The Ethics Of P2P Peer To Peer File Sharing
Peer to peer file sharing is regarded as either illegal theft of artists’ work or a fair return to listeners or viewers for the money they have paid to get these artists where they are. Which side you take is dependant on whether you are a drug addled artist or a consumer sick of being ripped off for pieces of overpriced plastic or tape.
Do not take me the wrong way here, since not all artists and actors are drug ridden, but many are. Many others do a fine job, but we are still paying for the excesses of what I consider to be the majority, not the minority.
Most people take a middle view, and can understand the frustration of artists and movie makers whose work is being downloaded without payment being made. However, they also understand the view of the consumer, who has paid a considerable sum of money over the years to stars who live a lifestyle far in excess of their abilities. It is that unfairness that prompts many people to take the view that pop and film stars have earned enough from the hard working masses, and should not complain when some use a perfectly legal software system to download some of their so-called ‘work’, albeit illegally.
Peer to peer file sharing software is not illegal: it is the way that we use it that is illegal. Many new acts do not complain when we download their work, since that gives them publicity, but once they become famous and they no longer need us, then they complain. That, to me, is hypocrisy though I am willing to listen to the arguments of those who disagree.
It seems strange that bands that were unheard of until they offered free downloads of their work take law suits against the fans that got them to the top for downloading their music. Does that make sense? Or am I missing something? To me, they are nothing but prats that should crawl back to the hole the crept out of.
Many take the view that as long as those who make money from the music and film industry continue to break the laws of most countries in the world and get away with it, then what rights should they have to complain when others do the same, but in a less socially disruptive fashion.
Sure, it is certainly true that breach of copyright is illegal. By definition, therefore, it is illegal for people to use p2p file sharing software to download music and movie files that are protected by copyright. However, which is the greater offence: to download a copyright file or to deliberately break the drugs laws of your country of residence, or of the country you are visiting, and escape the appropriate punishment because your are ‘a star’?
Most of us know the answer to that, so as long as the stars break the law, then they should stop bleating about us doing the same and keep it shut until they conform. Once they conform, then we might too. Until then, however, the morality of the situation is that we are trying our level best to help them by cutting their income to a minimum so that they can no longer afford to buy drugs using our money. We will no longer pay for their rubbish music, and let’s face it, most new music these days is total crap, until they clean up their acts and start to set our kids an example that they would be proud to set their own kids.
Until then we will continue to share our best movies and music tracks throughout our networks. We are members of clubs, and as such, we have the industry’s welfare at heart. After all, without them we would have nothing to listen to or to watch. We would have nothing to copy or watch illegally. Once they are clean, then we will become clean.
We have banded together, and will stay banded together, to ensure that we help these drug-ridden stars by depleting them of the resource to purchase drugs and booze so that they will be more able to provide decent movies and music to our children in the future by being clean and working with clear heads. Surely that is an aspiration to be applauded. We are providing a social service and should be commended, not prosecuted.
That is why P2P should be provided with government grants and not hounded. We are not only doing good to the stars by showing them the error of their ways, but are helping the future of the children of our respective nations.