Piracy - is it MORALLY wrong?

  john63 23:46 19 Oct 05

Right, here we are talking about software, games, music and movie piracy. I ask the question: Is piracy morally wrong? My personal opinion is that although it may be illegal, it is not morally wrong. I see it as a somewhat victimless crime. I'm sure that you will have different views... Please remember: We are not talking about the legal aspect here, only the moral one.

  LastChip 23:50 19 Oct 05

It is stealing and in my book, that has always been morally wrong. I fail to see how there can be any other interpretation.

  Forum Editor 23:54 19 Oct 05

that the people who try to argue that software/music/film/games piracy isn't morally wrong are doing it because they have never been a copyright holder.

If you work hard for weeks/months/years creating something, only to see someone come along and selfishly take it, without any intention of paying for it at all, you are certainly not going to sit there and wish them well.

Victimless crime? What rubbish.

  john63 00:09 20 Oct 05

Suppose that someone gets a pirate copy of some software for example. Although they now have it and haven't had to pay anything like the proper price for it, is it not possible that it has introduced them to that manufacturer's products. Also, while I partially agree with the Forum Editor's comments about it not being a victimless crime, I think we have two entirely seperate possible victims here: 1) Small software / game developers, music artists and 2) Large software / game developers, film studios, etc, etc.

  DieSse 00:11 20 Oct 05

Because of the currently twisted definitions, and the variations in those definitions in different countries, of what we are allowed to do with content that we have purchased, then IMHO sometimes it is morally wrong and sometimes it isn't.

For instance - It's actually not allowed to make home copies for personal use of much content - but only in some countries. IMO it's not morally wrong to break that law if there is one in your country.

Whilst clearly, copying for distribution, both for profit or for free, is morally wrong (where it's prohibited), whoever does the copying.

I also beleive, on the other side of the coin, that DRM (Digital Rights Management) is morally wrong, notably in countries that do allow personal copies to be made - as it's a mechanism that denies rights under the law in such countries.

There's also the vexed question of after how long should creations pass into the public domain - which time is continually being lengthened, against the pulic interest.

  DieSse 00:12 20 Oct 05

or even the public interest !

  DieSse 00:12 20 Oct 05

or even the public interest !

  Kev.Ifty 00:20 20 Oct 05

Depends on ones Morals.


  john63 00:20 20 Oct 05

We should be able to convert digital material into whatever format we choose legally. As for how long items remain out of the public domain, it is ridiculous that we cannot legally own roms for 20 year old consoles, without the origional game!

  Dan the Doctus 00:51 20 Oct 05

Are you saying you think it's morally okay to pirate stuff from large companies but not from small ones?

Also, it's up to the copyright/licence owner whether things should be kept in or out of the public domain, not you.

You appear to be using a feeble moral argument to justify illegality.

  DieSse 01:11 20 Oct 05

"Also, it's up to the copyright/licence owner whether things should be kept in or out of the public domain, not you."

That has never been the case. The law says for how long creations are kept out of the public domain - not copyright holders (except insomuch that a copyrght holder may release creations into the public domain in a shorter time than the law allows, if they so wish).

The problem now is that major media corporations have sucessfully lobbied to have that period extended far beyond the time ever envisaged when copyright laws were first created (and it was created in the public interest - not in the interests of private parties).

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