There's got to be a whole philosophy behind "stealing/torrenting/whatevering" music and tv-shows. I mean, I think it's wrong to take music you didn't pay for. But I don't think it's "stealing" per say. And I always see examples (like Irascians) which
say something like, "Okay well when somebody steals your tv because they're too poor to have their own..", and that totally isn't even a valid comparison.
I'm not justifying theivery (that's the world, right?), but I am saying that it's not 'stealing'. No more than somebody over-hearing your conversation with your wife is stealing your conversation. Can't we call it "Illegal-interception" or something?
Now for the deeper-philosopolomosolosphy.
- Is it wrong to sing a song you heard on the radio to your friends?
- Is it wrong to record yourself singing that song on the radio to your friends?
- Is it wrong to play the radio a little louder so your friends can hear it?
- Is it wrong to host a party at your house, and have a popular radio-station playing to attract guests?
- Is it wrong for a sports-bar to play the NFL games on their televisions to attract customers?
- Is it wrong to share information about a recent event you saw on television with a person who did not witness that event?
- Is it wrong to TIVO, a television program?
- Is it wrong to TIVO a television program for a friend who is unable to watch it at that time?
The questions get pretty weird, I admit. I especially would like to hear some opposing thoughts on point 4, 5, and 8.
This post reminded me about a news story I saw on TV recently about potential changes to Australian copyright law which could make it illegal for people to sing happy birthday in a public place (among other things). Obviously it would be wrong for me to upload
a video of this news story to share the information with other people, but fortunately posting a link to a similar news story on a website is still legal for now (as far as I know - IANAL).
This news came just a day or two after U2 had a concert in my city, and I had been able to hear the music from my house (a few kilometers away). If I had happened to be recording something at the time (for a podcast for example) and some of the U2 music from
the concert got on the recording and I put that on the internet, I could have been fined thousands of dollars under these new laws.
Now seriously, as a programmer and a musician I don't much like piracy either, but when the governments and companies go
in trying to prevent it, I have no problem with helping to let them know they've gone too far.