Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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mikenz66
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:28 am

danieLion wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I don't think it makes sense to apply deep teachings of the aggregates to the precepts.
There not so "deep", unless I've misunderstood what you mean by "deep".
They are advanced teachings of the Buddha.
danieLion wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Looking at the precepts in that way, anything that you might feel guilty about is best avoided.
In what way?

What do yo mean by "guilt"?

metta
Just the run-of-the-mill meaning. That you might be breaking the law, get yelled at, that sort of thing. Anything that makes you nervous about what you are doing. Nothing deep or specific to Buddha-Dhamma, except that if you feel guilty or nervous it's distracting.

To spell it out in an extreme way, if you're worried the police are going to break down your door because you stole something, or killed someone, then that's not going to very conducive to Dhamma practice...

:anjali:
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Dhammanando
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:27 am

chownah wrote:So downloading the same stuff is legal in Switzerland and illegal in the USofA. So is the 2nd precept a matter of geography?
One factor in transgression of this precept is that the thing taken is adinna, a thing-not-given.

A thing counts as a given-thing if it comes into one's possession (possession being defined in the KhpA as "capability to use or dispose of it as one pleases") in such a manner as would neither incur the punishment of rulers (raajada.n.da) nor be "criticised by the wise" (vi~n~nuugarahita). If either of these stipulations is not fulfilled, then it's a thing-not-given.

The "punishment of rulers" clause means that the second precept is not separable from the geographical factor of local property laws. On the other hand, the "criticised by the wise" clause means that the precept is not wholly subservient to geography. It's a safeguard against the kind of geographical relativism that avers such and such to be okay if done in Switzerland but not if done in Swaziland.

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

Post by Hanzze » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:43 am

A layperson's skillfulness

"And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action."

— AN X 176
Wilderness is a very good synonym for internet. It's pretty usual and even not against the law in many countries to walk into the forest and take what one likes. Why? Because nearly all all do so. So sometimes such things are accepted by law (general agreement) and even by those called "wise" (they already have fallen into corruption for a long time).
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

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

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

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:05 am

well the problem here is that people are making conventional and spiritual precepts the same.
the first four precepts of the five precepts are worldly precepts, i.e. the world (society, law) deems them inappropriate, however what society deeps inappropriate changes over time, sexual misconduct, for example, as described in the suttas would be considered broken by many in modern times where in the texts it would not of been in all cases, such as poligamy; hiring a prostitute; courtesan...
the same is true here, as theft is a worldly precept, when something is similar (i.e. when the UN or other governmental agency) deams something tantamount to, or there is a prosecution due to the possibility of infringement (in this case) the precept is broken when the act is knowingly done, when applying the four great standards, (which do need applied at times to lay precepts also)
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

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

Post by Maarten » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:24 pm

I think the idea of intellectual ownership is ridiculous. Lets say I were to “own” every single musical note. Then I could ban others from using these notes and be the only one in the world with the right to compose music. To me that is crazy.
Ideas are also not unique, there are always others who came up with the same idea completely on their own. Why would they not deserve the same rights?

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Kim OHara
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Kim OHara » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:03 pm

Maarten,
Can I suggest that you read the whole of this thread so that others don't have to write it all again for you?
Maarten wrote:I think the idea of intellectual ownership is ridiculous.
Starting with your conclusion is a really good way of reaching it.
Maarten wrote:Lets say I were to “own” every single musical note. Then I could ban others from using these notes and be the only one in the world with the right to compose music. To me that is crazy.
To everyone that is crazy. In fact, it is a strawman argument.
Maarten wrote:Ideas are also not unique, there are always others who came up with the same idea completely on their own. Why would they not deserve the same rights?
They do. Anything that anyone creates on their own is their own property, automatically. That does not mean that appropriating others' work is okay, any more than appropriating others' apples, instead of growing your own, is okay.

:namaste:
Kim

Edit: fixed typo. :embarassed:

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by BubbaBuddhist » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:43 pm

Greetings my friends,

I wonder if anyone who has taken the side which supports illegal downloading has actually released a product of the fruits of their creative efforts. I have, as have many of my acquaintances. When you find one of your books or DVDs on a torrents site it causes a sick feeling. So much so I have many friends, very creative people, who have stopped production because they've said, "Why bother? The creeps will just pirate it and put it up on the Internet." So not only does this practice hurt the creator, it hurts the audience, as creators cease production in despair.

I think there is an attitude of entitlement, that many people feel they have a "right" to the fruits of other's creative efforts and talents, without paying, that information, services and damn near everything else should be given freely and without recompense. Fine. You give me something in return and I'll reciprocate; I love the barter system. But as old Heinlien loved to say, TANSTAAFL kiddies.

When I find my material on a torrents site I immediately contact the host with a DMCA takedown notice and have it removed. If they do not comply, my attorney gets involved. This is how strongly I, as a creator of original material, feel about this issue. As for the question of whether or not it takes money away from the creator, yes, it does. My sales go down when one of my products is torrented, and goes back up when I have the torrent removed. Unfortunately people, like water, seek their own level,and it's often the path of least resistance, so if they can get something they want for free, they will do so, and if they can't they'll pay for it. If it's a luxury item like music, movies or a book, they'll find a way to pay for it if they really want it. As someone pointed out, it ain't insulin, they don't need it to live. If you can't afford it don't get it. I wanted a piano but I didn't go out and steal one; I put money away in a savings account until I could buy it. The same principle applies here.

I'm about to publish a fiction series in e-book format with a website and extensive Internet marketing to promote it. I know there will be pirating even though the e-books will be reasonably priced at around $2.99 each, and the audio books at around $9.99. And I will be diligent at having the torrents removed, because I believe creativity and hard work should be rewarded, but I'm old-fashioned that way.

My two cents,

The Bubba
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Kim OHara
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:35 am

:thumbsup:
Well said, BB!

:namaste:
Kim

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

Post by Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:58 am

At a good level of observing "Not taking what is not given" download it self would be not easy, so there would be no doubt at all in regard of illegal download.

Believe in something that is called "right" just makes the work on deeds impossible.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

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

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

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:28 am

agreed, well said BB
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

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.
John Stuart Mill

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

Post by Buckwheat » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:59 pm

kudos, BB :thumbsup:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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

Post by Maarten » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:51 pm

Hi Kim.

Sorry if my opinion insulted you in any way, this was not my intention.
Kim O'Hara wrote: To everyone that is crazy. In fact, it is a strawman argument.
Why do you think this is this a strawman argument?
I don't see the difference between “owning” one note or owning a sequence of notes. In fact, if owing a single note is ridiculous isn't owning a sequence of them even more absurd?
Kim O'Hara wrote: They do. Anything that anyone creates on their own is their own property, automatically. That does not mean that appropriating others' work is okay, any more than appropriating others' apples, instead of growing your own, is okay.
This is incorrect, I like to make tunes on my guitar, and after making one I often discover others have come up with this same idea. Once I also came up with a thought experiment that later turned out to be a thought experiment by David Hume.
Another example of this is when artists sue each other because they think the other one stole their tune. To me it is more likely they just invented the same sequence of notes. These artist should have listened to every copyrighted song ever composed to make sure they don't get into trouble for making a song.

May you be well and happy! :twothumbsup:

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Kim OHara
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:47 pm

Maarten wrote:Hi Kim.
Sorry if my opinion insulted you in any way, this was not my intention.
Hi, Maarten,
You did not insult me, but I do - still - think you are wrong. Can I suggest - again - that you read the whole of this thread so that we don't have to repeat ourselves?

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Maarten » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:49 pm

Imagine scientists invented a device that could copy food. Would it not be highly immoral of someone to copyright the food and then charge money for the copied food? If it was not for these copyright laws the hunger problems in the world would be solved and lives would be saved.
Imagine someone owning copyright on medicine they invented...
Imagine someone owning copyright on medical /psychological treatments they invented...
Imagine someone owning and selling the Dhamma...
All of these would cost lives.

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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Maarten » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:53 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Maarten wrote:Hi Kim.
Sorry if my opinion insulted you in any way, this was not my intention.
Hi, Maarten,
You did not insult me, but I do - still - think you are wrong. Can I suggest - again - that you read the whole of this thread so that we don't have to repeat ourselves?

:namaste:
Kim
Okay I will read this later as it will take up quite a lot of time! :D

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