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STOP, You Thief! (yes, I’m talking to you)

Posted: March 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: General, Simple Tip | 7 Comments »

Today’s topic might be a little controversial to some, but when you take a deeper look at the issue, there’s not a lot to debate. Starting back in the 90’s, with the internet in so many homes, and the transition of music from physical media to digital, a huge phenomenon began, Music Piracy. People who would not think about walking into a store and stealing even a candy bar, are willing to download hundreds of dollars worth of music, and not even blink an eye. Now with digital movies, video games, and Piracy’s Own (well, almost) Traffic Medium – BitTorrent, piracy grows larger and larger every day. I’ve talked to so many Christians that laugh at me when I tell them I won’t let them copy my music. They often respond with one of these arguments:


  • Well, the Artist and Hollywood have enough money, and I’m so poor.
  • There not losing any money, since I’m just transferring digital files.
  • I don’t want to support Hollywood or these industries because they are bad. (there is just so much wrong with this)
  • I’m wasn’t going to pay to go see it anyways so there not losing money.
  • Information should be free!


And then, many other people don’t even have an excuse or care. For some reason, we think its just not an issue to copy around music and videos that other people spent hundreds and thousands of hours on. I was there once too. Its really tempting, especially with how much music/videos you can get so quickly. No one will ever find out?


None of these comments or mindsets are valid. The problem with all of them is, there is a clearly stated law regarding piracy, and no matter how you dice it, it is alway wrong to copy music purchased by someone else that extends past the license agreement on the media. Period. Tim Challies wrote a good article about this on his blog,

The fact is that laws are are not ours to tamper with and interpret as we see fit. The ruling is clear: according to the laws of the land and the copyright of those who own the music, we have no right to copy or distribute it. Period. It makes no difference how much money the record companies make, how rich the artists are, how poor we are or how annoying and outdated the laws may be. It makes no difference how much we despise the militancy of the record companies and their irrationalities.


So what do you do if you have done this already? First, ask God for forgiveness, then Delete all your music or go about buying it the right way.


What’s your thoughts? Do you see it more a grey area then black and white? Let me know.



7 Comments on “STOP, You Thief! (yes, I’m talking to you)”

  1. 1 Matthew Olson said at 1:54 pm on March 14th, 2011:

    With things like facebook and YouTube out there, how do we know what is copyrighted and what is not?
    For instance, just a few minutes ago (literally), I used a program called RealPlayer to download a video that I want to show my youth group from someone’s f/b post. How do I know if that is legal to do?
    Thanks for the post…It is a huge issue right now, and often people do not care about stealing someone else’s work.

  2. 2 marcato15 said at 2:18 pm on March 14th, 2011:

    Yeah, Things like that make it really difficult. A lot of times, you just have to use your judgement to see if the original poster desired it to be downloaded and re-shared (which many videos are meant to), or if its been ripped and stuck up online. Usually going the original source is the best way to find out the intent of the video.

  3. 3 David Schmidt said at 2:41 pm on March 14th, 2011:

    I agree and came to the same conclusion over at:

    Sometimes, I think this is a sin of ignorance. Many people who don’t know about IP easily download it not understanding that it is wrong.

    However, I think that the great majority are people who understand what they are doing and are just too happy at getting something free they neglect the right.

    Good post.

  4. 4 Tony Sherman said at 2:50 pm on March 14th, 2011:

    Good post. I thought I would mention some alternatives. let’s you stream more music than you would ever need. Its different than pandora or anything because you make playlist of the exact songs you want.

    Also as far as movies and tv shows… I’m a big fan of netflix. Only 7.99 to stream as much as you want. Hulu also has a decent collection for free.

  5. 5 marcato15 said at 2:54 pm on March 14th, 2011:

    Thanks for the alternatives Tony! There are so many legal options that access is not an issue. Netflix and Hulu, Pandora and Grooveshark are really nice. (although, how Grooveshark works and whether its fully legal is uncertain, at least to me).

  6. 6 Jared M said at 5:18 pm on March 14th, 2011:

    First there are some inaccuracies here and in Challies article. They are very common yet are key.

    Downloading and giving recorded or other media is NOT illegal. It is NOT considered theft.

    In the United States Supreme Court case Dowling v. United States the courts determined that making copies of records (even advanced copy records) in their entirety and even giving them away does not constitute theft because theft specifically involves depriving another of a valuable. as stated – “interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud”

    Downloading content should not be called theft or even a crime, it is specifically a tort. This means that you can not be arrested, the police can not come knocking at your door etc.

    This does not prove it is morally right, it simply proves its not illegal.

    Now the other arguments do legitimately come into play, arguments I don’t need to go into here.

    If the RIAA had its way we would all be purchasing 5 copies of an album – one for cd player, one for each pc, one for mp3 player etc ad infinitum.

  7. 7 Jared M said at 5:21 pm on March 14th, 2011:

    Also I like to use the analogy of art.

    If art museums ran like the RIAA it would be wrong to look at an online scan of the mona lisa. After all, thats defrauding museum ticket sales/ fine art books isnt it?

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