Is references to downloading music really enough cause to lock a thread?

Having seen a few locked recently I was wondering…

Had someone been looking for an unreleased band (one which doesn’t sell cd’s through the RIAA) and asked for a suggestion of a song to download, would you close that thread?

And what does it matter if someone does make reference to downloading music?

Why isn’t this locked?

I’ve seen many references to underage drinking, why arn’t those threads locked? Surely any reference to that is far more dangerous to the world than Napster ever was…

I personally don’t believe that the Straight Dope Message Board shoud lock threads about filesharing.

It’s been discussed at length before, and there is a thread in the Pit about it right now.

File sharing isn’t in itself illegal, of course, but it can be used to trade copyrighted material. It’s been the SDMB’s position to lock off and discourage threads that have the potential to become ‘how to’ threads on trading copyrighted material.

Keep in mind that there have been threads about music downloading that were perfectly acceptable and carried on without being locked off, because they discussed file sharing through legitimate means. For example, I remember taking part in a thread about, which is a legit downloading service. It’s when you start talking about file sharing methods such as Napster, Kazaa, and the like that threads start getting closed.

I encourage you to do a search in ATMB and in the Pit and read more about the SDMB’s file sharing topics policy.

That thread you cited, btw, is two years old. It would be ironic if your link to it caused it to be resurrected and subsequently locked.

Yeah, you want to look here. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that this thread should be in the Pit, too, being a discussion of the SDMB regulations and all. If the thrust of your OP was literally the question in the title, then it would be an ATMB thread and the answer would be “yes.”

Do you mean that the material would not be copyrighted? If that was explicitly the case, then no, the thread would not be closed.

I’m sure you mean this thread. Yes, if someone explicitly asks, “what songs should I download?”, the thread will get locked. That person is obviously looking to get new, interesting (and of course, copyrighted) music for free.

Because it’s ancient, and our rules have changed over time. In 1999, Napster (and filesharing in general) where a novelty to the public. We didn’t have rules in place restricting the topic of filesharing: we do now.

Actually, our approach is similar in both cases. A thread debating the legal age for drinking will remain open, and a thread about how to forge a drivers license just so a 17 year old can get alcohol will get locked. Same with filesharing: debate the matter all you want in GD. But expect threads with links on how to swap copyrighted materials for free to be locked.

As stated, we don’t lock all threads on the matter. You are of course entitled to your opinion.

Since your questions have been answered, I am locking this thread. Should you feel like debating our policy any further, I advise you to visit the BBQ Pit thread referenced in the post above.