Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

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

Post by Kenshou » Sun May 01, 2011 12:44 am

The files may be freely offered by the person who is allowing them to be downloaded. But they are not being freely offered by whoever those files originated from. And I think that's the issue.

I have a feeling that the Buddha wouldn't have said "Don't take what isn't freely offered, but if someone else takes it and then offers it to, you then it's okay because technically you aren't breaking any rules".

Phfft.

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andre9999
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by andre9999 » Sun May 01, 2011 1:55 am

Alex, did you seriously compare water and air to copying music, as if one needs to listen to the music someone else creates in order to survive?

That may be the poorest analogy I have ever encountered in my life.

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

Post by chownah » Sun May 01, 2011 2:41 am

In your own home:

If you hear a song being played and later you find yourself humming it....is this a violation of the 2nd precept?
If you hear a song being played and later you sing it...is this a violation of the 2nd precept?
If you hear a song being played and later you sing it and play along with a guitar...is this a violation of the 2nd precept?
If you hear a song being played and later you sint it in the same style as ther one you heard and likewise with the guitar and you use your electronic drum machine to provide the rhythm...is this a violation of the 2nd precept?
If you record yourself playingt he song poorly is this a violation of the 2nd precept?
If you record youself playing the song so like the original that your friends can't tell the difference is this a violation of the second precept?
If you record yourself playing the song so exactly like the original that when digitally analyzed the recording can not be distinguished from the original is this a violation of the 2nd precept?.
If you sell any of these copies is it a violation of the 2nd precept?....if so then which ones?

chownah

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

Post by retrofuturist » Sun May 01, 2011 3:49 am

Greetings Chownah,
chownah wrote:If you sell any of these copies is it a violation of the 2nd precept?....if so then which ones?
If you're not paying the songwriter/publisher any royalties, then yes.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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andre9999
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by andre9999 » Sun May 01, 2011 1:09 pm

Quite frankly I'm apathetic about the topic. Is copying music really harming your practice? No, probably not considering all the other unskillful things we do. Does copying music help you move towards enlightenment? I seriously doubt it.

If you need Dhamma to rubber stamp your music copying habits, then you can probably justify it by the precepts. If you don't copying music is a bad thing to do because of freedoms or liberties or whatever else, then you're fine regardless of the precepts.

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

Post by Sekha » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:04 am

what about watching youtube videos, some of which are put online without the consent of their author, but it is impossible for the user to know which ones?
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Beneath the Wheel
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Beneath the Wheel » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:28 am

In that case, I would suppose that, since the precept is being "violated" unknowingly, there shouldn't be as much of a problem. I would assume this is the same as accidentally stepping on a bug - since the action is not being undertaken with such a thought or intention in mind.

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

Post by Jaidyn » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:27 am

I thought copyright was theft... :tongue:

Someone was thinking similar thoughts: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 621AAldL1h" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Moth » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:52 am

I used to download everything, now I refrain. Personally, I would argue that it is sharing but for me the risk is not worth the reward. It also prevent me from wasting a lot of time watching movies and listening to music, which are just sense desires and distractions. Ultimately I believe it is to your benefit to avoid it. The feeling of being certain in your own morality is more valuable than any torrent.
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Jaidyn
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Jaidyn » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:08 am

I heard in switzerland downloading will remain legal.
Swiss Govt: Downloading Movies and Music Will Stay Legal

One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet and since last year the government has been wondering what to do about it. This week their response was published and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.
[...]
The overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change.
http://torrentfreak.com/swiss-govt-down ... al-111202/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If I live in switzerland and download copyrighted material, do I violate the 2nd percept?
:thinking:

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

Post by Ytrog » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:54 pm

Jaidyn wrote:I heard in switzerland downloading will remain legal.
Swiss Govt: Downloading Movies and Music Will Stay Legal

One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet and since last year the government has been wondering what to do about it. This week their response was published and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.
[...]
The overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change.
http://torrentfreak.com/swiss-govt-down ... al-111202/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If I live in switzerland and download copyrighted material, do I violate the 2nd percept?
:thinking:
The precepts are moral in nature not juridical.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.

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

Post by Jaidyn » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:31 pm

Ytrog wrote:The precepts are moral in nature not juridical.
So, do I violate the Buddhist moral percept by allowing myself actions - downloading copyrighted material - which are juridically correct in this country? If I am living in switzerland.

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

Post by daverupa » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:46 pm

Jaidyn wrote:
Ytrog wrote:The precepts are moral in nature not juridical.
So, do I violate the Buddhist moral percept by allowing myself actions - downloading copyrighted material - which are juridically correct in this country? If I am living in switzerland.
I think you can only know your intention, so look to that - Buddhist morality is centered thereon.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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

Post by BubbaBuddhist » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:54 pm

How does stealing someone's intellectual property differ from stealing his/her material chattels? This is the question. In my opinion, no difference.

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

Post by Jaidyn » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:58 pm

daverupa wrote:
Jaidyn wrote:
Ytrog wrote:The precepts are moral in nature not juridical.
So, do I violate the Buddhist moral percept by allowing myself actions - downloading copyrighted material - which are juridically correct in this country? If I am living in switzerland.
I think you can only know your intention, so look to that - Buddhist morality is centered thereon.
1. Then I can, hypothetically, say that a few downloads are by bad intentions. Thoughts may go like this: "this is really great material, I should really be paying for this, these people must have put a lot of effort into this, and I enjoy it without paying for it at the same time as the creators try to make a living by this product".

2. On the other hand, there are things downloaded that, from the downloaders point of view, are just mediocre: things that are not enjoyed very much but just interesting enough to be downloaded, but not good enough that the downloader would ever want pay for it.

For me nr. 1 is bad intention. Nr. 2 is not. Still there is probably always greed involved in both cases, but nr 2 does not count for theft, if we would consider 1 to be theft.

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