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percept nb. 2 and copyright - Dhamma Wheel

percept nb. 2 and copyright

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
ciprian
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percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby ciprian » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:48 pm

:embarassed: I have to admit that from time to time I download music, movies from the internet. I usually thought that I do no harm so I never paid too much attention to it.
Now, at the end of 2009 I made a resolution to get rid of the pirated software, music, movies.
I got stuck at firs step: a genuine windows. I am a little short on cash now.
A friend of mine (IT specialist) said that Bill Gates stated that he doesn't mind home users to use pirated microsoft products, so it is ok to use them at home. I don't know what to say. To me it looks like Bill Gates's statement (if exists) could be translated thus: "Home users cans steal from Microsoft, I won't press charges" but it is still a theft. Am I right? If so, can someone recommend me a Linux distribution that is more easy to use by someone who doesn't know too much about linux. I tried linux some years ago and I remember that installing a software was pretty challenging. There was always something missing and needed to be installed first, and after that something else...

Thank you! :heart:

Moggalana
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Moggalana » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:36 pm

You might want to try Ubuntu Linux. Installation is simple and pretty much everything works.

As for the precept, I don't know. You could see it as stealing, but then again "internet piracy" is not considered to be a crime in every country. In Spain for example, downloading music, movies or software is totally legal as long as you don't make any profit from it. At least it was a few months ago.

Maybe you could compare it to the precept about not-killing any living being. You should not kill, but you can eat meat (that's already dead [and wasn't killed for you]). Similiar, you should not take what is not given, but can you take what is given to you by someone else(i.e. filesharing), who himself took it without permission?

A lot of buddhists do not eat meat because of the indirect suffering that is caused. So, the question is: does filesharing increase suffering (at least indirectly)? You will find many opinions about that particular question. Most of the time, ethics isn't a matter of just black and white. That's my opinion at least.
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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Ben
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:57 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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ciprian
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby ciprian » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:21 pm

I am downloading Ubuntu right now. And I am planning to be very careful with file-sharing too. Most of the time I don't really need that stuff anyway. An opportunity to practice restraint.
Thank you very much for helping me :anjali:

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retrofuturist
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:23 pm

Greetings,

I wonder how the Buddha would have formulated this precept had he lived in the age of copyright? Would it be the same, would it be different?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:37 pm

Hi Retro
Why would it be any different?
Copyright law with regards to electronic media upholds the copyright owner's rights because pirating diminishes the ability to derive revenue from their work. The fact that a particular software product can be reproduced an infinite amount of times by the copyright owner is not the issue, what is at issue is that the market for any software or electronic product is not infinite and the parallel distribution via piracy deprives the copyright owner of rightful revenue based on his/her work.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:48 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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appicchato
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby appicchato » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:04 am

Since we are told that our thoughts don't really belong to us, and (for the most part) not entirely controllable either, this term 'intellectual property' has, for some, an odious air about it... :popcorn:

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Ben
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:18 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

pt1
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby pt1 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:11 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:30 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Cittasanto
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:54 am

maybe this thread would be of use
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2874&hilit=copyright


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

pt1
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby pt1 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:15 am


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Pannapetar
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Pannapetar » Sat May 22, 2010 4:23 am

Please allow me to revive this topic once more, since the issue of intellectual property is quite complicated and I feel that some important perspectives have not been discussed yet. Since my profession is software engineering, this issue affects me personally.

* Software piracy generally fulfills the criterion of "taking what is not given freely." Yet, some license restrictions in software products are also designed to "take what is not given freely", especially if these restrictions are coercive or unfairly leverage an existing market monopoly. Mp3 compression technology is a prime example. So, I wouldn't consider an open-source implementation of mp3 encode/decoder (such as "Lame") to break the second precept, for example. Everyone who is concerned about software piracy and licensing issues should evaluate Linux and open-source software. I am myself a contributor (...in a humble way).

* Copying media is even more complicated, as it depends on use. Downloading movies and music might violate the second precept, or it might not. For example, if you watch a movie on the Internet, how is that different from watching it on TV? If you listen to Internet radio, how is that different from listening to radio? In case the website where you retrieve media from is breaching copyright laws, can you always discern it? Is it reasonable to expect users to discern it? Furthermore, if you download a digital copy of a song/movie for personal use, how is that different from recording it for personal use with a tape recorder? If a friend gives you a memory stick with MP3 songs, how is that different from exchanging records with friends the old-fashioned way?

* Is downloading (=taking) media necessarily rooted in greed? - I doubt this can be stated with general validity. - For example, you could download something out of mere curiosity to evaluate it, or you could download it for someone else, for example cartoons for your kids, or you could download it for educational purposes and for a million other reasons. Besides, if downloading nonphysical media is "greedy" then what about buying physical media? Doesn't the willingness to spend cash for such an item express an even greater desire (=greed) to possess it? I doubt that the argument can be called conclusive...

Cheers, Thomas

Anicca
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Anicca » Sat May 22, 2010 6:17 am


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Wind
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Wind » Sat May 22, 2010 6:42 am

There should be a limit to copyright laws. For example, in the movie Food Inc. There is a company that genetically alter soybeans that can withstand certain chemicals. They patented this crop. And any farmers who wants to grow the crop would have to pay them. Now, if they succeed to eliminate all naturally growing soy crops from the world, their crop being the only viable option. Anyone who grows soy even for personal use would be violating copyright laws. I think it's wrong to claim "intellectual" property when clearly some things in life belongs to no one.

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Pannapetar
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Pannapetar » Sat May 22, 2010 7:41 am

How about everyone concerned about piracy just legally purchase the product of their choice? It is not that hard. - In case of home computers and standard off-the-shelf software that would be wasteful. Save your money (or better donate it) and use Linux. With few exceptions, open-source standard software (the type of software used on an average home computer) is equivalent or superior. Plus you completely avoid the issue of stealing and support products based on generosity.

The television paid for the rights to show it. - What about online providers? Reputable online providers have to do the same.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse - the Buddha went so far to state that the ignorant breaker of precepts is worse than than the intentional breaker... - Well, things were a lot easier back in the Buddha's days, weren't they? How do you determine, for example, if a given video on Youtube is there legitimately or illegitimately? The Buddha also taught that kamma depends on intention.

Making a copy of your legally purchased product for your personal use is not the same as pirating a copy. - What about taping music and shows from the radio or TV for personal use? That's what we did back in the 80s. How is that different from, say, recording streamed media, or copying media?

Sheesh - you are arguing that legally purchasing something is worse than stealing? - No, that is not at all what I argue. I refuted PT1's last paragraph, who said that because the desire to take possession of something is rooted in greed, it must be wrong. I don't think this argument has a sound premise, or that it can be applied to what is being discussed here.

Here is another example, just food for thought: you buy a book and after reading it yourself, you lend (or give it away) to a friend. Does that violate copyrights? Is that stealing from the author/publisher? Is this taking what's not given?

Cheers, Thomas

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Wind
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Wind » Sat May 22, 2010 8:12 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: percept nb. 2 and copyright

Postby Kim OHara » Wed May 26, 2010 10:59 am



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