Thursday, February 24, 2005

Illegal downloading

As a college student, it is quite tempting to download music from the peer-to-peer systems. It seems that it is as easy today as it ever was--except for maybe when everyone used Napster. From a Christian prospective, this is a relatively easy issue to me. I did the Napster thing for a while and even used the more modern networks recently. Unfortunately, I can no longer reconcile this as a Christian. This is the artists’ intellectual property, and they have a right to make money off of it (even if it is large amounts).

The best description/interpretation I could find of the Fair Use Act and such under U.S. Law was here at the University of Georgia.

My opinion is that "personal use" is a very broad term. It allows you to pretty much copy the music for your own use as you see fit. Copying it to distribute it publicly would be a violation of copyright law. Because Peer-to-Peer systems are so public, sharing copyrighted material on them is about like giving away CDs on the street.

Check out the World Magazine article on this issue.

Here is a decent article that presents the idea that the recording artists and companies already make too much--just so I'm not accused of being too one sided ;-).


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