So I was looking for a soundtrack that I thought was out of print and it cause me to ponder the ethics of downloading it.
I fully support buying material to support the artists. I buy my books, I buy my DVDs and Blu-rays, and I buy my music, but there are times when what I want is not in print. I cannot buy a copy that will support the artist. (Buying a used copy generates no royalties for the copyright holder.)
So in that situation is it ethical to download a copy? Certainly on the legal front it is illegal, but I’m asking a question of ethics.
I think so. I will support the legal methods of reimbursing the artists and such whenever I can, but if the copyright holders do not make it possible for me to pay them for the product I then I really do not feel bad about finding a copy on my own.
My story had a happy ending for the copyright owners. Not only was the soundtrack to The Wicker Man (1973) in print it was available from iTunes!