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View Full Version : Is downloading music freely from the internet wrong in terms of biblical morality?



Quantum Weirdness
01-18-2014, 01:02 PM
Seriously, I want to know. Would it be stealing as defined by the bible?

Irate Canadian
01-18-2014, 01:09 PM
Yes,it would be.

KingsGambit
01-18-2014, 01:32 PM
Only if it's copyrighted or not released under some sort of license (i.e. a Creative Commons license).

Irate Canadian
01-18-2014, 01:37 PM
Only if it's copyrighted or not released under some sort of license (i.e. a Creative Commons license).

I should have added that to my answer. It's perfectly fine if it's a public domain,GNU License, or a Creative Commons song. However,if it's copyrighted(like KG said),it would be wrong.

Quantum Weirdness
01-18-2014, 01:43 PM
Ok then thanks!

Zymologist
01-18-2014, 05:46 PM
You're better off nerding it up a little bit (like me) and collecting CDs, or nerding it up a lot (not like me...not yet) and buying vinyls.

But yeah, if it's not offered for free by the band themselves (some bands do this, particularly within my genre), don't download it for free.

Jayaruh
01-18-2014, 05:53 PM
Turn the radio on.

Darth Executor
01-21-2014, 11:20 AM
No as long as you don't break the law. In fact I recommend you avoid buying entertainment whenever you can considering the types of people who run the industry and profit the most from it.

ManwŰ S˙limo
01-21-2014, 03:26 PM
It gets grey when the rights to the IP is held by a dead company/author and the inheritor can't be determined easily, etc, etc.

Cow Poke
01-21-2014, 03:31 PM
I need to convert my wax cylinders to mp3 or something.

GioD
01-21-2014, 04:15 PM
It depends on your broader view of intellectual property in general, with it being wrong if you accept the existence of intellectual property and it being acceptable if you deny it. I actually avoid downloading free music when the artist doesn't want me to (I'm also a vinyl junkie) but don't see anything wrong with it as I reject IP.

Shadow Templar
01-25-2014, 08:33 PM
Stealing is fundamentally taking something you have no right to. If you have a right to it, then it's fair game. Whether or not you have a right to it depends on the laws of the government that you live in, so check there.

RBerman
01-26-2014, 09:11 PM
I have no hesitation in saying that downloading unpaid music from the internet is both wrong and a bad idea. If musicians can't make a living, there will not be musicians. The music industry already operates on the cheap, using chintzy tools like AutoTune and sampling to reduce the cost of production while suffering in quality.

My own current real-life concern is that I'm setting up a media server so I can store all my DVDs in the attic, but apparently doing such a thing is technically a violation of the DMCA, whether I think it should be or not.

Catholicity
01-27-2014, 06:27 AM
I have no hesitation in saying that downloading unpaid music from the internet is both wrong and a bad idea. If musicians can't make a living, there will not be musicians. The music industry already operates on the cheap, using chintzy tools like AutoTune and sampling to reduce the cost of production while suffering in quality.

My own current real-life concern is that I'm setting up a media server so I can store all my DVDs in the attic, but apparently doing such a thing is technically a violation of the DMCA, whether I think it should be or not.
My understanding is that if you copy DVD's for personal use, and do not share them you are not in anyway violating the law. However if you share the copy with anyone else, that is a violation of the law. Copywrights are funny that way. Its other than Personal use. I think that's how teachers get around it. they take something make 20 copies of it, let the students mark it up, and then file it away in their personal files.

Sparko
01-27-2014, 06:48 AM
My understanding is that if you copy DVD's for personal use, and do not share them you are not in anyway violating the law. However if you share the copy with anyone else, that is a violation of the law. Copywrights are funny that way. Its other than Personal use. I think that's how teachers get around it. they take something make 20 copies of it, let the students mark it up, and then file it away in their personal files.

only if you already OWN the original DVD. You can't just rent them and copy them for your own use.

Quantum Weirdness
01-27-2014, 02:39 PM
Thanks to all those who gave their opinions on this.

I will now painfully delete all my music. (I might buy it on the internet once I get a credit cart though.)

Chrawnus
02-04-2014, 07:12 AM
It depends on your broader view of intellectual property in general, with it being wrong if you accept the existence of intellectual property and it being acceptable if you deny it. I actually avoid downloading free music when the artist doesn't want me to (I'm also a vinyl junkie) but don't see anything wrong with it as I reject IP.

I have a hard time accepting this reasoning. Regardless of what one thinks of IP (I reject it as a legitimate concept as well) it is still a fact that downloading copyrighted music is illegal in most countries, personal opinion notwithstanding. I would assert that as long as copyright laws do not go against any teaching of the Bible we as Christians have no right to disregard them, even if we'd reject the concept on which they are based as illegitimate. :shrug:

Ferodaktyl
02-19-2014, 07:41 AM
what about music / other content posted on youtube ?

Joel
02-19-2014, 06:08 PM
Seriously, I want to know. Would it be stealing as defined by the bible?
No it would not be stealing.
It's not even considered stealing under civil law (though it is illegal).
If it is immoral, it would be so for some reason besides being theft.
But I'm not sure what that reason would be.

Sparko
02-20-2014, 05:08 AM
No it would not be stealing.
It's not even considered stealing under civil law (though it is illegal).
If it is immoral, it would be so for some reason besides being theft.
But I'm not sure what that reason would be.
piracy.

Chrawnus
02-20-2014, 10:12 AM
No it would not be stealing.
It's not even considered stealing under civil law (though it is illegal).
If it is immoral, it would be so for some reason besides being theft.
But I'm not sure what that reason would be.

It's immoral for Christians simply because it's breaking the law.
It would be different if intellectual property laws we're somehow in opposition to biblical ethics/morals somehow, in which case it could be argued that the Christian thing to do would be to oppose them, but I have a hard time seeing how one could argue that case.

So in short, until IP laws change downloading music/videos/games illegally from the internet will be immoral for Christians.

Joel
02-20-2014, 11:49 AM
piracy.
Piracy is robbery and violence on the high seas. That's how it's used in the U.S. Code as well. As far as I know, civil law does not refer to violations of copyright law as "piracy". That use of the word is modern slang, and is misleading at best. Inventing the new definition for "piracy" is a marketing tool to portray the defined thing as something bad, and doesn't actually make it immoral.


It's immoral for Christians simply because it's breaking the law.
It would be different if intellectual property laws we're somehow in opposition to biblical ethics/morals somehow, in which case it could be argued that the Christian thing to do would be to oppose them, but I have a hard time seeing how one could argue that case.

So in short, until IP laws change downloading music/videos/games illegally from the internet will be immoral for Christians.
I'm not convinced that that is a good biblical interpretation. I see no biblical reason to think that states have the power to alter morality (to make moral things immoral or immoral things moral).

Sparko
02-20-2014, 12:39 PM
:doh: zoom right over yer hed. ARRR!

Ferodaktyl
02-20-2014, 05:04 PM
It's immoral for Christians simply because it's breaking the law.
It would be different if intellectual property laws we're somehow in opposition to biblical ethics/morals somehow, in which case it could be argued that the Christian thing to do would be to oppose them, but I have a hard time seeing how one could argue that case.

So in short, until IP laws change downloading music/videos/games illegally from the internet will be immoral for Christians.

Let me get this straight : if it is unlawful then it is un-christian?
i hope that moral is above law. This is a very slippery slope.

Christianbookworm
02-20-2014, 05:10 PM
Thought Paul was saying that we needed to be good citizens. Didn't he talk in other letters about there being a difference between getting in trouble for being bad and being good? I don't know... Computers didn't exist back then!

KingsGambit
02-20-2014, 06:18 PM
Let me get this straight : if it is unlawful then it is un-christian?
i hope that moral is above law. This is a very slippery slope.

No slippery slope is necessary if the understanding is that Christians are to obey the law unless doing so directly causes them to violate a tenet of Christianity. So if the Nazi German government is compelling you to not hide Jewish refugees in your basement, you don't have to obey that law. On the other hand, there is no biblical right to download free music so there is nothing wrong with having to obey that law.

Chrawnus
02-20-2014, 10:01 PM
No slippery slope is necessary if the understanding is that Christians are to obey the law unless doing so directly causes them to violate a tenet of Christianity. So if the Nazi German government is compelling you to not hide Jewish refugees in your basement, you don't have to obey that law. On the other hand, there is no biblical right to download free music so there is nothing wrong with having to obey that law.

This.

ManwŰ S˙limo
02-20-2014, 11:16 PM
On the other hand, there is no biblical right to download free music so there is nothing wrong with having to obey that law.

St. Kevin of MacLeod said differently in his Royalty Free Gospel.

Ferodaktyl
02-21-2014, 01:53 AM
No slippery slope is necessary if the understanding is that Christians are to obey the law unless doing so directly causes them to violate a tenet of Christianity. So if the Nazi German government is compelling you to not hide Jewish refugees in your basement, you don't have to obey that law. On the other hand, there is no biblical right to download free music so there is nothing wrong with having to obey that law.

So, if the law says don't share, there's nothing wrong with having to obey that law ?

Joel
02-21-2014, 10:34 AM
No slippery slope is necessary if the understanding is that Christians are to obey the law unless doing so directly causes them to violate a tenet of Christianity.
It's that 'if' that I doubt. I don't see the Bible saying that states have the power to make moral things immoral.

KingsGambit
02-21-2014, 12:10 PM
It's that 'if' that I doubt. I don't see the Bible saying that states have the power to make moral things immoral.

We do see that civil governments were divinely placed by God, so that would seem to imply they at the very least have the authority to levy binding laws on the Christian.

Joel
02-21-2014, 05:37 PM
We do see that civil governments were divinely placed by God, so that would seem to imply they at the very least have the authority to levy binding laws on the Christian.
Firstly, it seems that some circular reasoning is involved there. Romans 13:1 only says that "there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God." It doesn't follow that just any person or group that wants to call themselves a "civil government" does in fact have authority (from God) to do whatever it is they do. Or put it another way: you can't start off assuming that some actual entity has authority and then turn around and use Romans 13:1 to prove that that entity has authority.

And secondly, it does not follow when men are given "governing authority" that that includes the authority to legislate. When God first established human government among the Israelites it consisted of judges (judicial power). God himself was the legislator. The governing authorities were authorized to apply the already-existing Law, not authorized to alter morality. So at the very least, it does not necessarily include legislative power.

Even during the time of the Kings, it might be argued that the Bible still only ever speaks of God's Law and statutes, and that the role of the king is essentially judicial and executive. I haven't done an exhaustive study on that, but it seems likely based on searching for the words "law" and "statute", and certain passages, like when the people demanded a king, against the warnings that a king would be tyrannical, they said, "that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." (1 Sam 8:20). Or when God grants Samuel a request and Samuel wants to be a good, wise king, he asks for "an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?" (1 Kings 3:9), presupposing an already-existing Law to be discerned, rather than him being a legislator and needing wisdom regarding how best to modify the Law such as by inventing new law. And then the example given of his exercising his wisdom in authority is judicial ("to administer justice.").


And then Romans 13 (and the other, related NT passages) clearly have in mind someone authorized to enforce the already-existing moral law (e.g., "3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority ? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same ; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid ; for it does not bear the sword for nothing ; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.") That is the whole purpose of the "governing authorities"--to do Justice (which of course, exists prior to the man so authorized). There is no suggestion of anyone being authorized to add to or subtract from this Law according to their own will.