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Author Topic: Is Downloading Torrent Files Unethical/a sin?  (Read 2908 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 04, 2013, 02:23:05 PM »

I downloaded a book as a Torrent file, but then considered as to whether or not it was unethical. Besides the obvious "ask your Priest" reply, I wanted to see what all of you thought.

EDIT: Do you think it is tantamount to stealing? Please provide justification for your answer.
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 02:25:51 PM »

*checks enormous list of torrents*

It's perfectly fine.
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 02:35:06 PM »

Is the book in the public domain?
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 02:39:46 PM »

Is the book in the public domain?
I don't think so.
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 03:27:37 PM »

Some torrents are illegal due to copyright laws, if they are shared without the copyright holders permission. That would be a sin, as it is stealing.

Here's the opinion of a musician friend of mine posted on Facebook a couple weeks ago, regarding Spotify and online streaming. He doesn't talk about torrents, but something else to think about: (I didn't include the photo he took of his statement, but he tells you what it is.)

"So, i'm only posting this because people ask me all the time about Spotify and the royalties artists see. Here is my latest statement from the 4th quarter of 2012. As you'll see one of my songs got 13,750 plays during this time which yielded $7.20. I can't help but wonder if only 1/3 of these plays was a purchase on ITunes and the artist yielded half of what ITunes charges. I only post to answer the multiple questions i receive about it, not to make you feel guilty. Heck, artists have to sign up for Spotify themselves for it to be streamed, which does require the artist to know what they are getting into. It's a promotional tool, plain and simple. However, I would humbly suggest using Spotify and online streaming wisely. It can be a really helpful tool to explore, promote, etc. Like most things (or all things), it can be abused. If one uses online streaming as their primary library or source for enjoying art...it's likely the artists you enjoy are feeling the heat because of that. Just food for thought from a certain perspective."
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 03:31:16 PM »

^Thank you for the input.

FWIW, the book in question is "Wheelock's Latin Grammar 6th edition." Does anyone know if the copyright holders would allow such a thing? Forgive me if this sounds naive.
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 03:42:03 PM »

^Thank you for the input.

FWIW, the book in question is "Wheelock's Latin Grammar 6th edition." Does anyone know if the copyright holders would allow such a thing? Forgive me if this sounds naive.

I'm not sure. If it is not in the public domain, I'm not sure if that means permission granted or not. I don't know a whole lot about copyright. I would probably avoid torrents just to be safe.
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 03:43:22 PM »

Cicero is preparing a lawsuit against you for copyright infringement as we speak. Good luck facing the best orator the west has ever known.
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2013, 03:46:22 PM »

No.
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 03:47:08 PM »

*checks enormous list of torrents*

It's perfectly fine.
lol
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 03:47:20 PM »

Cicero is preparing a lawsuit against you for copyright infringement as we speak. Good luck facing the best orator the west has ever known.
Lol. Maybe I can hire Tacitus as my lawyer.
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 03:48:44 PM »

Besides the obvious "ask your Priest" reply, I wanted to see what all of you thought.

Most priests I know wouldn't know what torrents are.
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2013, 03:50:27 PM »

Besides the obvious "ask your Priest" reply, I wanted to see what all of you thought.

Most priests I know wouldn't know what torrents are.
Well, I would explain to him what a torrent is first.
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 03:51:41 PM »

If it is for personal use, for educational purposes, if you could have accessed it at your library, if you wouldn't have purchased the book otherwise, and if you're not planning on selling it or making it available to a third party, then wouldn't it be considered 'fair use' in the States?
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 03:59:27 PM »

Cicero is preparing a lawsuit against you for copyright infringement as we speak. Good luck facing the best orator the west has ever known.
Lol. Maybe I can hire Tacitus as my lawyer.

Tacitus is, you know, a little bit too tacit for to be a good lawyer.
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2013, 04:05:03 PM »

Technically, everything is a sin. It's a sin that you live in a house when you could live in a cave, it's a sin that you are wearing clothes when you could wear a potato sack, it's a sin that you have a computer when you could sell all that stuff and give the money to the poor. It's a sin that we watch TV and take our minds off of God. The only problem is that we like to focus on some sins and disregard the others.
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2013, 04:08:34 PM »

Actually, I have decided to delete it.
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2013, 04:29:00 PM »

Don't delete it. Learning Latin is important. I know people irl who write books like these and they'd be glad if people like you would even bother to download it.
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2013, 05:10:32 PM »


There is a reason I do not steal greek rosetta stone!
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2013, 05:38:46 PM »

You can find alternative public-domain (thus qualm-free) resources on Textkit.
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« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2013, 05:48:17 PM »

Technically, everything is a sin. It's a sin that you live in a house when you could live in a cave, it's a sin that you are wearing clothes when you could wear a potato sack, it's a sin that you have a computer when you could sell all that stuff and give the money to the poor. It's a sin that we watch TV and take our minds off of God. The only problem is that we like to focus on some sins and disregard the others.

Well said.

The other thing I wanted to add for this thread is the issue of copyrights, and our right to make copies.

If you ever bought an official copy of a album , book , or software, you have then also bought the right to copy that item for the rest of your life for your own personal use.
It was in the past that when the record or(Gadzooks!) 8-track wore out we usually had to buy the newest version, such as a CD.In this way the industry took advantage of us in that we wanted the best copy we could get, which they did not furnish.
Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon stayed in the Billboards top 100 list for ten years! Mainly (But it was the only album to ever last that long)  because people had to keep upgrading to get the best sound quality.

So theoretically they were stealing from the consumers back then.Now that the tables have turned they want to say how wrong it isfor us to get the upper hand.

But it is perfectly legal if you ever bought a copy of what you are copying for your own personal use.
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2013, 05:55:00 PM »

^So if I bought a hard copy of Wheelock's Latin Grammar it would be perfectly fine for me to Torrent it?

You can find alternative public-domain (thus qualm-free) resources on Textkit.
Thanks!
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« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2013, 05:59:45 PM »

Back in Greece, I shamelessly photocopied entire (borrowed) books. In the UK, the copiers will refuse to do such a thing, so I'd have to either do the entire job myself (and there are no self-service copiers around here) or copy by hand - and I have.
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« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2013, 07:19:56 PM »

My view is this:

It's illegal. But so is making a music CD for a friend.

You have to decide if you really care about that.

But to claim it's "stealing" in some way independent of the legal regime you're under, as if you stole someone's wallet, is absurd.

Ideas can't be property the way physical things can; otherwise we'd all have to be paying the descendants of the first caveman who figured out how to build a house.
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2013, 08:40:33 PM »

^don't they teach you private property is natural and sacred. stop stealing. you know thieves won't inherit the kingdom.
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« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2013, 11:23:51 PM »

Besides the obvious "ask your Priest" reply, I wanted to see what all of you thought.

Most priests I know wouldn't know what torrents are.
Well, I would explain to him what a torrent is first.

It is always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.  Tongue
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« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2013, 11:33:09 PM »

Honestly,nor me, the biggest issue, and why I don't personally use them, with torrents is the risk it puts me at for a virus.
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« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2013, 11:35:39 PM »

It is always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.  Tongue
[/quote]

Right, because grace is cheap and Jesus is a doormat who is always there to bail us out.  
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« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2013, 11:38:59 PM »

It is always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.  Tongue

Right, because grace is cheap and Jesus is a doormat who is always there to bail us out.  

Exactly.  After all, I wasn't joking when I said that, I was serious.  Tongue is the face of serious.    
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« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2013, 11:42:29 PM »

It is always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.  Tongue

Right, because grace is cheap and Jesus is a doormat who is always there to bail us out.  

Exactly.  After all, I wasn't joking when I said that, I was serious.  Tongue is the face of serious.

Mine was sarcasm too. I just didn't use a face. Tongue
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« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2013, 12:00:10 AM »

How very dry...  Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2013, 12:22:28 AM »

Yep, that's me. Usually makes me look like a jerk. I'm used to it.
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« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2013, 01:01:48 AM »

^don't they teach you private property is natural and sacred. stop stealing. you know thieves won't inherit the kingdom.

Private property exists only in physical things, not abstractions.
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« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2013, 01:10:23 AM »

Even if it wasn't stealing it would still be going against Romans 13.
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« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2013, 01:28:28 AM »

I downloaded a book as a Torrent file, but then considered as to whether or not it was unethical. Besides the obvious "ask your Priest" reply, I wanted to see what all of you thought.

EDIT: Do you think it is tantamount to stealing? Please provide justification for your answer.

More likely than not what you are downloading is copyrighted, otherwise you would find it elsewhere. So yes, it is stealing. I used to know the date prior to which signifies that musical recordings are no longer protected. It was something like 1955. I do not think any further justification is necessary. I would be interested in what the cut off date is for books. I hope you will look that up and inform us. Perhaps this is a more complicated matter in respect to recordings.
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« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2013, 01:48:21 AM »

Even if it wasn't stealing it would still be going against Romans 13.

OK, but then so is speeding, or making a music CD for your friend, or, where I live, backing out of your driveway.
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« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2013, 02:12:17 AM »

Someone else has uploaded the book and the answer key on sites.google. Does that mean it is public domain? I mean... Would Google even tolerate it if it were copyright infringement?
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« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2013, 02:12:53 AM »

I downloaded a book as a Torrent file, but then considered as to whether or not it was unethical. Besides the obvious "ask your Priest" reply, I wanted to see what all of you thought.

EDIT: Do you think it is tantamount to stealing? Please provide justification for your answer.

More likely than not what you are downloading is copyrighted, otherwise you would find it elsewhere. So yes, it is stealing. I used to know the date prior to which signifies that musical recordings are no longer protected. It was something like 1955. I do not think any further justification is necessary. I would be interested in what the cut off date is for books. I hope you will look that up and inform us. Perhaps this is a more complicated matter in respect to recordings.
In general it is 70 years after the author's death-Mein Kampf's expires in 2015. The Bavarian government (to whom the copyright devolved, I'm not sure how), is busy making a definitive edition before then, before the neo-Nazis get their crack at it.

The US, as always, has rules peculiar until itself with loopholes.
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« Reply #38 on: July 05, 2013, 02:17:59 AM »

Back in Greece, I shamelessly photocopied entire (borrowed) books. In the UK, the copiers will refuse to do such a thing, so I'd have to either do the entire job myself (and there are no self-service copiers around here) or copy by hand - and I have.
samizdat' anyone?

(I've done the same, but not for a while).
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« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2013, 02:28:02 AM »

I would say if you are downloading anything that is protected by copyright laws. Yes in that circumstance it would be a sin because you are stealing.
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« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2013, 02:53:27 AM »

Back in Greece, I shamelessly photocopied entire (borrowed) books. In the UK, the copiers will refuse to do such a thing, so I'd have to either do the entire job myself (and there are no self-service copiers around here) or copy by hand - and I have.
samizdat' anyone?

(I've done the same, but not for a while).

I type 70wpm. Copying is not as painstaking as it used to be. Wink
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« Reply #41 on: July 05, 2013, 02:57:13 AM »

Ideas are non-scarce; claiming ownership of ideas is like claiming ownership of air.

Moreover, copyright law is entirely arbitrary. Copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. Why? Because the government said so. No physical property works that way.

The government decided, for whatever reason, that it would be expedient to prohibit copying of certain works within a certain period of time. This is not in any way comparable to actual property.

Perhaps the government has the right to make these regulations; perhaps we should scrupulously submit to them. But then be consistent. Have any of the people who say this is "stealing" ever burned a music CD for a friend with copyrighted songs on it? Have you repented of this "sin?"
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« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2013, 02:58:18 AM »

^Thank you for the input.

FWIW, the book in question is "Wheelock's Latin Grammar 6th edition." Does anyone know if the copyright holders would allow such a thing? Forgive me if this sounds naive.
Amazon sells a used paperback of Wheelock's Latin Grammar for $0.01. Why not buy it? If you can't afford the one penny, give me your address and I'll send it to you.

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« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2013, 09:08:27 AM »

^don't they teach you private property is natural and sacred. stop stealing. you know thieves won't inherit the kingdom.
and also destroying plenty of souls with private property too.
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« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2013, 12:33:21 PM »

^Thank you for the input.

FWIW, the book in question is "Wheelock's Latin Grammar 6th edition." Does anyone know if the copyright holders would allow such a thing? Forgive me if this sounds naive.
Amazon sells a used paperback of Wheelock's Latin Grammar for $0.01. Why not buy it? If you can't afford the one penny, give me your address and I'll send it to you.


I appreciate the offer. But I think I would rather buy it myself. I am truly grateful for your kindness.
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