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!

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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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