A questions of ethics

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!


One thought on “A questions of ethics”

  1. If it isn’t possible to pay for it, then I don’t see the harm. They aren’t expecting to be payed.

    It kills me how many wonderful things have not made the transition to the newer formats. Arthur has a vinyl copy of the 1984 (Los Angeles) Olympics Soundtrack. (We both love it.) I converted the format to CD and later to mp3 simply because it was only ever released to vinyl (to my knowledge, anyway. I have looked). I would buy it on CD (or download it), but I can’t so I copy from the available source

    To me also, sometimes there is a particular performance that you want to conserve. I HATE (loathe passionately) “Riverdance in New York” because of the poor camera work. The original, “Riverdance”, though not as good as I would like, is superior, but has never been made available on DVD. It was not copy-protected, so I made a DVD copy before I wore the VHS tape out. Since I am merely trying to conserve my purchase and I do not copy it for others, I do not see the harm.

    On a related note, I wish Hollywood would wise up when it comes to copyright law and teaching. I believe teachers should legally purchase all media that they use in their classroom BUT I can not afford the extremeprices Hollywood want to charge us for the right to show something to a group (often several hundred dollars for a DVD that costs $20 or less for home use). PBS has the right idea – charge more but keep it affordable. The thing that Hollywood seems to miss is that a teacher showing one of their films is some of the best advertising available and if a teacher loves a film enough to show it you can almost guarantee some of his or her students will end up wanting it. Talk about peny wise and pound foolish!

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