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28

I do not think that there is a single answer to the question of "is it immoral to negatively affect someone's potential wealth" in the context of the moral community of today. For example, if I have a great and inexpensive widget for sale, and you have a lousy expensive widget for sale, my advertising of my widget is going to negatively affect your ...


14

Over several decades, I've paid the music industry many times more than the average consumer, but in recent years I've almost exclusively obtained my recordings from "illegal" use of P2P and torrents on the internet. I don't see my current behaviour as immoral, nor do I think the fact that I paid a lot in the past, or that I've had no income (and dwindling ...


8

Is it immoral to negatively affect someone's potential wealth? This is actually a very good question if we replace "wealth" with "income". The the answer goes like this: In a free market economy, high profits (and, hence, income) can be made only by saitisfying urgent demand for things that are very scarce. For example, while water is essential to sustain ...


5

One concept that I thought is worth mentioning is from Judaism. The idea is that there's a division between cases where "One enjoys and one has not lost"(זה נהנה וזה לא חסר), and cases where "One enjoys and one has lost"(זה נהנה וזה חסר). In cases of downloading copyrighted material, you could argue that it comes under the first category, since you're not ...


3

You've made a LOT of assumptions in your post, and have a pretty big set of seemingly unexamined presuppositions behind your statements that seem to me to need exposition. By saying that the legality of an action is irrelevant to its morality, you claim, unsupported, that morality is entirely detached from legality. This is quite a sweeping assertion! You ...


3

It is not clear to me that the notion of a "lost sale" is coherent. How are you supposed to quantify it? Even if we were forced to assign some percentage of downloads which would have been almost-certainly-purchased, it would have to be tiny -- dwarfed by the amount of content shared in violation of copyright-holder's wishes on the matter. In passing, as I ...


2

This question is rather difficult, as the world economy today is, in industrial economies, becoming more and more post-industrial--so much so that intellectual property rights are becoming less and less clear. "Mine" no longer means this thing that's in my hand, etc. etc.. Of course, the moral issue will be determined by the economic solution to the problem. ...


2

Arguing such cases is not trivial. Both sides are often vehemently opposed to the other side of the logic. I don't think I can get away with holding such a debate in this format (SE is not designed for it). However, I would like to draw an analogy. The analogy is from electrical engineering and amplifiers. I leave it to you to decide whether such an ...


1

Punishing defectors There's the concept of 'punishing defectors' which has multiple valid basis - there's a game theory justification that a (credible) promise to punish defectors, even if it costs you, is (in certain cases) an effective strategy that makes things better for everyone. By extension, "not doing your part" and not punishing defectors is also ...


1

No. As much we as humans hate to admit it, we could not agree on basic universal laws. Even most simple of them all, "Thou shalt not kill", is suspended during the war. Militaries, even most advanced ones, often kill civilians including children as "collateral damage" and this is not considered as a war crime. In reality, laws are set of rules created by ...


1

We can make only some comment about your question, that do not form a real answer ... Consider for simplicity only the "sub-clause" : Capital murder is the premeditated or non-premeditated murder of any individual in the commission of abduction, robbery, rape, attempted rape, forcible sodomy or attempted forcible sodomy First of all, it is a definition ...


1

You are violating the principle of ownership Sharing and using intangible goods is not about how you acquire it, or whether the goods can be duplicated for no cost, or whether the original owner still has a copy of the goods. It is entirely not about that. All of those things are issues that have no relevance to the morality of the act. In the end, ...


1

Maybe this is buried in the other answers but .... what is special about music in this case? If I promise to pay you $10 to mow my lawn. You mow my lawn. Then I refuse to pay you. Is that immoral? You've given me no physical product. All you've done is provide some labor. Why should I have to compensate you for that labor? Making music also requires labor. ...


1

This does not seem to be a question so particular to the music industry. And it is not a question of coming into possession of something. What is purchased in a download of a music file, for instance, but also with the purchase of a DVD, a recording of an NFL game, or a newspaper clipping, is a license to use, with terms limiting the use. We have agreed to ...


1

Morality is one of those lovely minefields of thought where cultural upbringing and history are perhaps the more relevant factors to consider. Case in point is that in certain cultures in times past (Mongolian comes to mind), if you could get away with stealing from your enemies (or even your friends). It did not matter the harm you might have done by ...


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