"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Doing the right thing...

Copyright issues are really a matter of conscience.  As a Catholic, I cannot make copies of copyrighted material without explicitly paying for it.  It's only fair.  But, there aren't many checks and balances available to keep people from doing things illegal and immoral.

I bring this up because I have been frequenting the used curriculum boards and ebay.  I saw this:
"Please take a moment to look at the awesome savings if you purchase this timeless collection. These are all in wonderful condition because they were all only used once in order to put them all onto my MP3 player so I can listen to them on the go. This shipment will be mailed only after funds are deposited through Paypal because it is a large amount. Please be reminded of the savings you receive but buying here. God Bless and happy bidding!"

They might be saving someone money, but what about the people who are out of jobs?  Now, we've experienced unemployment in this home.  In this economy, we aren't helping each other by pirating CD's, either ones you sell or ones you borrow.   Piracy might be putting some one out of a job somewhere, be it in the store, studio, warehouse, anywhere along the supply chain.  Piracy is making one OR more illegal copies.

One credible analysis by the Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year, 71,060 U.S. jobs lost, a loss of $2.7 billion in workers' earnings, and a loss of $422 million in tax revenues, $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes.  For copies of the report, please visit www.ipi.org

You can read more here, too.  That is for music alone.  I'm sure it's much, much worse in the paper world.

Now, here's my rub.  I have loaned friends CD's before.  I can't control if they copied them and I have stopped lending them out because I paid for them and they did not.  So, they are stealing from me when they take that CD home and burn it or copy it.  I will not purchase used CD's anymore from the Internet or from anyone else, for that matter, after seeing this.  It's a hard thing to do because everything does cost more these days.  Perhaps it is because of things like what I found above that drives the prices up on CD's.  Buyer or lender beware!  I don't want to be a party to breaking the law or sin.

Ed. note:  Someone emailed me this on the very topic of copyright infringement:  Ultimately (and I am reminded of that poignant scene in Cinderella Man where the Dad admonishes his son for stealing bread when their family was destitute during the depression) our economic situation should not compromise our morals or ethics.


KM said...

I am so glad to see someone else think this! It is the norm for people to ask to borrow a cd to burn or to offer to burn you a copy etc. You can't imagine the looks we get (from fellow Catholics!) when we politely decline and say that we are unable to accept their offer as we believe that that is stealing. When you burn it you are basically stealing someones wages! It is a big temptation because t is so easy and convenient to do. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister! I can't stand it when people think it's okay to copy anything they borrow.

Emily said...

We thought we were the only one's who felt this way. My husband get's really ticked when people ask to borrow cd's. He is a big audiophile and he had a large collection. He knows people are just ripping them on their hard drive.

Marybeth said...

Funny thing is I have always felt strongly about this with movies and music.... I just found myself slipping a little lately on other things (mostly things associated with homeschooling...)...
Thank you for the timely reminder :)

The Road Scholar said...

Thank you, commenters. This is such a touchy subject. A friend has a comment in her signature that pressed me to post about it:

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. - Abraham Lincoln

I don't want to be a coward, especially on this subject. My husband has twice been unemployed in the last 4 years, for a total of 11 months. We've not recovered from it financially. So, the temptation is always there to find the cheap route or to find a way to make more money. I'm thankful for all the sisters-of-the-heart who understand and take this seriously.

God bless,