The ethics of downloading

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Sloth
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Post by Sloth » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:28 am

I agree with you, Pixie, that Kant was a bit of a fuckwad, but philosophy is full of fuckwads and his philosophy is beautiful from a fuckwad point of view.

---

“I had known the Categorical Imperative, but it was in a nutshell, in a summarized form. I suppose it could be summarized as, 'Be loyal to the laws, be a disciplined person, live an orderly life, do not come into conflict with laws'—that more or less was the whole essence of that law for the use of the little man.â€￾

-Adolph Eichmann on Kant

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TragicPixie
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Post by TragicPixie » Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:08 pm

Kant just makes me want to cry lol
but ... yay ... I am on winter break until the 17th of Jan. So maybe I'll stop being a nerd for a bit.
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Post by megapulse » Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:23 pm

"Utilitarianism is very conseqentualist (sp?) ... So even if you did something for a shitty reason, as long as the outcome was good, it's still okay. If you did something for an honorable reason, but in the end it was crap it's still morally bad."

who cares about spelling?

anyway, to me, that part of the philosophy is total crap in the real world.

you don't know the result of an action until it's been performed. therefore you can draw a little diagram if this might happen, but you've no clue what will actually happen until you do it. then you're like pooh, i don't think that was so great. i mean you can make choices, based on what you know about what usually happens, but there are times when you're like, i didn't fucking expect that. there's no way i could've.

so i don't think there is really any way to determine "good"

it is an abstract noun.

it is impossible to define.

it is not like "chair"

there is no universal good or bad -- i mean we all live in our heads, "clint eastwood" sunshine in a bag, and all.

everything in terms of good is subjective, there is no way to attain an objective good. we are all different. one man's trash is another's treasure, i mean really cliche's say more about truth than a hundred volumes of wordy philosophy, imo

so no good or bad just what is and how it effects those people and things you love.

if i loved fugazi, i wouldn't steal their art. i'd want to donate my money to them so that they could make more art. if i didn't love them, i'd steal from them from here to eternity and not give a rat's ass if they had the money to produce another album or not. but if i loved their art, now that's a different subject all together . . . see?

and people do love fugazi, which is why they are the best example i know of how music should work, in my opinion -- they are not rock gods just joe schmo making a decent living and sharing as much as they can.

but it's not an ethical question to me.

download the art if you feel like it

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Tommy Martyn
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Post by Tommy Martyn » Fri Dec 23, 2005 5:18 am

Can't really comment on the "ethics" bit, but this post reminds me of the outpourings about drug companies and their profits. People are always banging on about the profits made by drug companies for things they have researched, designed and made. I always want to ask about the drugs not made for profit. ie there aren't any. Try taking them next time you are sick.

This idea that art should be free is just daft. Do I have to give examples or explain why?

Sticking with modern music: the world of music would be poorer without record companies. Not to say that there are not good and bad record companies, or that they could act in different ways. Music in modern times just doesn't fall out of an artists head and into your ears. Even the Fall have an agent and a publicist. These people need to feed their kids. Likewise the working stiffs at the record company. (The man who cleans the toilets, the girl who licks the envelopes. etc) So, you don't like the product. Fair enough, don't buy it. Stealing it, as if the thing didn't cost money to record or promote (music competes in a marketplace like everything else) or the band didn't eat while they were recording it isn't right. I would be more than a little upset if Mrs Tommy came home next week to tell me that she wasn't getting paid even though she had done all her work and people were using it.

There seems to be a general disdain for record companies. Fair enough, (see Complete Control by the Clash) how convenient though, that this disdian aligns with the fact that the consumer can get one over on the company by getting something for nothing. If you could get one over on the record company in a way that didn't stiff the band Or their manager or agent or roadie etc, that was as much as an inconvenience to you as it was to the band, then I would beleive in this war on the industry of art a little more.

It might be Remote Control by the Clash. I can't remember which

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Sloth
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Post by Sloth » Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:02 am

Most artists have, as Pixie noted, fully embraced file sharing. Most con-artists, such as Sony Records, have not.

To bring drugs into the mix Tommy is not fair. Legal drugs can kill you and illegal drugs can set you free. That's a horse of a different color. I'd like to see how your argument would change if your children needed a native African root to survive but the government hoarded them even though they had plenty for everyone. When pressed to release the root to the world, the African government insisted that is came from 'their ground' and they wouldn't take money for it but instead wanted 'mojo' or something else that Americans didn't have. Well, the bombs would start dropping within minutes. Guess what, Africans need the medicine but they have no money or bombs. What's the lesson in this? Die quickly you poor black African nothing, because we have the money, the drugs, and the bombs. All you have is $2 and an little Irish spokesman with a weave.

If there is a God, and she appreciates art, I wouldn't want to be a record or drug company exec at the pearly gates. It might be better to be a file sharer or a pot dealer.

Hopefully, Pax Acidus is still about art. I got sick of hearing capitalistic crap spewing out from everyone's mouth everywhere I went in the USA. That's probably why I'm in Sweden now, which values (or at least used to for a while in the 70's) people over money.

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martino
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Post by martino » Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:29 am

"Most artists have, as Pixie noted, fully embraced file sharing."

i poo poo that statement. supply proof please. most artists need money and they have contracts with record companies for that purpose. some have said they do not want to criminalize juvenile downloaders and most say they hate the record companies but most want some source of income. sure a few rich guys such as damon albern support downloads because it improves their street cred (which, in his case, is in dire need of improvement after blur allowed their music to be used in advertising). but let's stick to the facts man.

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Sloth
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Post by Sloth » Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:26 am

The Libertines, The Strokes, Foo Fighters, Dandy Warhols have all spoken out for music downloads. There are hundreds more. Dave Grohl went so far as to say that all music should be free, always, which I disagree with.

"Most people I know who use Napster listen to stuff they've never heard before. And then they get psyched and go out and buy the damn records. It's more like a sampler." - Ian MacKaye, Fugazi

"Napster: It is the future, in my opinion. That's the way music is going to be communicated around the world. The most important thing now is to embrace it, and that was the spirit by which we did this co-promotion."
- Dave Matthews

"We should think of (Napster) as a new kind of radio--a promotional tool that can help artists who don't have the opportunity to get their music played on mainstream radio or on MTV,"
- Chuck D, New York Times, 4/30/2000

The trend is already too much to stop. Upcoming bands like The Arctic Monkeys get music contracts based on how many downloads they get on their Myspace.com site. To me it is good because it will make bands tour more which is a good night out.

My final words on the subject:

Think about the difference between stealing a CD from a store and downloading it from a website "illegally". Is it really the same thing? No. Is it close to the same thing? No. Is it vaguely in some way similar. Okay, yeah.

It's like if you pick an apple off a tree in a neighbor's yard and eat it without asking them. Technically you're a criminal but in reality you are not hurting anyone if you don't make a lifelong habit of it and get greedy.

And there is a BIG difference between downloading albums and piracy, where you sell copies at profit. No is getting rich in the file sharing business. Pirates who sell illegal copies of DVDs on the street are the real criminals here. Not the poor bloke who want to hear the latest pop song commercial free. Let's not blur the lines too much between fair use and theft or we may become like the record companies ourselves.

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TragicPixie
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Post by TragicPixie » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:01 pm

Other artists who support downloads: Dashboard Confessional. Scott Brown (okay, so maybe techno doesn't count but...)
Any artist who releases tracks - even live recordings for downloads is supporting downloads and on many artist's websites there are exclusive downloads that won't/don't appear on any albums.

An example of an artist that does not support downloads: Gary Numan. Try to get anything more than a sample of out of his stuff...

What it comes down to is artists realise they are not in grave financial danger because in the end, people who like their music will not stop buying - unless of course they have no money. Those who are in danger are record companies - which are simply outdated and while as sad as that may be is a fact.

... and I lost my train of thought my boyfriend's slightly off mother sent me an e-mail about Christmas and religion I am not entirely sure how to polietly respond to ...
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martino
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Post by martino » Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:04 pm

point taken that there are a lot of musicians who like file sharing.

let's agree to disagree about whether it's ok to download music from those musicians who dislike file sharing.

anyway: we already had consensus that it makes sense to go to concerts more often. that's were the action is, and that's where the musicians will make money from now on.

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Post by megapulse » Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:20 pm

"Can't really comment on the "ethics" bit, but this post reminds me of the outpourings about drug companies and their profits. People are always banging on about the profits made by drug companies for things they have researched, designed and made. I always want to ask about the drugs not made for profit. ie there aren't any. Try taking them next time you are sick."

ahe-um, off the subject :) . . . but, medicinal pot, lots of folks grow smoke and give it and don't make a lot of dimes from it --caffeine -- not a whole lot of profit in a goody powder and a coke -- try it for a hangover with headache.

i'll tell ya what pisses me off really about the drug companies, it's the f-ing vaccine for hpv that they have researched, designed and made . . . and we and our fornicating daughters can't get in the "good" ole conservative values usa.

(i think it's "we own the air waves," by the ramones, i'm kidding)

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Post by megapulse » Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:29 pm

oh, crap, i was wrong. it's we want the airwaves, i just checked myself.

this is always happens when i'm trying to be smart.

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Post by marky » Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:15 pm

I've much enjoyed watching other's posts here without piping in, but I do think that the real problem with drug companies is that they patent things to stop the production of generic drugs. Remember in the 70's we had lower priced generic drugs. Also the drug companies are in bed with the FDA which means many of the drugs being sold here now are unsafe, as has been shown to be true. The whole thing is entirely corrupt. The drug companies can afford to price gouge because they have systematically eliminated any competition from generic drugs and because people feel they *have* to have these drugs, like a necessity of life. Therefore, they will consider losing their homes to afford them etc etc.

I guess I agree with Sloth that one can't really compare the drug company thing to the downloading issue.

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TragicPixie
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Post by TragicPixie » Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:06 pm

well actually - I agree that drug company issue is very different.
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Post by marky » Mon Dec 26, 2005 6:38 am

Also remember that part of giant corporation drug company prices is the price of their ridiculous advertising on TV, etc. which costs millions of dollars, we are paying for this advertising, not just the "research & development" they're always going on about as an excuse.

We didn't have drug companies advertising on national television in the 70's & 80's - why is it necessary now? Why should large portions of the population go to their doctors and ASK for a drug that they don't even know the side effects or risks of?

And you think the drug companies don't hand out under-the-table goodies to the doctors? Of course they do.

I'm telling you it's all crooked, twisted, they're all in bed with each other, the drug companies, the FDA and the doctors. Well, not ALL doctors, but you get my drift.

Right let's talk about downloading again. I just spend a whopping $21 on a double CD that turned out to be total crap. I would rather HAVE FOUND IT FOR DOWNLOAD know what I mean?

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Sloth
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Post by Sloth » Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:51 pm

"let's agree to disagree about whether it's ok to download music from those musicians who dislike file sharing."

Okay I love to agree to disagree. And I don't advocate downloading in excess. Like if someone tells you they never buy music and download it all how can you think but they are cheap bastards?

In keeping with the spirit of x-mas, I bought Linda a gift certificate at the local cool music store. There is only now only one in Stockholm(!) no doubt due to the affects of downloading. So it isn't all peaches and herb. The little guys do suffer from it as well. The days of shopping for any music besides vinyl are over.

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