is music downloading ethical?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
My personal definition on stealing may significantly differ from anyone else. For me, stealing is an act of taking away from others the things they own or they must have own. This definition of mine may be different to the definition of others. It depends on how a person perceive on this act.
I’m a music lover. Indeed, I have a lot of collections of songs and artists in my computer since music gives me so much relaxation. I usually got this music from the internet through downloading. And it would sound unjust if I say downloading music is unethical since I believe it’s not.
Before, I used to buy original CDs and indeed, it was costly. Aside from the disappointing price, frequently, only 4-6 out of 18 or 19 tracks were interesting songs I found on these CDs and I bought it because of these tracks, since I have no other way to buy these songs. Tapes can’t be played in computer, so it’s out of the choices.
Because of this condition, I only stick to few artists and only listen to the radio where I could hear different songs. From it, I could list my choice songs and find these songs in music outlets. Same thing, I bought CDs for only few tracks I adore.
This situation started to change when I’ve learned from my friend that there’s easier, practical, less effort and most of all, free way to buy songs. That was through internet.
At first, I was having reservations if I’ll be going to do an unethical act or not. But I end up thinking that, I’ve harmed no one. I have no obligation to the music industry who sells CDs as well as, the artists of it. It’s not my obligation anyway, to buy their CDs.
Actually, with the help of music downloading through the internet, I may explore songs, albums and artists that suit to my preferences. With this, I could tell about them to my friends or families, in this way, they might buy CDs or I might buy CDs containing them.
Looking at the differences, before, I had only 4-6 tracks I find interesting which cost so much, and now, I have all the songs that I’ve liked so much without paying.
Now, I say downloading music from the internet is not bad at all. This is because it’s not stealing which is so according to other people, for they consider the copyright law. The relation between law and ethics is indistinct. There are some laws which are unethical, and there are some ethical which are not included in the law.
For me, as long as, I don’t sell those tracks I’ve downloaded from the internet and just play them for personal interest, I consider this act as ethical. It becomes unethical when I download and sell them to other people. The act becomes then, stealing. Since, the artist and the music industry that holds the songs I’ve sold must have produced the money I’ve got from selling their songs. In other words, I’ve stolen the money they must have gotten.


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