Who has the best lights in town? Vote now for your favorite in our holiday lights contest.
A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her.
What’s on your mind today?
View our commenting policy and standards | Commenting FAQ | Report a problem
A philosophical question to start the day.
Let’s say you’re wandering the isles of the local general store when you find a DVD for sale of a movie you enjoy. The price is $15 for the DVD.
You liked the movie but are only willing to spend $5 for it and but would never pay $15.
Instead you decide to go to the local library and borrow a copy. You do so but realize once you’re home, you’re just not going to be able to get to it in the next 4 days before it HAS to be returned. So you decide to return the library’s copy but only after you’ve copy for yourself.
While I know I’ve just described a situation that is illegal, the question is; is it wrong?
I think not.
I know it’s legally theft but I think of theft solely as something tangible (perhaps time too but am not sure about that). So to my way of thinking, a copy is not the same thing as theft.
What say you?
The other day we were talking about state subsidies to businesses in the form of tax breaks, etc. On a related note, here’s an interesting story.
Apparently the taxpayers of Alaska helped pay part of Bristol Palin’s salary during her TV series. In Palin’s defense, she probably didn’t know this was happening so couldn’t have objected even if she would have.
@1 Scott, it is theft. You now possess the item that you wanted without having paid for it. That it might not have all the packaging does not matter. It was not yours to copy. If you wanted the DVD for a lesser price, you could have shopped around for it and found it at the price you were willing to pay. Or if you wanted to watch it just once for free, you could have checked it out of the library again.
@3 Luanne, thanks for the quick reply.
Along those lines, I read about a girl that hand copied the Harry Pottery book because she couldn’t afford a copy. Does this qualify as theft also?
1 – yes, theft, legally, morally and ethically. Is the movie (the production, not the physical DVD) not a tangible item?
2 – also theft, though probably only morally and ethically. I’m sure the lawyers made sure the letter of the law was followed (if not the spirit).
4 – probably, legally, yes. Morally and ethically…a grey area (in my non-lawyer opinion).
I think as long as she kept them for her own benefit and did not try to sell copies to her friends, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to prosecute. Same as with the person who copies the DVD.
Those laws are designed to prevent against the person who makes a lot of illegal copies and then sells them himself. I doubt they’d worry about someone who did it just for himself.
@6 89Hoo, I agree the laws were written for the most part to stop those who would make many copies and sell them and not really for the small time copier.
Just to muddy the waters a bit although I sense no one feels like playing along:
1) If someone paid $15 for a legitimate copy and then made many hundreds of copies for sale at $5/disc, is that theft?
2) If someone paid $15 for a legitimate copy, watched it, made NO copies, and then sold it for $5, is that theft?
Sorry folks, but I’m a little bored and I find these types of questions fascinating.
I’ll check back tomorrow.
7 – first case, definitely theft.
Second case, I think so, but what a moron.
First case: yes.
Second case: sounds like a yard sale.
I’m not sure what I think of your touching scenario of the little girl laboriously copying a book. I could make round-about arguments all of which just leads down the slippery slope that muddies up ethics.
Wouldn’t it be great if these were the kinds of problems we had to worry over?
#1 Yes. It is theft. Copywright & content theft. The product is an entity.
Am I all that worried about it? Hmmm. But I do not rationalize your theft.
#10 Thank you. Agreed.
Scott…you’ve been watching too many promotions for Les Miserables.
Name is required
A valid email is required (email@example.com)
Comment is required
Your email address will not be published.All fields are required to comment.
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 14:06:31 +0000