Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Billymac29 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Billymac29 wrote:So I guess you dont consider stealing someones identity a theft?


It is fraud and lying, I believe.

That was kind of a rhetorical question. I used the word stealing in my question to show I was implying that it was theft.
However, I agree with you that it is also fraud and lying.


Billymac29 wrote: Since it is copying down someone's information and using it without his/her consent and/or knowledge... Not depriving them from using it...


It can be used to directly steal money from Bank accounts or credit cards, access confidential information, or it could be used to mess up someone's life.


Agreed

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:06 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
tobes wrote:
I find the appeal to 'logical common sense' and in the post before the appeal to 'social norms' pretty unsatisfactory.

Can you show how social norms does not apply to the precepts and would not be covered here. as an example the intellectual property rights.

The internet is a privilage not a right btw, and although it is free to use the content is not necessarily publicly owned.


Well I think Buddhist precepts are are grounded in a logic of consequentialism - obviously connected with kamma - not on whatever happens to be socially normative at a given time (i.e. a kind of social constructivism).

There are really two dimensions at play - firstly the metaphysics of kamma/paticcasamuppāda which in some respects is taken to be a kind of natural law. i.e. it's an explanation for how reality (and agency) functions.

Secondly the normative response to that view - that humans ought to act in certain ways, such that they are attuned to that reality (and ultimately of course, overcome it). The conceptual wording of the precepts are expressive of that normative response. I agree that because we are in the sphere of language and concepts, we are automatically in a sphere of social conditioning/ constructivism. But the normativity of the precepts does not refer principally to those conditions - which will always be highly variable. The normativity refers to the first dimension I mentioned - it is a response to the functional reality of kamma/paticcasamuppāda.

The implication is that we cannot take highly variable social-political conditions to be the normative basis for what the precepts refer to. Doing so would leave us with the intractable problem that when pernicious social-political conditions arise, the moral Buddhist just goes along with them.

What the moral Buddhist must do is determine the relationship between the demands of the precepts and the variability of particular social-political norms. For example, if you live in a state which commits to a pernicious war, and conscripts you to fight in it, you ought to uphold the precept not to kill against the social norm that fighting for your state is courageous and virtuous.

The question of intellectual property rights and the internet is obviously far more complex and murky. My point is not to argue strongly one way or the other, but merely to point out this complexity and murkiness.

For example, you posit a distinction between private and public goods - which is a liberal distinction - and assume this to be immutable. But is it? Actually, in political economy this is highly contested, and it is not clear where a Buddhist position might sit in relation to that contestation.

You also assert that the internet is a privilege not a right. I agree that there is no basis to call it 'a right' - but whose privilege is it? If the internet is itself a global commons - and this is clearly how it started - how coherent is the demand that some content is ownable? I have seen very plausible arguments the other way: the existence of a free commons has been co-opted by that very logic of private ownership. If there is a problem of theft, it is of particular states/agents/corporations colonising something which is not theirs to colonise.

Let's take a material analogy: there is some land which people live on, share and utilise, but do not claim ownership of. Let us say, Australia in the 1700's. Then people arrive, claim ownership and set up a sovereign state on that same land. Then, whoever violates those laws of ownership is held to account by (their) law for trespass or theft. Now if you are an indigenous person who was originally there, and you end up in jail for trespass - don't you think there is something deeply immoral and unjust about that finding - even though, from a certain point of view, it is entirely lawful?

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:49 pm

tobes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
tobes wrote:
I find the appeal to 'logical common sense' and in the post before the appeal to 'social norms' pretty unsatisfactory.

Can you show how social norms does not apply to the precepts and would not be covered here. as an example the intellectual property rights.

The internet is a privilage not a right btw, and although it is free to use the content is not necessarily publicly owned.


Well I think Buddhist precepts are are grounded in a logic of consequentialism - obviously connected with kamma - not on whatever happens to be socially normative at a given time (i.e. a kind of social constructivism).

that is in part true, yet they are social, and take into account of changes in social norms. Please look at the great standard.

There are really two dimensions at play - firstly the metaphysics of kamma/paticcasamuppāda which in some respects is taken to be a kind of natural law. i.e. it's an explanation for how reality (and agency) functions.

Secondly the normative response to that view - that humans ought to act in certain ways, such that they are attuned to that reality (and ultimately of course, overcome it). The conceptual wording of the precepts are expressive of that normative response. I agree that because we are in the sphere of language and concepts, we are automatically in a sphere of social conditioning/ constructivism. But the normativity of the precepts does not refer principally to those conditions - which will always be highly variable. The normativity refers to the first dimension I mentioned - it is a response to the functional reality of kamma/paticcasamuppāda.

The precepts fall into two groups that which are worldly rules and rules connected directly to the practice. The Lay precepts are worded quite openly because they are minimum standards, not hard and fast detailed rules applicable in every situation from conception.
Out of the five precepts the first four are worldly rules connected with social cohesion. and the fifth is spiritual, connected with the training.
Of the Eight Precepts the 1st, 2nd, and 4th are worldly, and the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th are spiritual.
in both cases the second precept which is under discussion is worldly and any worldly determination of what theft is is counted.

The implication is that we cannot take highly variable social-political conditions to be the normative basis for what the precepts refer to. Doing so would leave us with the intractable problem that when pernicious social-political conditions arise, the moral Buddhist just goes along with them.

if the social-political landscape makes it impossible to keep the precept completely or demands one is broken then is it a good place to stay?

What the moral Buddhist must do is determine the relationship between the demands of the precepts and the variability of particular social-political norms. For example, if you live in a state which commits to a pernicious war, and conscripts you to fight in it, you ought to uphold the precept not to kill against the social norm that fighting for your state is courageous and virtuous.

and that would be breaking the precept.
please look at the white poppy appeal and conscientious objection.

The question of intellectual property rights and the internet is obviously far more complex and murky. My point is not to argue strongly one way or the other, but merely to point out this complexity and murkiness.

if I created a piece of music, and it was available online, the intelectual property is mine.

For example, you posit a distinction between private and public goods - which is a liberal distinction - and assume this to be immutable. But is it? Actually, in political economy this is highly contested, and it is not clear where a Buddhist position might sit in relation to that contestation.

I don't assume anything is immutable. anicca. hence the social norms role in the precepts.

You also assert that the internet is a privilege not a right. I agree that there is no basis to call it 'a right' - but whose privilege is it? If the internet is itself a global commons - and this is clearly how it started - how coherent is the demand that some content is ownable? I have seen very plausible arguments the other way: the existence of a free commons has been co-opted by that very logic of private ownership. If there is a problem of theft, it is of particular states/agents/corporations colonising something which is not theirs to colonise.

the privilege is with the one using it.
just as coherant as to say music or video piracy is breaking laws.
if a stall in a market held on public grounds has goods stolen from it but the public doesn't want charges pressed then does the stalls rights to its property to be protected from theft, and the thief to be brought to justice disappear? or an authors rights to control their work disappear because someone wants to reproduce the work?

Let's take a material analogy: there is some land which people live on, share and utilise, but do not claim ownership of. Let us say, Australia in the 1700's. Then people arrive, claim ownership and set up a sovereign state on that same land. Then, whoever violates those laws of ownership is held to account by (their) law for trespass or theft. Now if you are an indigenous person who was originally there, and you end up in jail for trespass - don't you think there is something deeply immoral and unjust about that finding - even though, from a certain point of view, it is entirely lawful?

things change and there are too many variables not accounted for.

[quote problem corrected]
Last edited by Cittasanto on Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:18 am

Cittasanto wrote:The precepts fall into two groups that which are worldly rules and rules connected directly to the practice. The Lay precepts are worded quite openly because they are minimum standards, not hard and fast detailed rules applicable in every situation from conception.
Out of the five precepts the first four are worldly rules connected with social cohesion. and the fifth is spiritual, connected with the training.
Of the Eight Precepts the 1st, 2nd, and 4th are worldly, and the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th are spiritual.
in both cases the second precept which is under discussion is worldly and any worldly determination of what theft is is counted.



Yes, but the normative force which makes those worldly rules coherent is the logic of kamma/paticcasamuppāda - and the consequentialism related to them. Are you really denying this in favour of 'whatever the worldly determination is'? Lay people follow such guidelines because they are guidelines for kusala actions (or the abstainining from aksuala actions); it is the way for them to accumulate merit and avoid unfortunate consequences (namely, bad rebirths).

This is clearly connected to social cohesion, I grant you that. But this does not imply that social cohesion is the only the normative reason which justifies the precept, and that because of that, whatever is socially normative is (always) acceptable.

By that strange logic, fighting for a Marxist revolution (i.e. private property rights = theft and must be overcome) would be as equally as justified as fighting against it (i.e. private property rights = natural and must be defended) - the decisive factor of what is moral and right here would merely be reduced to 'which team you happen to be on at the time is right.'

I don't think the precepts are quite so pragmatic.

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:27 am

Cittasanto wrote:
What the moral Buddhist must do is determine the relationship between the demands of the precepts and the variability of particular social-political norms. For example, if you live in a state which commits to a pernicious war, and conscripts you to fight in it, you ought to uphold the precept not to kill against the social norm that fighting for your state is courageous and virtuous.

and that would be breaking the precept.
please look at the white poppy appeal and conscientious objection.



So the tacit commitment to a state always overrides the conscious keeping of the precepts? I am not aware of what you mention here, and happy to admit my ignorance. It seems very counter intuitive and highly problematic. Forgive me for the uncouth and boring analogy, but are you telling me that when Hitler comes to power and drafts me into the SS, my moral fidelity ought to be him and the state and not the precept?

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:33 am

tobes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
What the moral Buddhist must do is determine the relationship between the demands of the precepts and the variability of particular social-political norms. For example, if you live in a state which commits to a pernicious war, and conscripts you to fight in it, you ought to uphold the precept not to kill against the social norm that fighting for your state is courageous and virtuous.

and that would be breaking the precept.
please look at the white poppy appeal and conscientious objection.



So the tacit commitment to a state always overrides the conscious keeping of the precepts? I am not aware of what you mention here, and happy to admit my ignorance. It seems very counter intuitive and highly problematic. Forgive me for the uncouth and boring analogy, but are you telling me that when Hitler comes to power and drafts me into the SS, my moral fidelity ought to be him and the state and not the precept?

:anjali:

where did I say that, please re-read and look at what I mention.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:34 am

tobes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:The precepts fall into two groups that which are worldly rules and rules connected directly to the practice. The Lay precepts are worded quite openly because they are minimum standards, not hard and fast detailed rules applicable in every situation from conception.
Out of the five precepts the first four are worldly rules connected with social cohesion. and the fifth is spiritual, connected with the training.
Of the Eight Precepts the 1st, 2nd, and 4th are worldly, and the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th are spiritual.
in both cases the second precept which is under discussion is worldly and any worldly determination of what theft is is counted.



Yes, but the normative force which makes those worldly rules coherent is the logic of kamma/paticcasamuppāda - and the consequentialism related to them. Are you really denying this in favour of 'whatever the worldly determination is'? Lay people follow such guidelines because they are guidelines for kusala actions (or the abstainining from aksuala actions); it is the way for them to accumulate merit and avoid unfortunate consequences (namely, bad rebirths).

This is clearly connected to social cohesion, I grant you that. But this does not imply that social cohesion is the only the normative reason which justifies the precept, and that because of that, whatever is socially normative is (always) acceptable.

By that strange logic, fighting for a Marxist revolution (i.e. private property rights = theft and must be overcome) would be as equally as justified as fighting against it (i.e. private property rights = natural and must be defended) - the decisive factor of what is moral and right here would merely be reduced to 'which team you happen to be on at the time is right.'

I don't think the precepts are quite so pragmatic.

:anjali:

Please read all of what I wrote.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:35 am

Cittasanto wrote:
For example, you posit a distinction between private and public goods - which is a liberal distinction - and assume this to be immutable. But is it? Actually, in political economy this is highly contested, and it is not clear where a Buddhist position might sit in relation to that contestation.

I don't assume anything is immutable. anicca. hence the social norms role in the precepts.

You also assert that the internet is a privilege not a right. I agree that there is no basis to call it 'a right' - but whose privilege is it? If the internet is itself a global commons - and this is clearly how it started - how coherent is the demand that some content is ownable? I have seen very plausible arguments the other way: the existence of a free commons has been co-opted by that very logic of private ownership. If there is a problem of theft, it is of particular states/agents/corporations colonising something which is not theirs to colonise.

the privilege is with the one using it.
just as coherant as to say music or video piracy is breaking laws.
if a stall in a market held on public grounds has goods stolen from it but the public doesn't want charges pressed then does the stalls rights to its property to be protected from theft, and the thief to be brought to justice disappear? or an authors rights to control their work disappear because someone wants to reproduce the work?
[/quote]

I think the point I'm trying to make is that this is indeed the question to be asked.

Not assumed to be already answered.

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:45 am

tobes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:I don't assume anything is immutable. anicca. hence the social norms role in the precepts.

You also assert that the internet is a privilege not a right. I agree that there is no basis to call it 'a right' - but whose privilege is it? If the internet is itself a global commons - and this is clearly how it started - how coherent is the demand that some content is ownable? I have seen very plausible arguments the other way: the existence of a free commons has been co-opted by that very logic of private ownership. If there is a problem of theft, it is of particular states/agents/corporations colonising something which is not theirs to colonise.

the privilege is with the one using it.
just as coherant as to say music or video piracy is breaking laws.
if a stall in a market held on public grounds has goods stolen from it but the public doesn't want charges pressed then does the stalls rights to its property to be protected from theft, and the thief to be brought to justice disappear? or an authors rights to control their work disappear because someone wants to reproduce the work?


I think the point I'm trying to make is that this is indeed the question to be asked.

Not assumed to be already answered.

:anjali:

where was that assumption?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:52 am

Cittasanto wrote:
where did I say that, please re-read and look at what I mention.



I apologise if I have misread you.

You seemed to be suggesting that if there is moral dilemma between fighting for the state or preserving the precept not to kill, one should decide in favour of "breaking the precept."

What precisely did you mean?

I realise that my analogy did not account for what you wrote a little earlier. I'm sorry for that - I was attempting to problematise the moral fidelity to the variable conditions of the state and social norms connected with that. I think the basic argument in it is still relevant, but I will wait to see we can clarify what you meant with respect to the above.

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby tobes » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:58 am

Cittasanto wrote:

where was that assumption?



The assumption is that individual intellectual property rights ought to be prioritised over a global commons, because that is the current social norm.

Isn't this your position?

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:27 am

tobes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
where did I say that, please re-read and look at what I mention.



I apologise if I have misread you.

You seemed to be suggesting that if there is moral dilemma between fighting for the state or preserving the precept not to kill, one should decide in favour of "breaking the precept."

What precisely did you mean?

I realise that my analogy did not account for what you wrote a little earlier. I'm sorry for that - I was attempting to problematise the moral fidelity to the variable conditions of the state and social norms connected with that. I think the basic argument in it is still relevant, but I will wait to see we can clarify what you meant with respect to the above.

:anjali:

what I said was
and that would be breaking the precept.
please look at the white poppy appeal and conscientious objection.

how would preserving a precept break it? there are other means by which the duty could be done such as medical personel, or leaving the country. But did you look at what these are?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:29 am

tobes wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:

where was that assumption?



The assumption is that individual intellectual property rights ought to be prioritised over a global commons, because that is the current social norm.

Isn't this your position?

:anjali:

the non-assumption of already answered? it was the only assumption referenced.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:32 am

Here is a note from my studies of the second Pārājika on theft.

2. Copyright and unlicensed computer software copying does fall under this rule as it is similar to evasion of tax/customs duty. On another hand "Criminal Offences" are infringing acts of copyright carried out for commercial or trading purposes. They are "significant" where profit from the infringement amounts to one Pāda or more than one Pāda, as is the standard for this offence, and Criminal Offences where the profit is less than one pada would then be either thullacaya (if it is one to four masakas) or dukkaṭa if less than one māsaka. However, some disagree to copyrght and unlicenced computer software copying being grounds for a Pārājika, and as it is intellectual property the evasion of duty and tax is the closest as no actual property is stolen, although loss of legally valid income does potentially happen. In short criminal acts of copyright are parajika, thullacaya or dukkata. Non-criminal acts of copyright infringement should be considered as dukkata at most.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:09 am

As an interesting footnote to discussion on the 2nd Parajika - It isn't a parajika unless the theft is of something of value above 1/24th a troy ounce of gold. Which would be ~ $67 USD. So anything over $67 and you're no longer a monk. I'm not sure if this is used in practice however.
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:42 am

BlackBird wrote:As an interesting footnote to discussion on the 2nd Parajika - It isn't a parajika unless the theft is of something of value above 1/24th a troy ounce of gold. Which would be ~ $67 USD. So anything over $67 and you're no longer a monk. I'm not sure if this is used in practice however.

So your saying I can steal that $50 jacket I've been longing for? :thanks: :tongue: Just kidding. :anjali:
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:50 am

Buckwheat wrote:
BlackBird wrote:As an interesting footnote to discussion on the 2nd Parajika - It isn't a parajika unless the theft is of something of value above 1/24th a troy ounce of gold. Which would be ~ $67 USD. So anything over $67 and you're no longer a monk. I'm not sure if this is used in practice however.

So your saying I can steal that $50 jacket I've been longing for? :thanks: :tongue: Just kidding. :anjali:


As long as it's a shade of orangey brown. ;)
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby K.Dhamma » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:18 pm

It's hard to say. I like to draw up analogies when things like this occur.

Your neighbor has an apple tree. You buy an apple from him. Seeds and all. Instead of throwing out the seeds you plant the seeds and in 5 years you have an apple tree of your own. You decide to give away your apples instead of sell them to anyone. So your neighbor doesn't get any money anymore from his apples because you used HIS apple seeds to grow your own tree.

Does this make it right? Depends on whether there was an known or even unmentioned agreement that you wouldn't use the seeds to put him out of business.

When you give away a CD or DVD was it because you felt compelled to let others enjoy the fruits of your labor/money? Was it to make the other person lose money because CD's and DVD's cost too much these days?

Are you looking for the CD or DVD online because you choose not to spend money to get it? Doesn't that err on the side of greediness? Are you under the assumption that the person offering it was giving it to you specifically? Are you the intended receiver?
Lots of questions.
I feel that anymore most people tend to ebb on the side of giving away because they don't want others to have to spend money. Then again, I can't read minds so I cannot conclude this absolutely.

I think it comes down to intention. On both the receiving side and giving side. If your intentions are deceitful, then yes it is an infraction. If a friend gives you a CD or DVD that is burned or allows you to copy it from his computer because he knows you really enjoy that particular one and gives it to you freely without asking for anything in return then I suppose it doesn't violate it. Again, I am a layperson and this is just my input. This is a rather interesting conversation though.


Just a footnote: Put it into context of a virtue. Sometimes that sheds some light on the truth of things.
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:23 pm

It is a violation if you agree that it is indeed illegal. You do not necessarily have to agree with the laws of your particular country.

For example, the Eightfold Path's notion of "sexual misconduct" is deliberately not specified in detail, as what is considered "misconduct" varies from society to society. For example, in some society it is accepted to have multiple wives, whereby sleeping with another woman does not cause suffering, whereas in another society it does.

I think the true wisdom in all Buddhist precepts and advices lies in the very fact they are open to and welcoming your own honest interpretation.

To say that "illegal downloading" violates the precept per se does not make any sense. Whether or not this is deemed illegal and/or punishable (and maybe there are other qualifications than just these two as well) chances from one government to the next. This would mean that one year you violate a precept and the next year you don't. Don't look to governments, to capitalism, or whatever other system that tries to tell you what to to. Mind you, it has taken a whole lot of breaking precepts to come up with this whole copyright philosophy in the first place.

Is it a violation if a researcher can save millions of lives developing a new drug but violates a patent? Only if the researcher sincerely believes in the patent system. Be true to your own heart. Don't you think that is what the Buddha would have wanted for you as well? :namaste:
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:42 pm

Dennenappelmoes wrote:Is it a violation if a researcher can save millions of lives developing a new drug but violates a patent?

Perhaps a little off topic, but a patent doesn't stop people from using the knowledge. In fact, the point of the patent system is that a patent discloses the knowledge so that others can use it. There is nothing to stop the researcher from developing a new drug using a patented process. It's in the selling of the drug where the patent issue would arise (and there would have to be negotiations over how much of the profit the patent-holder would receive).

:anjali:
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