another morality thread, but still… is it wrong? is it justifiable? here are some scenarios:
- friend wants a cd you have, so you give them a copy
- you don’t want to buy 2 of the same CD for your children, so you buy one, burn the other
- one for car and one for home
what about cd’s with assorted songs, as opposed to exact cd copies? internet downloading??? what are the goods and evils about this so called “piracy”?
While there are different interpretations of the “fair use” laws, I would answer your questions as such:
2 & 3. Okay - all copies are in your posession.
Mr. Blue Sky covered it well.
I have a whole lot of music I downloaded from iTunes (those Pepsi bottle caps paid off!) and I can burn these tunes onto CDs. It’s programmed into iTunes—you can burn so many CDs of one playlist. You can burn many CDs from your legally obtained iTunes downloads. One for the kids, one for the car, one with a different playlist “theme,” and so forth . . .
All depends on your jurisdiction. In the UK, all three are illegal. Although none such cases have ever been prosecuted.
I routinely make a copy for my car, so that if something happens to that copy I still have the CD I paid for. I’ve had musicians okay that one, so I don’t see an ethical problem there.
Hmm… Well you wanted a moral debate not a legal one, right? Because legally, number one would be illegal pretty much anywhere in the world, and 2&3 would on the other hand be legal almost everywhere.
Morally or ethically though; I know many people (including myself) would happily go along with copying that odd CD to a friend; I mean what are friends for? On the other hand, if this “friend” started asking me for copies of every other CD I owned, that would be a different thing. First of all, the legal/ethical point (the artist/company is not getting paid squat for the work, except for a fraction of a fraction of a penny in those countries which has a levy on CD-Rs…), but also a purely selfish point, “why should I give him copies free when I paid for them?”
GorillaMan has it right about the legal situation in the UK, we have no ‘fair use provision’ so if you want to play the CD in your car and at home, you either have to take the CD from home to car or car to home when you want to play it, or buy another copy.
I think the argument when the law was made was that if you have more than one copy then they can both be played in different places at the same time, and buying the CD only gives you the right to play that CD in one place at any given time.
Morally, 1 is probably not on, I would wonder about 2. since you are giving ‘ownership’ of the CD to two different people, rather than copying for backup/convenience of not having to shift the CD around, also you have to decide which kid gets the original with all the sleevenotes and cover art, and which gets the copy with the name written on in pen. 3. seems morally ok, since it is only for your own use and you are not really ‘diluting sales’ by giving copies to other people.
The struggle I’m having right now is what to do with music I purchased in different formats years ago? I once bought all the Beatles albums on cassette…should I not be able to get a digital copy? I’ve already paid for the music, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna buy them all again on over priced Compact Disks or as digital files.
Anyone else have a large collection on an outdated format?
What about this argument? (I sit on the fence about this myself)
Making mix-tapes (or mix-CD’s, I’m behind the times) doesn’t necessarily harm the artist. Spefically among kids/young person/students/people with no huge amounts of spare cash and when the artists aren’t big names that get a lot of airplay.
Scenario 1.: Student 1 recommends Obscura and the Unknowns to her mate Student 2 in the pub. Student 2 doesn’t have enough cash to run out and blindly invest in CD’s, even if recommended by a person of taste so does nothing.
Scenario 2. : Student 1 makes “special party mix tape for my friend student 2” featuring Obscura and the Unknowns. Student 1 hears Obscura’s song, it does nothing for her. However, after playing it twelve times it has really grown on her. Student 2 goes to records shop and buys the album that the song has on it. Because she knows and loves it, it is worth spending limited resources on.
So basically the mix tape was a bit of free advertising for Obscura and the Unknowns.
P.s. I think 3. is completely okay.