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Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept? - Page 9 - Dhamma Wheel

Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Buckwheat
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:31 am

Last edited by Buckwheat on Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Buckwheat
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:42 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Hanzze
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Hanzze » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:01 am

Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

Buckwheat
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:22 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Maarten
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Maarten » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:28 am


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Radman622
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Radman622 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:08 pm

I have always viewed downloading and file-sharing very lightly in the past, although I am beginning to reconsider this stance. Bear with me for a moment please while I play Devil's Advocate with these illustrations of my previous opinions:

Suppose you bought a CD, and your friend wanted to download it onto their computer? Most people would say this is a fairly reasonable request, but is it stealing for them to do so because they have not bought their own copy? What if they just come over to your house and listen to the CD instead of downloading it? They still haven't bought it, but they get to listen to it whenever they want. Is that stealing? Should you tell your friend that they cannot come to listen to music at your house, because it is stealing if they do not own the CD themselves? What is the real difference between them coming over to your house and listening to the music or borrowing it to import it to their computer and listening to it in their own home? I think you would agree there is little difference.

And if this is not wrong, what if you just transferred the purchased files from your computer to theirs and didn't use the CD at all? Did they steal then simply because it is now digitally transferred instead of physical? What if you sent them the files over the internet instead of by direct transfer? Is it stealing now simply because you weren't present physically when you loaned them the files?

What if it wasn't your friend, but some random stranger that you loaned the CD? Is it stealing now just because you don't know them? What if you invite this random stranger into your home to listen to the music? Now is it stealing? What is the difference between loaning this stranger the CD and allowing them to listen to it in your home?

What if instead of meeting them in person, or allowing them to borrow the CD physically, this random stranger downloaded the files from you on the internet? Is it stealing now because you didn't physically loan them the CD, or physically meet them in person?

As far as I can tell, this ^ is the best possible argument for "file-sharing." Copy-rights have legal sway, but when you think about it, you cannot own an idea, a song, etc - even attempting to force people to pay for it individually in order to use it is sabotaged by radios, libraries, people allowing others to listen to music in their homes... and copyright is simply an attempt by the producers to generate more profit and revenue for themselves.

The same could be said for books, and a library. Are all people who check out books at libraries stealing the book? They won't buy the book because they have already read it for free, so it is, for all intensive purposes, the same as if they had downloaded the file of the book online and read it, and then deleted it from their computer when they were done.

Are candid photographs stealing someone's image? Obviously if they have explicitly forbidden their picture to be taken, one should respect their wishes, but if they have not said this, their image is not considered their "property" is it?

I consider these arguments valid, but because I think that the Buddha would encourage obeying "the law of the land" except in cases where it specifically contradict or forbids the Dharma, and that this amounts to "Right Livelihood," living honestly and lawfully. However, if there were not copyright laws in place, I would not consider there to be any grounds for determining this to be an amoral practice since you cannot have ownership over an idea, a song, etc and in reality, I question one's ability to have ownership over things in general.

:namaste:

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convivium
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby convivium » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:49 am

if you would otherwise have no chance of buying it does it make a difference materially to download information? no. i would make use of free data pretty much exclusively (i bought pages and a few apps) if i couldn't freely download certain things. i don't really care about this issue but i'm procrastinating.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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tobes
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:22 am

I think we need to ask 'what is a property right?' in the contemporary, liberal-market sense of the term - and how does that connect (or not) with the 2nd precept?

People who argue that downloading is "illegal" are predicating those claims on a concept of intellectual property. Such a concept clearly did not exist in ancient India.

Such a concept is a modern European invention, which has its roots in the Lockean idea of natural rights. In many ways, this notion does not cohere with Buddhist metaphysics and ethics, most notably because it assumes a substantial self. The very notion of a right is not something easy established using Buddhist concepts. So we need to be careful to distinguish rights and laws with precepts. These are not synonymous terms.

We need to recognise that we're at quite a considerable disjuncture - because those of us who live in modern liberal states, implicitly accept all of the Lockean predications about private property. These predications are not insignificant, because the very legitimacy of such states is only preserved if it upholds these conceptions of private property (i.e. makes it unlawful for people to violate the property rights of others).

It does not follow that this grants an ethical reason - that is, a reason premised on the logic of the precept - to justify problematising pirated downloads.

To put it in a very uncouth way, I could not imagine the Buddha copyrighting his teachings, and considering them to be 'his' private intellectual property.

:anjali:

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iforgotmyname
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby iforgotmyname » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:09 pm

Then what if you were watching a live stream that was showing content freely, one after the other? The thing is, the stream is free, the guy streaming it is doing the illegal thing by taking something (i.e. downloading it when it is not given freely) and re-broadcasting it. Then are we the viewers still breaking the 2nd precept if we are watching the stream which is in a sense given to us by the broadcaster but not the original author of the content?

Digity
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Digity » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:00 pm


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Alex123
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:51 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:06 pm

It should be pointed out that the second precept is actually "I undertake the precept to refrain from taking what is not freely given," not "I undertake the precept to refrain from stealing" or "I undertake the precept to refrain from taking another's property." Just a point in this discussion.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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tobes
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:06 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:12 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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badscooter
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby badscooter » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:29 pm

"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:45 pm

Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta


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Cittasanto
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:56 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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tobes
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:51 am


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Alex123
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:53 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:58 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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