I'm currently writing a paper on the ethical question "Is illegal downloading the same as stealing?" in which I compare the rights of the downloaders to those of the artists and record labels (among others). So now what has this to do with you? You get the exciting chance to look through my (extremely summarized) notes and see if I missed anything you'd deem obvious.
- People have the right to download materials which they already have a legal format of, for example downloading songs you also have the CD of.
- All people have a right to privacy in their own home, which extends to your personal computer and according to most people also their internet activities.
- File sharing has been a "right" for years, from lending books to copying songs on a tape recorder, copying DVDs and finally sharing files over the internet.
- And a side-note here, people who download illegally are also the ones spending the most on legal media. Source
- Everyone deserves a fair wage/reward for their work. If the current situation persists, many labels will stop to exist and artists won't gain much profit from making CD's/selling singles on the internet.
- Under the current copyright laws in most countries, copying of any sort is in fact illegal. (This is true for basically all materials that are under discussion, copyright lasts for at least 50 years (different for each country) and I doubt many people will complain about you downloading a TV series from the 60's.)
- On the other hand artists are hurting their own fans and customers when assaulting illegal downloads, why else would you download something from them? [/lil]
So like I said, a short overview of both groups' rights. You can of course discuss your opinions on downloads (whether they be legal or illegal) here as well.