Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

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

Post by mirco » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:48 am

Alex123 wrote:Would freely giving copies of that copy to others be considered dāna (generosity)?
Hi Alex,
The Blessed Buddha explained the treasure of generosity like this:
When a disciple of the Noble Ones whose mind and
mentality is all cleared of disgracing miserliness,
living at home, is freely generous and open-handed,
delighting in being magnanimous,
responsive to every request and,
is enjoying the giving of any alms.
Such is this treasure called generosity.
AN VII 6
The Generosity of Giving,
The Kindness in Speech,
The Benefit of Service,
The Impartiality of treating all Alike,
These 4 threads of Selfless Sympathy,
Upholds this world, like the axle do the cart!
AN II 32
Giving food, one gives and later gets strength.
Giving clothes, one gives and later gets beauty.
Giving light, one gives & later gets vision & intelligence.
Giving transportation, one gives and later gets ease.
Giving protecting shelter, one gives and later gets all...
Yet the one who instructs in the True Dhamma,
- The supreme Teaching of all the Buddhas -
Such one gives a quite divine ambrosia!
SN I 32
These are these five rewards of generosity:
One is liked and charming to people at large,
One is admired and respected by wise people,
One's good reputation is spread wide about,
One does not neglect a householder's true duty,
and with the break-up of the body - at the moment
of death - one reappears in a happy destination,
in the plane of the divine worlds!
AN V.35
There are these two kinds of gifts:
Material gifts and gifts of Dhamma.
The supreme gift is that of Dhamma.
There are these two kinds of sharing:
Material sharing and sharing of Dhamma.
The supreme sharing is that of Dhamma.
There are these two kinds of help:
Material help and help with the Dhamma.
This is the supreme of the two:
Help with this subtle Dhamma …
It 98
http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/Openh ... rosity.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." - Bhikkhu Anālayo

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

Post by BlackBird » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:47 am

I don't think illegal downloads quite fit the spirit of stealing. When I think of stealing I think of depriving someone of their property. Illegal downloads deprive Record/Film companies and their executives of a portion of their potential and forecasted income. I don't think it's kusala at all, but I would argue whether it violates the 2nd precept. When you download a film for example - You're not taking it away, but in fact you're multiplying it. We have invented this term called 'copyright' which means what it says it means, that a certain legal entity owns the 'right' to determine who can make a copy of this or that object. But a 'right' isn't something physical, it's simply a mutual agreement by certain legal parties that only so and so can decide how copies are produced. Can you steal that right? No, but you can violate it.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'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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Terasi
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Terasi » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:46 pm

I think precepts are there to help us avoid actions that will harm other people, that will create unwholesome thoughts/emotions in ourselves, because that in turn will carry to unwholesome intentions (covering up shame by lying, etc). So not harming others is an important link here. For example, cheating with other man's wife, you do not technically take his wife away, but you violate his expectation that his wife would be faithful in their marriage. Downloading illegally also violate the artist/creator's expectation that people (including you) would pay them money to use their intellectual property. Seems harmless if we are talking about individual downloads, but in aggregate the amount should be substantial.

Disclaimer: I am not clean at illegal downloading either, and doing so while thinking that I am cheating the artist's right to receive money from me makes breaking second precept looks easier. Slippery path!


Edit: writing "you" here doesn't apply to anyone in particular, actually applies to myself too...

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

Post by Alex123 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:03 pm

mirco wrote:
Hi Alex,

if it's copyrighted, the law says one has to pay for it.

Best Regards, Mirco :-)

The law also allows, encourages and even rewards the soldier to kill the enemy. Does that make the human law wholesome and Dhammically correct in all circumstances ? Is human law based on Dhamma or something else (politics, economics, etc )?

The question is when it comes to Dhamma, does copying what is freely given (by the ripper) = breaking 2nd precept?

BTW, enjoying movie/music/etc is lobha no matter if one copied it or bought it.
"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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andre9999
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by andre9999 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:49 pm

Alex123 wrote:The law also allows, encourages and even rewards the soldier to kill the enemy. Does that make the human law wholesome and Dhammically correct in all circumstances ? Is human law based on Dhamma or something else (politics, economics, etc )?
This seems to go against your arguments regarding bankruptcy.

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

Post by Alex123 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:04 pm

andre9999 wrote:
Alex123 wrote:The law also allows, encourages and even rewards the soldier to kill the enemy. Does that make the human law wholesome and Dhammically correct in all circumstances ? Is human law based on Dhamma or something else (politics, economics, etc )?
This seems to go against your arguments regarding bankruptcy.

Please explain what exactly do you mean. I just don't think that there is 100% correlation between worldly law and Dhamma.
"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..."

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

Post by meindzai » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:16 pm

If you have taken the precepts and you are committed to the purest sila you possibly can achieve I think it's best to avoid this type of behavior. As precepts go, the 2nd precept is practically a freebee in the sense that it is probably the easiest to keep. If you're serious about the precepts then don't do it.

-M

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

Post by mirco » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:54 pm

Hi Alex,
Alex123 wrote:
mirco wrote:if it's copyrighted, the law says one has to pay for it
The law also allows, encourages and even rewards the soldier to kill the enemy. Does that make the human law wholesome and Dhammically correct in all circumstances ? Is human law based on Dhamma or something else (politics, economics, etc )?
Important for meditation is, what impact it has. The kammic law will always present you the corresponding hindrances in meditation afterwards. We will not be able to deepen meditation unless we stop breaking the precepts, no matter how good we are in adjusting our views to our greedy needs.

The question is when it comes to Dhamma, does copying what is freely given by the ripper = breaking 2nd precept?
If you search for copyrighted material the non-legal way, your mind will be affected with unwholesome states. The more, the deeper you go into those sites and sources, even more if it's shared via p2p and one is sharing it while loading.

The question is, does copying, using and sharing what is freely given by the ripper help to attain Nibbana even faster?


Be well, Mirco :-)
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." - Bhikkhu Anālayo

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

Post by Alex123 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:09 am

Hi Mirco,

mirco wrote:Hi Alex,
Important for meditation is, what impact it has.
Good point. Especially when it comes to samatha meditation, even "legal" copies of music/movies/etc would distract one. Even legal stuff is expression of lobha.
mirco wrote: We will not be able to deepen meditation unless we stop breaking the precepts, no matter how good we are in adjusting our views to our greedy needs.
This is the question. Does it really break the 2nd precept? One does copy what is freely given.

1) Copy is not taking the original.
2) It is freely given by the ripper.

mirco wrote: The question is, does copying, using and sharing what is freely given by the ripper help to attain Nibbana even faster?
No. But enjoying, even paid for copy, is still lobha, and is something to be transcended.
"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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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:50 am

Alex123 wrote:Even legal stuff is expression of lobha.
1) Copy is not taking the original.
2) It is freely given by the ripper.
No. But enjoying, even paid for copy, is still lobha, and is something to be transcended.
You're just too clever for your own good, otherwise known in the vernacular as a "smartass."
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PeterB
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by PeterB » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:53 am

Sadhu !

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

Post by Ben » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:55 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Even legal stuff is expression of lobha.
1) Copy is not taking the original.
2) It is freely given by the ripper.
No. But enjoying, even paid for copy, is still lobha, and is something to be transcended.
You're just too clever for your own good, otherwise known in the vernacular as a "smartass."
Well said, Bhante!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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

Post by zavk » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 am

BlackBird wrote:We have invented this term called 'copyright' which means what it says it means, that a certain legal entity owns the 'right' to determine who can make a copy of this or that object. But a 'right' isn't something physical, it's simply a mutual agreement by certain legal parties that only so and so can decide how copies are produced. Can you steal that right? No, but you can violate it.
Hmmm... this is an interesting point which indicates that the issue is situated within a wider political economic framework which is by no means a static one. This does not negate the need to reflect on whether it is morally right or wrong but it does suggest that the terms of debate could very well change, given how we are moving into a new 'terrain' with open source, a terrain whereby media consumers are increasingly empowered with the means to create, collaborate and share knowledge and products. There IS a change happening. So if anything, this suggests that the issue is not something that is decided once and for all, but rather requires constant vigilance, mindfulness on our part to constantly reflect on the intentions behind our actions as well as the wider conditions framing the issue.
With metta,
zavk

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

Post by Ben » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:10 am

Moth wrote:Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?
Yes. As others have said, copyright breach infringes upon the copyright holder's right to financial return from his or her created asset. It is a concept that is enshrined in copyright laws and treaties around the world. I think its pretty clear.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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

Post by meindzai » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:35 pm

No matter how many ways we try to explain it, people will always have their self justifications for doing things that break the precepts. Most of what I see are technicalities.

There was a story that Zen Master Daido Roshi told in a book about the precepts ("The Heart of Being") about this sort of "smart-assing." He was once at the dinner table with his son, who kept talking and talking and talking. He told him "Shut your mouth and eat your dinner!" Of course, the kid complied by closing his mouth and smashing the food against his closed lips.

Again, seriously, I say the 2nd precept is a freebee. It's hard not to swat a mosquito now and then, the temptations of sexuality are much for some people, dishonesty comes quite naturally and we live in an alcohol drenched society where many find it hard to say no.

But the 2nd precept is a serious no brainer. I don't think most of us go out looting and pickpocketing at night. Why screw it up with piracy because you can justify it on some technicality?

-M

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