these artists are from europe, so there are not going to be copies of that cd in shops here in Portland, Oregon. And many of these cds or records were released in the early 90’s or mid 90’s. so they are pretty much impossible to find. And many of the bands have broken up for years, as their record companies have as well, so if I download a cd of theirs it doesn’t matter, no body is losing money. In the music scene I’m into, artists make more money off of merchandise (shirts, patches, sweaters, etc) then they do cds. If I can download the cds or music for free, then I have more money available to buy shirts and other merch from the band, which benefits them more because they are making more money.

  180. 182 Wayne
    July 28, 2008 at 19:07

    I regularly use an internet broadcast site called Pandora.com. There the user can select their favorite artist and the webste plays similar artists at random based on genre, rhythm etc. This is a great way to be exposed to new artists and if I hear an artist I really like I will go out and buy their CD; (you cannot rip any music), but the bulk of my money still goes to the record comapany, which is immoral. Strangely enough Pandora is constantly under threa of closure from the US Government and media.

  181. 183 dthomas
    July 28, 2008 at 19:07

    music is a product of the person who created it and taking it without paying for it is stealing. just because it’s digital and on the internet doesn’t change that. music isn’t a birth right that you can steal just because you can’t afford it any more than a car or food or any other product that people make.

  182. 184 Mark, Portland, Oregon
    July 28, 2008 at 19:07

    You should be very careful with charging for certain intellectual properties. What if I come up with a cure for cancer or AIDS and only give to people who pay me for it.

  183. 185 Kerry
    July 28, 2008 at 19:09

    Peter is manipulating the subject at hand by stating that music is an idea rather than an entity, in order to justify theft.

  184. 186 Orlando, Cleveland, Ohio
    July 28, 2008 at 19:09

    Pirate Bay’s copies substitute for sales and, thus, those sales are lost, which means no revenues and profits or at leas dramatically reduced revenues and profits.

  185. 187 Dan, DC, USA
    July 28, 2008 at 19:11

    We are in this problem because music was appropriated away from society by the creation of an industry. Musicians make more money by touring, and always have. The record companies take music, mark up the price and re-apportion it back out to the people. It used to be that music was created by everyone. Just ask Alan Lomax. The music industry made music into a brass ring that very few can now afford to grasp.

  186. 188 John
    July 28, 2008 at 19:13

    As someone who does actually work in the music industry I can tell you that far too many comments are being made here by people who clearly do not understand how the business works.

    And what are your guests talking about?

    It’s hilarious listening to Tom Robinson’s pie analogy, trying to cleverly talk his way around and dress up theft as being something else!

    His entire career is attributable to the success of “War Baby” when there was no such thing as the internet in the first place and that was before he offered it to people for free and I think he should bear that in mind when he nows tells us all how wonderful free downloading is.

    It is especially disturbing seeing artists themselves, feeding into the problem, by giving away music for free.

    Of course note that many of those doing this are those already successful and wealthy enough to afford to do so in the first place.

  187. 189 Dan, Orlando, FL
    July 28, 2008 at 19:19

    We got no discount for buying CDs if we already owned the album or cassette. We paid more for a medium whose cost to produce has plummeted while prices have remained high. If CDs were priced in line with their current manufacturing costs, fewer would bother with the headaches of illegal downloading.

  188. 190 Benn
    July 28, 2008 at 19:22


    If a person wants to give away their intellectual property you have NO RIGHT to stop them. Do not say that an artist is “feeding into the problem”. It is their right to do what they want with what they create.

  189. 191 Simon
    July 28, 2008 at 19:30

    Another issue: in many European countries, the collection agencies charge a levy on blank media and on devices like CD writers (unless they are used in a manufacturing setting — for example, a copier station with 15 writers is exempt since it is expected that it will only be used for legitimate purposes).

    The question is now: does that make copying legal, or is it simply assumed that I will pirate music and need to pay some sort of reparations for that unless I prove otherwise?

  190. 192 Harmonia
    July 28, 2008 at 19:32

    I think this debate is rather unnecessary, that is, when people try to define commodities and intellectual property, justify new technologies’ changes to our lives, etc., and don’t simply apply fundamental logical reasoning.

    Any artist knows, and everyone should know, that what the artist does is WORK. It is full-time mental work, whether done 8 hours a day or not,and what one does full-time prevents other kinds of money-making endeavors. Therefore, an artist must be paid for his/her work; otherwise, the artist doesn’t survive as an artist.

    Now, the making of a CD, as I personally know, is a huge task, and expensive. The cost should reflect the work that went into it. Well, it can’t really, but you get my drift. So, a customer buys the CD for $20 once. Then she has the ownership of the CD and can play the music on it a thousand billion times. Is each listening worth the less than a penny it costs the customer? I think it’s worth more!

    So, that’s it. Stop complaining that artists should be treated well. You don’t ask a doctor or lawyer to do work for free, and if they do, it’s pro bono, as an artist can do a benefit concert. The reason this debate is happening is for two reasons:

    1–digital technology has made this mischief possible,
    2–education about art has deteriorated so badly in recent years that
    young people don’t understand how hard it is to do well, and how much training it takes to do it well. They also don’t understand the value and power of it, even though they know they are deeply affected by it and need it. They may not even hear the difference between crappy sound quality and good, or the difference between stupid lyrics and profound ones. A ballerina doesn’t just jump up on stage with the NYC Ballet without spending years studying, not does a musician who is really a musician get to be good without the same practice.

    That’s all I have to say.

  191. 193 Iva in the US
    July 28, 2008 at 19:37

    I thought downloading “free” music was great to begin with. Then, my daughter married a musician. He is global as a caller suggested. However, his viewpoint I must respect. He wrote the music found a record label and promoters both in the U.S. and Europe. Everytime someone downloads his music for free they steal from his pocket. I fear the youngsters (anyone under 40) have lost their moral compasses. It may not be immoral but it sure is illegal. You may as well steal the CD off the shelves.

  192. 194 Michael
    July 28, 2008 at 19:50

    I am totally amazed at how people justify stealing. Would it be refreshing to have people acknowledge they know its stealing and they choose to steal for whatever reason. They know its wrong and they still do it.

    Its not unlike public radio. Public radio, which broadcasts this program, have some of the most entertaining and informative programs on radio and television in the U.S. Local public stations dependent on donations from the public to meet their operating costs. And yet, only a small percentage of the public regularly contribute to their local public stations. If half of the people who regularly listen to or watch public stations contributed a basic membership of $35.00 the stations would not need to interrupt programs to beg for money to pay their bills.

    Stealing from artists because you can or listening or watching public stations without contributing is a statement about certain populations. Such statements are not necessarily positive.

  193. 195 kpellyhezekiah
    July 28, 2008 at 19:57

    I don’t understand what illegality we are talking about here. the musicians,film makers, recording studios etc who create their own sites and put their records there for people to view for free and not download should just take steps to make it difficult if not impossible for people to download their work.. After all they are enjoying good publicity for their work. for every gain, there is a cost or risk. This topic to me is just like someone who has bought a car and decides to park his car on the street for people to see that he has acquired a car. If he leave the car keys in the car and doesn’t lock the door then goes around calling people to come and view his new car who is to be blamed if the car is stolen? come on guys, lets be serious.

  194. 196 Djay defo
    July 28, 2008 at 20:03

    @ Bob in Queensland there’s a saying that if one is without sin then throw then cast the first stone, you try so hard to make a point that you just dont get it. Its simple and will always be that way this is 2008 and technology is far more advanced than when these laws came into place in the first place. Back in the 90’s recording on tape and playing in your car was never called piracy so whats the difference with that and downloading what your mate has given to you. The solution is simple if you dont want ur music to be shared then come up with an advanced technology to do it and dont say people should not share music honestly. I for one only decide to stick to buying CD’s cos its off best quality.. Period

  195. 197 Leonet Reid- Jamaica
    July 28, 2008 at 20:05

    I firmly believe that when one willing downloads another’s work from the internet without the owners gaining profits from it is totally wrong! I think these artists have put there efforts into doing their job so we can at least pay them for their talents.

  196. 198 kpellyhezekiah
    July 28, 2008 at 20:13

    please tell the UK government to find better things to do with the taxpayers money than cheaply spending it on an irresponsible venture like this. It is irresponsible because although the government is obliged to provide general public security it is the responsibility of individual to protect their own properties. Why do we have security services for private enterprises and even some people’s homes? This protection should be the direct responsibility of the individual property owners and not the state. In africa we have a proverb which says that when you bring home an ants infested meat and keep it there don’t be surprised if lizards make your house their abode.

  197. 199 kpellyhezekiah
    July 28, 2008 at 20:19

    Please, can someone explain the illegality of the downloading to me? Is it just the mere consent of the property owner before one downloads or there is more to it? I am waiting for answers here?

  198. 200 kpellyhezekiah
    July 28, 2008 at 20:23

    I see that you mean that it is the property owners inability TO GAIN PROFIT from their work when it is downloaded is what you mean by the illegality. Is that what you mean?

  199. 201 Ugochi
    July 28, 2008 at 20:23

    I feel like the argument that illegally downloading is a necessity to finding new music that doesn’t get played on radio doesn’t really hold in the this age of internet radio. Sites like Pandora let you find music and new artists that fit your tastes without having to get it illegally.

  200. 202 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    July 28, 2008 at 20:26

    Congratulations to WHYS on at least running a show with relevant, appropriate guests and voices to the topic at hand. It’s great that you got the Pirate Bay guy on. You’re still living down that execrable show on Barack Obama from a week or so ago, for which I think an apology is due both the audience and Senator Obama.

  201. 203 kpellyhezekiah
    July 28, 2008 at 20:41

    guys on WHYS, once more its the POLITICIANS who are in the lead it this area in the UK. Do you know why? its because the big record labels are fast losing their grips on the entertainment industry, be it films, music,etc and for that matter their huge incomes which had hither to be at the expense of the poor artists, so their servants, the politicians(who they fund with the crumbs from their table)must do their bidding for them at the expense of the masses. Please tell all artists that the internet is serving their interest immensely. What needs to be done is simply how they can use the same IT to stop people downloading their works which they don’t want to be downloaded for free! They don’t need the record labels again in this IT age to promote them. In fact the record labels should become a supplementary efforts in their promotional/advertising/protection drive. The artists should laise with IT companies to bring this technology into being for them to use. That’s all

  202. 204 bjay
    July 28, 2008 at 20:45

    Is illegal downloading immoral?

    Il’l be short.
    Immorality depends on ‘GEORAFY and the PLACE IN TIME’
    Illegality, that is a another matter . com.
    How you justify it, now you can humour, I might be fickle.

    Bjay connotation with accent

  203. July 28, 2008 at 20:46

    I am a working musician. I perform. I write original material. While not a household name, I have toured extensively around the world. I fill a niche market and manage to make a modest living.

    I have had problems with my former record label. I have had problems collecting royalties from those who have bought my songs. I have had problems with people who have wanted free downloads of my music.

    People in the arts do what they do because they are driven to do it, not because they have any expectation of becoming rich and famous. For every “rock star,” there are thousands of musicians like me who are working hard to get by while pursuing their calling. Most of us don’t have champagne lifestyles, and the loss of income due to pirating or free downloads can make a significant difference in our general state of well being.

    The painful truth is, artists – especially musicians – tend to be exploited by others who can turn a profit off of them. This is as true of local bar owners as it is of industry corporate giants. And, sadly, it also seems to be increasingly true of those people who just happen to like what we do.

    The bottom line is: DJs and fans who appropriate a musician’s work without the artist’s permission are simply committing an act of larceny and are being as grossly exploitative as record execs who cook their books to cheat musicians of royalties, or who insist on owning the rights to an artist’s work. These are all acts of parasitism.

    I can’t pay my rent with accolades. Website hits don’t put dinner on my table. I do that by getting paid for what I do best, which is writing, arranging, performing, recording and selling my music.

    Unfortunately, the crux of the problem has less to do with a DJ’s or fan’s skewed sense of entitlement or a record label’s dishonesty than it does with this basic cultural truth: artists are simply not honored or respected for what they do because the creative process itself is not valued.

    We pay doctors and lawyers a lot of money because we consider their skills indispensable for our personal well being. It’s harder to see the direct benefit of music, painting or any other form of artistic expression. We take art, and most especially musical art for granted. In part it’s because we have so much music in our lives that we often relegate its importance to the “background.” In part it’s because music is so intrinsically a part of us that we assume anyone can do it.

    Musical creativity is one of the profound and unique abilities that define our common humanity. Musicians should be respected and honored for what they do. In a world that requires money to secure personal comfort and well being, musicians should be paid for their work, just like anyone else. People who simply take or disseminate a musician’s work without the artist’s permission are operating in an ethical void. Further, they are diminishing their own humanity.

    Nancy Conescu

  204. 206 bjay
    July 28, 2008 at 20:47

    Is illegal downloading immoral?

    Ill be short.
    Immorality depends on ‘GEORAPHY and the PLACE IN TIME’
    Illegality, that is a another matter . com.
    How you justify it, now you can humour, I might be fickle.

    Bjay connotation with accent

  205. 207 Frank
    July 28, 2008 at 21:00

    Yes, the argument that you have to download music illegally to preview or hear new music doesn’t hold up. There is plenty of music you can listen to on MySpace in many genres (hmmm curious that all those indie artists only have listening space rather than allowing the whole world to downloand thier music for free) before going to thier website and buying the music and the are sites such as Rhapsody where you pay $10 a month to listen to unlimited music and then 89 cents to download it to your computer. If anything, the sites such as napster and other illegal sites have been instrumental in having record companies cooperate with these legal download sites. If you can’t afford $10 a month, you can always ask a friend to burn a copy of thier cd for you. That’s not illegal by the way, it’s called “fair use” under the US copyright laws. Somebody mentioned that the RIAA considers copying a legally purchased tune on to your Ipod. The RIAA can say it’s illegal all they want, but I think they would lose that fight in Court.

  206. 208 Syed Hasan Turab
    July 28, 2008 at 21:25

    An artist require popularity to reach upto public heart , mind & discussion’s, after achieving the popularity goal market already establish, after this he may be entitled to encash his popularity in available market.
    No doubt market runs on one basic principal i.e. demand & supply, like normal business we have to handle this issue as Mercantal law is available for our guidance.
    All this debate & programme in this regard sound like ” PROVISION OF LEGAL STRUCTURE FOR LATEST SALES TECHNIQUES “, as these sales techniques & policies frequently change in accordance to market requirements, so may not be considered for legal ammendment’s.
    Infact sales & marketing people suppose to move according to market by way of adopting latest technoques without being victom of buyer’s community, legal involvement will damage the market, creativity of Artist & credibility of sales technique’s, on the other hand absorbent of Internet technology sound like generation gap. I am quite sure our future generation will resolve the issue, as legal complecation’s always eat out/damage the industry & business.

  207. 209 Barry in Melbourne
    July 28, 2008 at 23:09

    Yes, in fact I have downloaded MP3’s from websites, most of these are songs that I like, but would not necessarily buy in the shops. If I really like a song or a movie, then I will buy the original from a shop or even second-hand. I think the originals are always best quality anyway. I never download illegal movies as the downloads are massive, and I only have a 12Gb allocation per month. I normally buy ex-rental DVD’s because the ones in the shops are just too expensive, but all of the movies I own are genuine copies.

    I think the same applies to a lot of music downloaded from a website, music that someone might like, but not like enough to go out and purchase an original….


  208. July 29, 2008 at 02:12

    Is illegal downloading immoral?. For it to be immoral or unjustified, think of a group of children walking pass a sweet shop and just ouside the shop window there are several sweets set up on trays in order to intice children to come in and buy some. Naturally if you encourage a child who dearly like to take one and one or two children just take some I dont think any judge will find them guilty of stealing. Instead the shop keeper should be found guilty of provoking the cheldren to do just that.
    If someone goes too far in provoking another person, the person provoked would be justified in retaliating by punching him, again a Judge under those circumstances would not find him guilty for taking offence.
    Therefore by making it easy for downloading it may well be justified.

  209. July 29, 2008 at 02:14

    Does anybody agree with me?, I would like to know.

  210. 212 nitinr0cks
    July 29, 2008 at 03:33

    Music is and should be free

  211. 213 Revant
    July 29, 2008 at 03:37

    If people want technology, they must be prepared to accept what comes with it. Artists want their music/ videos to be publicized all over the internet. At the same time, they detest internet piracy. Well, there are two sides of a coin and they just have to learn to accept that piracy is a part of internet. When people pay expensive high speed internet bills, they do expect something in return. People do pay to see their favorite artists live. They do buy T-shirts and posters. If Artists are good, they’ll earn what they deserve.
    Also, I see no reason for Singers/Musicians to make a lot more money than an average person. Scientists, Engineers, Professors and Doctors are examples of some people who work equally hard towards their profession if not more. Why should Artists travel in million dollar yachts? I think Piracy is balancing the odds. Thanks to websites like thepiratebay.

  212. 214 harmonia
    July 29, 2008 at 05:30

    lordy, i wasn’t going to say anything more, but some posters have made me think harder. as a singer, i wish i could make my living as a singer, because i’m good and it’s what i love to do. i’ve trained and practiced hard for 20 years, and can do things many others can’t, just as a surgeon can do things I can’t do. Lots of other musicians are in my position.

    it should be simple–that the artist has control of what happens to her music, digitally or otherwise. but artists need business people to help–business is too much work we don’t want to do. In a way, it’s not bad that people can sample music, actually it’s good, but there should also be a safeguard so that musicians can get paid fairly for CD’s, full downloads, etc. in the old days, you’d listen at a record store and decide if you wanted to buy the LP. hey, simple.

    Exposure for your cakes is great, but the whole cakes have to be paid for so you can keep producing them! And the poster who said, what about how we used to copy tapes? True, everyone did that and thought it was OK…maybe it wasn’t…somehow we perceive downloading as different.

    still, we knew the tapes weren’t as good as the properly produced product, and we’d buy it if we loved it.

    there must be a better way…hasn’t anyone else noticed? our commodity economy sucks! how can we live dong what we love and
    letting others enjoy it?

    That’s the next big global change task!

  213. 215 Sam
    July 29, 2008 at 06:18

    Since the writers’ strike for entertainment got things moving against the businesses refusing to be fair with amount of coin spent to the writers for their work (the studios only paid them for TV and cinema results, nothing for immensely profitable online works nor equally profitable DVD sales).

    Perhaps a musicians’ strike would persuade the execs in the music industry to sit down and re-evaluate their business models, how much they charge for CDs (albums and singles) downloads and how much they pay musicians out of the resulting sales?

  214. 216 Rick
    July 29, 2008 at 09:35

    seen any good movies lately? me niether. why? because the producers arn’t putting all their time and money into a product that is going to be pirated after the first showing and sold around the world for peanuts before they make one cent. same with music. if the music is ripped off the muso has to drive a truck for a living instead of making music. we all lose.

  215. July 29, 2008 at 10:06

    The current music industry has only been in existence for slightly less than 100 years. We had done well enough for thousands of years without it. If the entire music industry were to disappear tomorrow, world civilization would not end.

    We would then simply share all the music that already exists. New music would be created in a different way. It would be made as it had always been made in history – by amateurs (who hold other jobs, and do not expect to be compensated for creating music), and by professionals who are commissioned for specific works (and these works, once created, would be shared freely).

    Music wants to be free. Copyright is merely a method to introduce artificial scarcity to increase prices. Simple economic theory tells us that in a free market, prices will tend to move towards marginal cost. The cost of making additional copies of music is nearly zero.

    As children, didn’t our parents teach us to share our toys with our siblings? How warped have our values become, when sharing has become equated with stealing. If I let my neighbour share the use of my bicycle, am I depriving a bicycle maker somewhere of their rightful income? My neighbour would have had to buy one if I did not let him use mine. If my kid lends her toys to her friends, is she depriving a poor toy maker somewhere of his earnings? Her friends would have had to buy they own toys if my kid didn’t share hers.

    How weird is this world we live in today. The music industry is simply trying to run on a faulty economic model. This is not the way to pay music creators.

  216. 218 Emmanuel
    July 29, 2008 at 10:47

    Illegal download is something that reduce the interest of the producers or actors an should be brought down, this can be done monitoring of illegal internet service provider an the law also be implemented to stop this illegal tapping thanks. Emmanuel, in Nigeria.

  217. July 29, 2008 at 10:50

    your question already says what downloading without authority is,its illegal and immoral.and this trait starts from some artists too,there are those who will never use their own brain but just steal lyrics from another person.all in all,its the turning of our lives to be mobile ie ipods,walkmans,radio cassettes etc that has brought peoples property closer to thieves.we now need to choose which things can remain mobile inorder to help those that think hard but only to be thieved by the not pennyless.

    david lulasa(THE LAST DON)

  218. July 29, 2008 at 13:46

    it is illegal because download of music /vedios is being grabbed by other people and the use of internet at random needs to be protected by the law and act of the internet users. i think this should be made legal than being used ilegally.

    Nelson Makoy – Juba , Sudan

  219. July 29, 2008 at 15:15

    I just thought David Rudder and other musicians on your program would like to know that as a result of hearing his music on your show, I (legally) downloaded “Caribbean Party” from itunes this morning (10:13am US Eastern Standard Time).

  220. July 29, 2008 at 22:28

    pirating maybe illegal but it is democracy at its best – the masses dictating to the corporations that they need to re-evaluate how they do their business. As for the artist – why is it always about the money? whatever happened to the “entertaining” in the entertainment industry? If we are entertained by your work we’d be more than glad to compensate what we think that was worth – not the other way around (hint: you get more money from concert and show goers than the cents you get for every sale of a CD).

  221. 223 Rick
    July 30, 2008 at 11:20

    what is democratic about theft?
    what isn’t about money?
    if it is not about money, why don’t you just pay for it instead of stealing it?

  222. 224 Rajesh Chaudhary
    July 31, 2008 at 17:40

    Hello everyone,
    I have read the comments and found that most of us are in agreement of downloading the songs and programs free of charge.

    But I am totalliy against even though I belong to a country where average middle class family don’t even dare to pay the price for the original cds and DVDs because of its price.

    But i think we do have to pay the price for the music that we listen and it has to be direct rather than paying in indirect way to the music makers.

    In one of the comments, one of our friend have written that we are paying indirectly to the music that we listen by paying to internet, paying for the use of electricity. But i think that is not direct and we are not paying to the music makers or the developers directly and they are not benefited for the hard work, their dedication and their philanthropy.

    They are every moment trying to creat a good music for us, to make us happy in our tough times. so, then why we are hesitating to help them by paying even a small amount of money which is of course their right to get or be paid for.

    Lets create a sense of brotherhood by helping each other and motivating each other.

    Thank you,

  223. 225 peter mose
    July 31, 2008 at 18:30

    morrals and money
    it does not have anything to do with morrality ,it does have to do with business
    bands/singers release tracks on the net for free so you can get a taste with a view to a buy,with all the court room actions over the rights for a singers material= big money is spent ,but it is not for morrals, down loads used to be free until the corporate lawyers did an audit and found there was big money to be had ,

    then an issue over web sites offering music downloads to boost their rateings
    popped up =that was about money not morrals

    that sporned the cases about file shareing which ment if there was money in it
    somebody conected with management wanted it ,


    another point is when a singer /writer dies the copywrite should die as well unless it is passed on to a relitive,

    question= how long does a copyrite on a piece of music last ?
    music should be coulour coded =red =copyrite/non copyrite = green,
    what do you call 200 dead lawers in a ravine= agood start
    peter mose
    fully trackable

  224. 226 Justin
    July 31, 2008 at 18:56

    I have read a lot of the comments and one thing that I find interesting is that the fundamental concept of intellectual property has gone without much of a challenge. Modern society has perverted the concept of property to such an extent that the examples of stealing jeans and CDs are problematic. Stealing is stealing, to which I will agree. Unfortunately, copying is not stealing as the original item is left in possession of the owner. This complicates the matter terribly, yet is something we seem to forget. This was the reason for copyrights, it was to control who has the Right to Copy. Obviously, with replication of information, knowledge, and data the process of copying has become so simple a five year old can do it.

    We debate music and use examples of jeans and stealing CDs. There also comes a time when knowledge, information, and data belong to a society. Intellectual property has been taken to an extreme of patenting genetic codes. This would be analogous to Pythagoros patenting his theorem and charging $0.05 to determine the length of a hypotenuse. And of course since Pythagoros now has an agency that looks over his estate, that process maintains.

    I recognize that artists need to be paid, and should be paid for their creation. The fundamental question is, at least to me, does knowledge and information belong to individuals? And if we answer yes, are we aware of the ramifications of such an ideological standpoint?

  225. 227 Chrystina
    September 25, 2008 at 02:28

    I get $2000 a month. That’s HKD. I spent my money on my transportation costs to and from school, I pay for my school lunch, when my shoes get holes in them I have to pay for replacements. – When friends have birthdays, when family has birthdays I have to buy presents for them too.

    But I like to kick back and relax with some good old Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker… That cost me over $100 for one CD!

    I could buy 5 new shirts.
    I could buy 2 new shoes.
    I could buy 3 days worth of lunch.
    I could pay my transport for almost a week.

    Instead I’m expected to buy one CD. I’m sorry, but I’d rather spend it on something else. If CD prices were lower… Then sure.

    And what the hell is up with singles? You pay pretty much the same price for 3 minutes worth of music, do I want one?

    Well, let me think about it: no.

    Musicians make their money out of tours, merchandise… And sure CD sales as well, but can they truly expect everyone to be able to pay those prices? If I wanted to change all my music into “legal” music I’d probably have to work for 5 years to get enough money. (That’s calculating living expenses as well).

    If you want music to be for the rich, and only the rich, then fine. But I thought music was meant to be for everyone…

    So make it affordable!! – For everyone.

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