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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

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Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers
    #6222217 - 10/29/06 05:59 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

This forum occupies a central role in my life and since the concepts of ethical/not ethical, right/wrong, good/evil are central to philosophy I spend a lot of time thinking about them. One of the ideas I've been grappling with lately revolves around the ethics of software and music piracy. A few years ago I started a thread about intellectual property piracy in general and the ethics of copying music in particular. I got varying replies, but to my surprise most of the replies were in favor of piracy.

It seemed to me that the reasons most of those in favor of piracy gave were dishonest and self-serving. The respondents seemed almost to be making excuses for their piracy and dodging my direct questions intended to expose that they're stealing, rather than giving me coherent and consistent reasons for why they pirate intellectual property. I also couldn't help but notice that none of the piracy proponents were themselves successful publishing musicians who almost unanimously speak out against piracy.

I think this is a result of human nature. It's hard to put yourself in another's shoes, in this case the shoes of a musician who makes a living through his art. I think most of those who support piracy would change their mind if they suddenly found themselves with a hit record and, due to piracy, they were receiving only a fraction of the royalties commensurate with the popularity of their music.

Now, it occurs to me that most of the arguments used by pirates to defend their behavior correspond closely to the arguments used by spammers to defend theirs. In a nutshell, the spammers' argument is "I'm not hurting anyone because those spammed can just hit the delete button" and the pirates' is "I'm not hurting anyone because musicians with hit records are rich".

Are music pirates' reasons for pirating similar to spammers' reasons for spamming? I think they are, and I think it's hypocritical to condemn spam and pirate music.

What do you think?


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 10,679
Loc: On the Border
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6222427 - 10/29/06 07:28 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

So, you think that we should let the media providers have the power to determine who should possess information and what that information is? This issue is deeper that music...it is really about information. The power to determine who gets what information and how is a dangerous one to wield with a high potential for abuse. The media industry is now trying to do away with fair use laws to insure that you will never buy something just once...no you'll pay every time the data is accessed if they have their way. My philosophy is to er on the side of freedom and life...if this allows piracy in a small segment of society then that is just too bad for big business. Our copyright laws need to be revised severely to give power back to the people, and software patents should be eliminated completely.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #6222429 - 10/29/06 07:29 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Oh yeah, the whole idea of a community of drug users supporting the establishment with their ethical consumption of media is absurd.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
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Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #6222430 - 10/29/06 07:30 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Before we get into this, do you think spamming is ethical? If not, why not?


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 10,679
Loc: On the Border
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6222435 - 10/29/06 07:33 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

That is what spam filters are for. To make sending an email a felony is stupid. This problem can be dealt with in other ways. Spam laws have not decreased the amount of spam sent...similar to how drug laws have not deterred drug users.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Invisibleit stars saddam
Satan

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 15,571
Loc: Spahn Ranch
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6222436 - 10/29/06 07:33 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Diploid said:
Now, it occurs to me that most of the arguments used by pirates to defend their behavior correspond closely to the arguments used by spammers to defend theirs. In a nutshell, the spammers' argument is "I'm not hurting anyone because those spammed can just hit the delete button" and the pirates' is "I'm not hurting anyone because musicians with hit records are rich".




I don't really see much of a similarity between those two arguments dude.  :shrug:


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: it stars saddam]
    #6222439 - 10/29/06 07:34 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

You are absolutely correct.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6222462 - 10/29/06 07:47 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Personally, I don't consider spam unethical. Annoying maybe, but not immoral.


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OfflineDeviate
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Last seen: 7 years, 4 months
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Silversoul]
    #6222495 - 10/29/06 08:06 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:


Now, it occurs to me that most of the arguments used by pirates to defend their behavior correspond closely to the arguments used by spammers to defend theirs. In a nutshell, the spammers' argument is "I'm not hurting anyone because those spammed can just hit the delete button" and the pirates' is "I'm not hurting anyone because musicians with hit records are rich".




i dont see why those 2 arguments are similar. first of all, spammers are hurting people at least a little bit because 1) they are making them have to hit the delete button and 2) they clog mail boxes making it possible to miss important messages.

secondly, when it comes to piracy, another argument is that you're not hurting anyone because you would never have bought the product anyway. for example, if you download an album you would never have purchased, you can argue that no harm was done to anyone in the process. similarly, with software piracy, it can actually help the company sometimes because it increases their userbase meaning more people know and use their program and thus more companies will be willing to purchase it. i have well over a thousand dollars worth of pirated software on my computer and the only thing i can find morally wrong about that fact is that it is illegal. but aside from that, its not hurting the company because it is software which i could have never afforded to purchase in the first place and if piracy didn't exist, i would simply be using inferior programs.


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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
Loc: Here & Now
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6222514 - 10/29/06 08:17 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

IMO, music is synonymous with beauty and art. Musicians are people too, and of course they need money to support themselves. But when you dedicate your life to art, who the fuck cares about getting rich? It's about sharing beauty and sharing love. As far as I know, artists make enough to support themselves from concerts and albums and merchandise. If they aren't, well that's a different story. But if they are and are still complaining (or their representatives are complaining) about wanting more money, and for people to pay for downloads and such, then that's just greedy.

If an artist makes an amazing album and I hear it after downloading, and I really love it, then usually I'll go out and buy the album.

As it is, I truly think music should be shared, like all forms of artistic expression.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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InvisibleaNeway2sayHooray
Cresley Wusher
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6222516 - 10/29/06 08:18 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

I agree with everyone else.I do not see the analogy here.

As far as music piracy goes,there is a big difference between downloading music for your own listening pleasure and making copies and selling them.

I dont see anything wrong with listening to an artists music without paying for it.Selling it for your own personal gain is wrong though.This usually happens more with bootleg dvds.For the most part,people dont pay for burnt music cds.

20 motherfucking dollars for a cd is quite ridiculous.

Piracy hurts record labels,not musicians.


--------------------
Mad_Larkin said:  Death is just a thang.
:clementine:
MrJellineck said:  Profits, prophets. That's all you jews think about.
sheekle said: life is drugs... and music... and cat... :snowman:


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Deviate]
    #6222517 - 10/29/06 08:18 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

On the subject of music piracy, I think that intellectual property is a tricky issue. With most property rights, it's a matter of having a right to use what's yours without someone taking it away from you. But when it comes to something like music piracy, you're not depriving the artist of their song. You're simply copying it. One might argue that one should have the exlusive right to profit from their music, but most music piracy does not involve the downloader profiting from the artist's works. I see no reason why one should have a "right" to the notes of a song or lyrics of a song, except for pragmatic purposes. I have seen no evidence that illegal downloading is having a significant negative effect on the music industry, so I'm a little hesitant to condemn the practice.


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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
Loc: Here & Now
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: aNeway2sayHooray]
    #6222525 - 10/29/06 08:20 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

aNeway2sayHooray said:
Piracy hurts record labels,not musicians.




:thumbup: :thumbup:


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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InvisibleaNeway2sayHooray
Cresley Wusher
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Silversoul]
    #6222529 - 10/29/06 08:22 AM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Silversoul said:
but most music piracy does not involve the downloader profiting from the artist's works.




My main argument.

:thumbup:


--------------------
Mad_Larkin said:  Death is just a thang.
:clementine:
MrJellineck said:  Profits, prophets. That's all you jews think about.
sheekle said: life is drugs... and music... and cat... :snowman:


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Invisibledaytripper23
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: dblaney]
    #6222933 - 10/29/06 03:32 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

I believe in what alot of people have said.

The music industry is an overly complex system that is applied to music, which is all about simplicity. I think this is completely evident when you look at the record sales charts, and realize that most the ones dominating shouldnt even call themselves artists.

Music piracy is generally a good thing for music. (compared to the music industry) Its a simplification of the system, which stifles good music. All those who are exploiting the musicians in the industry are now out of the picture. Self promotion is simple with internet. Also this simplification makes the listener rely less on the superficialitys of what surrounds the music, and rely more on the actual content. This is one aspect that would weed out the bad music.

With an essencially unlimited library, musicians are going to have more influences and in turn be BETTER musicians. Along with that It will also weed out the musicians who are not in it for the right reasons. (the dreams of being a mega-millionaire musician) The quality artists however, are not in it for the money, and being able to get by in this type of lifestyle is reward enough for them, so they will stay.

In turn people are going to be forced to listen to good music :eek:, because the bad ones are continually weeded out in this lack of system.

Generally the laws of survival of the fittest will take over in a free music society. And I think that in a free music society musicians could get the money they DESERVE.

Piracy not only makes music BETTER, but makes people more apt to listen to music, since you can download it for free, and music makes the world a better place.


--------------------
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!


Edited by daytripper23 (10/29/06 04:02 PM)


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Invisibledaytripper23
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: daytripper23]
    #6222960 - 10/29/06 03:52 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

This is all kind of speculating, and im mostly just highlighting the benifits of piracy. I realize its not near perfect but i think that its an improvement.


Im not quite sure about whether a musician could support himself without cd sales or online sales, and I realize that this is pretty fundamental to this perspective as well. My understanding of the actual industry is kind of limited, i just know its a bit fucked up the way it is.

Its hard to understand my own perspective because its also a justification for the shitload of music i download. I believe i am being truthful in my perspective though.


--------------------
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!


Edited by daytripper23 (10/29/06 04:10 PM)


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Invisibleadrug

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 15,800
Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6222999 - 10/29/06 04:16 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

I don't see how internet music piracy is any different than making copies of your cassette tapes on blanks and giving them to your friends. That was a very common practice for a long time and there were never any legal repurcussions involved.

Was that immoral too?


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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6223006 - 10/29/06 04:22 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

Guitar tablature is now deemed illegal. You cant even write down the fret patterns to a melody in notepad without committing a crime.

Fuck them. Fuck that. I could get the entire Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd/Tupac/etc... album for free by recording it from the radio or shoutcast. Why are they not banned?

Like Hue said, this is an attempt to further domesticate the masses by controlling what they are allowed to ingest. When I was an aspiring musician I was burning CD's and giving them out for free. The desire for others to hear it was greater than the desire to profit from it.

However, I've met many independant musicians travelling to shows with their own vehicles, who mainly profitted from venue percentages and merchandise sales. This is where I say, "Hey! These guys need to eat too... I give them $10 and I get a CD that they poured themselves into. Fair trade." I dont feel that way when buying a shiny new Tool CD from WalMart (despite Tool being one of the best bands in the last twenty years). And so, I have no problems downloading their music. I feel it keeps them in check from completely selling out (what they're trying to do).

Fuck, if you make millions for playing powerchords over a I-IV-V progression - you really have nothing to complain about.

In my opinion, Diploid, a much better analogy would be sports. Take baseball... back in the day when it was a real game, when people didnt play for profit, when they played for fun, respect, and personal fulfillment. Nowadays, they're hired by billionaires, sponsored by Pepsi, and see it more like work than a game. Baseball SUCKS now. This isnt true with everyone in baseball, obviously, but for the most part it is. Take away the politics and profits and what is left? A game. Hopefully, a better, maybe a more heart-felt game. I believe that is a better analogy.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.



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OfflineGlacius
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6223111 - 10/29/06 05:33 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

An interesting subject. Being a musician I was totally against stuff like napster and such, but then I thought about it....


OK first of all, don't you think that the majority of piracy is related to people downloading songs from well known bands?? I am sure that most of the prated music is probably from popular bands. These bands have so much money that I don't think it would really matter if people download they're stuff.

And as for the case of people downloading music from young struggling artists I would think that that would be good for the artist because they're music is getting around and people are listening to it, right?

I believe that the real damage is against the record companies and in my view they make way too much money anyways. And they do it by taking advantage of the musician and the customers.


So thats an interesting view that I had about it.
I still don't really know where I stand on the subject though..... What do you guys think about this?


--------------------
addicted to reason
a hollow understanding trapped me
I cannot see outside but its calling


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InvisibleIcelander
The Minstrel in the Gallery
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Re: Ethics: Music Pirates = Spammers [Re: Diploid]
    #6223121 - 10/29/06 05:37 PM (16 years, 3 months ago)

I think I adhere to my own set of rules "right or wrong". Just because society says this is right and this is wrong I don't necessarily agree. I accept the responsibility for my stealing. Nuff said. :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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