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Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept? - Page 6 - Dhamma Wheel

Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Clarence
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Clarence » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:46 pm

Last edited by Clarence on Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:59 pm


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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:13 pm

This thread is most interesting. We now know those who can manufacture justifications for stealing when it suits their agenda and those who possess moral integrity.

*Keeps hand on wallet in case someone wants a CD they can't afford.* :guns:

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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pilgrim
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby pilgrim » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:55 am

Just because an act is illegal, it does not make it immoral, just as there are immoral acts which are not illegal. There are laws which I disagree with and care little about.

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Jaidyn
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Jaidyn » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:53 am


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Jaidyn
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Jaidyn » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:21 am


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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:17 pm

Perhaps I should clarify for those who see this as an abstract. I have friends who are professional authors and musicians. They are free-lancers; self-employed and self-producers, which this cyberage has made possible. The make their living on royalties from sales of their products. Probably not three days pass when I don't hear one of them rail about Internet piracy affecting their income.

This IS the same as stealing money from their pocket. Yes, the original copy still exists. But the income derived from the sale of the product is lost.

A married couple I know constantly scans the Internet looking for torrents of the fruits of their labors. When they find them--or those of their friends--they send the torrent hosts a DMCA takedown notice (a legal notice to remove the torrent which is in violation of copyright law), and sometimes they have to do this several times before the torrent disappears. Before going into business for themselves, my friend's wife was an accountant for Chase Manhattan. She tracks their royalties. She say after blitzing the torrents, their royalties increase. In other words; when free downloads are not available, people who want the item somehow find the means to buy them.

It's not as if the stuff downloaded from torrents are necessities for life. These are luxuries; ornaments. Indulgences. We don't NEED them. But the musicians and authors depend on the income to survive. What I'm sensing/hearing here is an attitude of entitlement; that many of you feel you have a right to the fruits of other people's creative effort's without recompensing them for it; without any effort or payment from you.

When I was in school (the first time; I have three different degrees and am going back for a fourth :tongue: ) going for a BFA, I was on fire with an idea for a painting. I was going to save it for the end of the class. I told everyone about it. Another student took my idea and ran with it, added a couple of minor points, and used it as his own in another class. I couldn't' use my idea because it would look as if I were copying him. The good news was that I can always come up with new ideas. The bad news was that a part of my trust in human decency died that day. Not the last time that happened. I'm not sure much of it remains. Especially when I read on a "Buddhist" forum people defending the idea that it's okay to steal income from others simply because they want to benefit from their efforts without paying them for it.

Attention Venerables: Bhantes, you have your work cut out for you here. HELP.

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Jaidyn
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Jaidyn » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:55 pm


Reductor
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Reductor » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:32 pm

If I stole a loaf of bread from the baker it would then be impossible for him to sell it. It is materially gone.

The same is not true of intellectual property or of media. The person that would support themselves through its sale still has his own copy.

But he has been deprived an income dependant upon what has been distributed, right? Seemingly every person has a right to an income? If so, then any reduction in their income must be a violation of this right.

So suppose a brick and morter store sold a particular kind of pancake. They have a thousand customers a week. Then a drive through opens down the road which sells the same style of pancake, and it's a hit thereby reducing the first stores customer base from thousand to six hundred. Does the first store have a legal right to shut down his competitor? Or may they prohibit them from selling that kind of pancake? Or may they prohibit them from selling pancakes of any kind, since all derivitive pancakes must share the common base recipe originated by the first store?

All kinds of implications when we assume the first store has a right to an income. Never mind that the new store is likely a success because they originated a new service model (drive through) and not because they sell pancakes.

So, perhaps the original store shoild embrace a new service model rather than threaten everyone who goes to the drive through.

Consider the case of Louise C.K. he recognized that the distribution method currently established was not the only way for him to make money. Perhaps there was a better way?

http://thenextweb.com/media/2011/12/14/ ... in-3-days/

fragrant herbs
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby fragrant herbs » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:56 pm

I have to agree with Metta-4, copying prevents those who made the material to not be able to make the money they deserve, and therefore it feels to me like stealing. If I made a movie and put it out, and everyone then copied it, I would have lost a lot of money on making the movie and would actually gone in the hole. Artists of all kinds do a lot of work on their projects, be it movies, books, music, computer software, etc. They desire to get paid.
Last edited by fragrant herbs on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:05 pm

Here is the logical problem with the "pancake paradigm." :tongue: The pancake is a public-domain concept: flour, water, baking soda, egg. Anyone can make them. This is the free-enterprise system. However, if shop #1 develops a proprietary recipe, copyrights or patents it, and shop #2 steals it and markets it, then shop #2 is committing ethical and legal malfeasance and can (and should) be held liable.

There is a finite market for a creative product such as a literary work or piece of music. I supose software is the same. How much demand is there for Photoshop? My parents would have never had a use for it. My brother writes fiction and has been trying to sell it for over a decade. One agent told him the problem with fiction was that 20,000 people a year write fiction but only 10,000 people a year buy it. Non-fiction is a much bigger market apparently. So when the finite market is saturated with free copies, the overall revenue to the original creator goes down. This is just common sense.

However, I can tell that few, if any of you have personally felt the bitter anguish of having something which you personally created,something into which you poured your heart and offered to the world, stolen from you as if it were everyone's right to own a piece of you. May you never feel this pain. It's like having your heart eaten out alive by jackals.

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

Buckwheat
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:41 pm

I want to make two points: First, the code of law should not necessarily follow directly the code of what is ethical. My primary example here is abortion, which I find highly unethical, yet I think laws restricting abortion are ineffective and only compound an already tragic situation. The same can be said for many drug laws. The other end of the spectrum are the countless laws that don't really have so much to do with ethics as they do with agreement among society, such as deciding we shall stop on red and go on green, or drive on the left/right depending on what country you live. Those aren't really based on ethics, it's just an agreement. Laws are a society determining that if a person does X then they face consequence Z.

Second, I think it is unethical to break laws once they are established, unless the law itself is unethical. I see nothing unethical regarding copyright laws, which are intended to ensure payment for creative efforts. Art and invention would not exist in a capitalist society without such laws, and I think art is an overall positive force in our culture worth protection. Therefore, we have agreed upon laws to protect such things, and breaking those laws is unethical for the mere fact of breaking the agreement. This includes accepting shady software because we all know we are hurting somebody's bottom line. We try to justify it by painting the picture of the big bad corporation, but it's still a justification of breaking an ethically sound law.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Moggalana
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Moggalana » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:03 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

Buckwheat
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:46 pm

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

chownah
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby chownah » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:19 am


Buckwheat
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:30 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

chownah
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby chownah » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:54 am


Buckwheat
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:02 am

:jawdrop: :rofl:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Moggalana
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Moggalana » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:28 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

chownah
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby chownah » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:56 pm

So downloading the same stuff is legal in Switzerland and illegal in the USofA. So is the 2nd precept a matter of geography?

If I have a friend in Switzerand download something legally and then send my brother (in the USofA) a copy is that breaking the 2nd precept?

If my brother(in the USofA) uses a proxy server located in Switzerland to download something at his home (in the USofA) is that breaking the 2nd precept?

chownah


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