File Sharing

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ChangFest
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File Sharing

Post by ChangFest » Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:26 pm

I'm a new member here and also a big Glass Hammer fan. I'm just wondering what people think about file sharing. I will say that at least 75% of the music I own today is because of the fact that I was able to download pirated music. I wouldn't have even known about Glass Hammer without being able to do this. I'm a huge prog fan and everything I own is because of file sharing. Now I can understand where file sharing is wrong; when people just download music and never buy the actual album. Most of the time these people are downloading "top 40" music and not going out to buy the album shows disrespect towards that artist. It also shows that their fans don't respect them in general. But I must say, I do respect most progressive rock bands and the generes I like. Progressive artists (including Glass Hammer) write their music for the sake of music, not for the $$$$$$$. (Well what drives all the majority of musicians is the $$$, but progressive bands at least have respect for what they produce) This turns into respect for their fans and thus creates a loyal fanbase. This is why I am all for file sharing to spread relatively unknown progressive bands like Glass Hammer. So I encourage people to share their music so others can get an idea about it and we can hope that they one day get interested enough to purchase albums.
Some people dig someone special
where as other people just dig the dirt
some try hard to make the spotlight
where some just fade away at midnight

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Post by Fingolfin » Fri Feb 28, 2003 9:51 pm

I think file sharing is stealing. Ok, yeah, they're writing it for music, but looking at it from the objective legal standpoint, when you buy a CD, you are buying the rights so that YOU can listen to that music whenever YOU want, not so your online friend Yoko-Yoko from Beijing can have a couple of copies to distribute to his mother-in-law and her friends. I think it's ok to temporarily lend your CD to a friend, or if you know you can trust your friend to delete the files after listening to them a few times to send some mp3's to your friend to listen to (as lending, not giving). But I wouldn't advise that because everyone seems to think it's perfectly ok to spread CD's around like they're free. It's illegal! Just because there's no way we could get caught doesn't mean that we're not obligated to follow them.

If bands want to give out music, they'll put it up somewhere on the internet for people to listen to. Glass Hammer is very generous with their music. They have, I think, two songs out for almost every album they made, in addition to a bunch of samplers. That's more than enough to decide if you want to buy their album.

But that's just the practical side. What it boils down to is philosophy: the end doesn't justify the means. Pirating music like that is illegal, and that makes it wrong. Even if people buy CD's of the band because of it, even if you find good bands that way, that doesn't make it ok. By living in your country, you are under an agreement to follow its laws, and you don't have the right to break them because you feel like it.

(warning: you bring up a philosophic question like this, I go into philosophy mode. I'm not mad or anything, in case you're confused. Just very... opinionated, you could say. True opinion, that is. Right, Plato? ;))
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:00 pm

Welcome to the GH forum, ChangFest! :)

And, Fingolfin, how much you want to bet that no one is going to understand your philosophy jokes?
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By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by Theremin » Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:44 pm

I am also pretty much against pirating music. I think it is stealing and wrong. However, even I kind of bend the rules sometimes.

For example, when I wanted to listen to "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," sung by Leonard Nimoy, I went to Amazon.com and quickly found out that they no longer stocked it except on a $23 Imported best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner CD, I opted for a slightly less legal method of obtaining it. I just wanted the one song and I figured it didn't really matter. It is pretty hilarious to hear Leonard Nimoy sing :D !

The only other time I can remember downloading like this is when I downloaded the 8-track version of "Pigs on the Wing" by Pink Floyd. As opposed to the CD and casette version, it has a guitar solo by Snowy White connecting part 1 and 2. I own "Animals" on CD and the 8-track format is very obsolete, so I also justify this.

I wouldn't justify downloading mp3s of songs I have on casette though: the new format has better sound quality and therefore deserves the $$$ paid for the upgrade.

I do download mp3s to determine whether or not I want to buy a CD or not. Most of the music I listen to (prog mostly) is not mainstream, so I have no way of telling whether or not I like a band/album before I buy it unless I tentatively download a track or two. For example, I was reccomended the band Camel by Steve. Even with the sanction of one of the prestigious members of Glass Hammer, I don't want to spend $20 (+ shipping) on a band that I might not like. So, I downloaded "Chord Changes" and "Lunar Sea" and I love them :D ! So, now I am going to buy the CD. If I did not like the tracks I would have deleted them.

So, in conclusion, I still think it is illegal, but justified in certain situations (but not because you think the artists don't want/deserve money). I also do not believe that sharing Glass Hammer files other than the ones downloadable on their website is right. They have a ton of files and samples on the site and I never neede more than this to buy a Glass Hammer CD. Some people may already just keep the great tracks offered for free and giving them the rest will take away their desire to buy the rest.
I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

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Re: File Sharing

Post by MayorOfLongview » Sat Mar 01, 2003 8:23 am

ChangFest wrote: Progressive artists (including Glass Hammer) write their music for the sake of music, not for the $$$$$$$. (Well what drives all the majority of musicians is the $$$, but progressive bands at least have respect for what they produce) .


First of all, welcome to the forum! We are truly glad you're here :)
If you want one GH songwriter's opinion on file-sharing - here it comes! lol
Here's the notice on our free mp3 page.
"Copyright Notice
All Glass Hammer songs and recordings are the ownership of Sound Resources, and are published through BMI. Only the MP3 files listed on this page are authorized for Internet 'sharing'. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited." :twisted:
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by Fingolfin » Sat Mar 01, 2003 11:55 am

Not surprisingly, Theremin, you missed my point. :-p Clarity was never my strength, but let's see if I can explain this a little better. The end does NOT justify the means. Just because something turns out ok in the end does not make it ok to do. Here's an illustration of this principle courtesy of my Latin/Calculus teacher.

SCENARIO A: So you're out hunting with your mother-in-law. You hate your mother-in-law. A lot. Moved by your burning anger for her, you aim for her turned back and shoot. At that moment a deer jumps out of the bushes between you and takes the shot right in the ribs. Your mother-in-law is alive, and now you have supper. Yay.
SCENARIO B: You're out hunting with your mother-in-law. You have been sitting there for hours, waiting for some deer to show up. All of a sudden there is a rustle in the bushes. You immediately fire in that direction, and you hear a thud as your kill hits the ground. When you go over to inspect it, however, you realize that you have accidentally shot your mother-in-law. Oh dear. You're in trouble.

Ok, by your logic, the person in Scenario A is much better off and is completely innocent - he didn't kill his mother-in-law - while the person in Scenario B is guilty of murder and deserves to be imprisoned. Does that really seem right to you? I think it's the other way around. Even though the end result was bizzare, the first person was attempting to murder someone, and the second was just trying to shoot a deer. That's the most important fact here. I say the first person is guilty of murder.

But how does this relate to "sharing" of mp3's?

You are claiming that because you end up buying CD's and supporting the artist by illegally downloading mp3's, you are justified. Who cares if you have to break laws to do it? That's like saying that Guy A is right and Guy B isn't, because the end result of his action was good, whereas the end result of B was bad. Do you see the parallel? I don't care how much good comes from it, it's never ok to do something wrong in order to acheive anything. Do you understand now?

Then we would have to conclude that the only way to justify mp3 "sharing" is to prove that one is justified in disobeying the law.
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Post by Theremin » Sat Mar 01, 2003 5:05 pm

You're right, clarity is not one of the strong point's of anyone's non-verbal communication. I do not think that the ends justify the means in all or even most cases. I am by no meeans a Machiavellian (and yes... I do know that Nikolai Machiavelli was not a true Machiavellian in the sense of how we use the word today).

When I say I delete songs I do not like, I should probably have said I delete all the songs whose albums I am not immediately going to buy. I downloaded Chord Changes and Lunar Sea and I like them but I deleted them after only two listens. I did not even listen to the full tracks each time. I only wanted to get an impression of the music to know whether or not I would want to invest twenty dollars in the future.

I am also not debating the legal status of what I occasionally do. I know that it is illegal and I don't prentend that it isn't. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who never knowingly or unknowingly breaks the law. About 90% of the drivers on the road speed regularly (not me), often going much faster than the posted limit. These people are breaking a law designed to protect the public from themselves and ideally would be enforced accordingly.

I do not justify it like some people I know ("oh, it won't make any difference"). I know people at my school who have not bought a single CD in three years. Theses are also the kind of people who steal software and movies off the internet. One particular person I know has over five thousand illegal MP3s on his computer. At 10 songs and $15 per CD, he has stolen over $7000 from the music community. I have two illegal tracks, with my net value stolen coming to just about $3.

Would you call it theft if someone picked up a basketball at the TOys 'R Us, bounced it around a bit, and stuck it back on the shelf. That is exactly what I do. There are also stores out there that allow you to listen to a one-minute clip from any track on any CD in their store. This could easily suffice for me if any of these stores carried music I liked. The closest to a store stocking Prog I have ever seen is my local Best buy. Back in September, they got ten or so copies of Snow shipped. In early November, I bought one and now, in March, they have about three left. Most of the purchases were probably accidents, bought by uncoordinated tenenagers reaching for the adjacent Brittney Spears rack. The music community has a lot more to gain if I download several tracks for about ten minutes, delete them, and buy their album than if I sat around waiting for the band to release sample tracks.

Finally, I return to your example of the hunting trip. Once again, I am not a Machiavellian. To me, the first person is guilty of attemptde murder and the second is guilty of that other thing (you know, the one where you kill someone by accident and your sentence is greatly reduced. I think it might be manslaughter). To me, the ends hardly ever justify the means. On the issue of MP3s, however, I believe that they do (in the manner that I download them). By using them for very limited periods of time, I don't even believe that my response is Machiavellian, as the means do not harm anyone and the ends are beneficial to everyone involved.

P.S. I do not share my files because I know that the vast majority of people out there use the file sharing service to avoid paying for music.
I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Mar 03, 2003 5:25 pm

I do have a word to say about that. I really thank Glass Hammer for giving us those MP3's. Without them, I wouldn't have known that such a good music existed. And also thanks to them I bought all the albums. It was very difficult for me to get them because I'm in Holland! So I had to wait. I made a CD of those MP3's (just for myself!) because I couldn't wait that long. Other bands also put MP3's to download on their websites. One band had the idea to sample just one minute of every songs. It was more than enough to let us hear what kind of music they make but to short to pirate. I did buy the album. Now Theremin, I understand why you asked me if you could download my music form my website. I appreciated. But you were the only one to have done that. I don't even get comments! There's a forum to on my website you know! Maybe I should open a Glass Hammer section on my website :lol: MP3's could be tricky though: I once bought a whole album because I'd heard a single 59 second MP3: great piece! Unfortunately the rest of the album sounded like usual commercial music. I was very disappointed.
I don't really like the idea of getting free music from the net. I prefer have the real thing in my hands with a booklet! And if I want people to get to know Glass Hammer, I let them hear the music from my one official CD's. CD's are not that expensive by the way: just buy a little less cookies for a week or two and you have enough money to buy one!

Lania
Last edited by Guest on Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Mad Philosopher, Part II

Post by Fingolfin » Mon Mar 03, 2003 9:28 pm

Quicker issue first: Lania, the mp3's we're talking about (or at least the ones I am talking about) are not the ones that the band puts out on their site. The band is giving those ones out for free, and you can burn them on all the CD's you want (as long as you don't try to sell them or something dumb like that). It would be great if you'd buy the CD too, but that's not completely necessary. The mp3's I'm talking about are the ones you get from Napster or your friend Li Kai Noni from Nagasaki. Or some other places. I don't know; I don't do it myself. But these are mp3's that the band has not distributed. For instance, the song The Wind. My friend really loves that song. But if I burned a CD for her with that song on it, or sent her an mp3, that would be illegal and wrong because GH has not made that song available for free.

Ok, now, Theremin...
Fingolfin closes in on his prey, eyes burning with the wrath of the Valar... I saw your message a few days ago but couldn't answer right away, and now I'm really excited to reply. I love philosophy. But now I'm probably frightening you, so I'll get down to my point.
(i'll try to use HTML to help clarify. :))

First of all, I realize that you are WAY better than most people in this area (mp3's). However comparing yourself to other people is not going to justify your action. You don't speed? Congratulations. I don't either. I think it's wrong. Nice to know that there's at least SOMEONE in this world who shares my opinion. I don't care how many people speed, or how fast they're going - even when I'm on 94, and the few cars that are there keep zooming past me, I stay faithfully at 55 mph. Isn't it hard? Still, saying, "Well, I don't speed, so I can burn mp3's" somehow doesn't seem to work. Ok, that's not what you're saying. You're saying "I don't care about the laws - everybody breaks them," or at least to some degree, unless I'm mistaken. But that's JUST IT. That is EXACTLY what I don't agree with in the common argument for file sharing.
Your action is not justified. A) Other people do a whole lot worse - at least my intentions are to buy the CD. B) The law? Other people break little laws - they're not that big of a deal, Fingolfin.
These are basically the same argument. To say that comparison to others can justify someone is a big assertion. I'm not convinced.

Ok, secondly, the ends sometimes justify the means? That's a very weak and confusing statement. Come on! This is philosophy, not chemistry! When? When exactly are the ends are better? What does that mean?! It's ok to go and kill off all political opponents who believe in murdering the unborn? [Whether or not abortion is ok is not really part of this argument, if you have a problem, we could get into a discussion about this elsewhere, but I use this example because IF you believe a fetus is human (if you don't, work with me here) it illustrates a mercilessly evil action: killing the small and unprotected just so that someone doesn't have to "bother with them".] Opponents of abortion would not be a problem anymore. Then we could ban it. Should we? Of course not! That would completely defeat your purpose! People who go and bomb houses of pro-abortion leaders cannot really be called "pro-life". So please to explain exactly when the end could possible justify the means, and when it couldn't. And why. Because I can't understand what this middle ground would look like. I would appreciate it if you would enlighten me.

My last comment: The basketball image - You're pulling a Plato on me here! ;) Great image. Very convincing. But it doesn't quite line up. (ok, so he only does that sometimes, but that's not my point. he loves analogies) The shelves are there in the store - it's ok to take things off of them for a minute, just like it's not illegal to use something if it's not yours; it's not illegal to listen to a friend's CD to determine whether you want to buy it. But to go to the store, take a CD home, listen to it once or twice, and then bring it back and decide if you want to actually buy it or not is wrong. That's a better analogy for this.
Now you are going to tell me "Well, there's no other way to decide if I actually like the CD..." And I'm going to say this: Tough. Just because this doesn't work out so you can support progressive rock doesn't make it untrue. The issue is not whether it is beneficial to anyone, but whether it is RIGHT.

I ramble a lot, go off on tangents, and am generally very unclear, so I'll sum up what you need to explain to me:
1. Why we should have any right to disregard the law in this circumstance (brief recap: the issue has nothing to do with whether you're helping prog or music industry or anyone, the issue is that you're breaking the law)
2. How the end could possibly justify the means in some situations[/b](I've never read Machiavelli, so don't try to reference him or anything... :oops: Now the Elven King feels strangely uneducated, despite the fact that he has deeply engrossed in studying Plato since about december... ;))

...maybe i've had toooo much fun with the HTML... ;)
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Post by Theremin » Mon Mar 03, 2003 11:08 pm

Drat, my computer just froze. I had a whole big thing typed out and everything. Too bad, I'll just sumarize it.

-Machiavelli's principles, from his pamplet "The Prince," written about his idea of an ideal leader, Caesara Borgia, boil down to "the ends justify the means."
-I am just a sophomore in High Sschool, so I am woefully unprepared to carry on an elaborate discussion on philosophy. All of my philosophical knowledge comes from what rubbed of on me during Advanced Placement Modern European History and what I feel to be right. Obviously, I have a hard time explaining the latter.
-I concede that downloading mp3s is illegal but I do not believe that it is morally wrong, except in the sense that disobeying the law is morally wrong.
-I also wanted to point out that just because a law is passed, does not mean it is just. Just because the English parliament passed a law during the industrial revolution that legalized employing orphaned, pauper "apprentices" in mines for 16 hours a day does not mean that it was right.
-I think that what I do would be legalized if people could exercise any degree of restraint when given an iota of freedom (give 'em an inch and they take a mile...).
-In conclusion, what I am really arguing is whether or not the law itself is justified in existing (or something) :D .
I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

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Re: The Mad Philosopher, Part II

Post by Theremin » Mon Mar 03, 2003 11:20 pm

Fingolfin wrote:Fingolfin closes in on his prey, eyes burning with the wrath of the Valar...


Hey, I don't want to be slain or anything...
I do enjoy discussing philosophy, but violence is not the answer. :lol:
I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

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Phew!

Post by ChangFest » Tue Mar 04, 2003 12:35 pm

Ok, I really wasn’t prepared to receive a philosophical debate on the asking of people’s views of file sharing. :shock: I guess it serves a major purpose to the merits of file sharing and right and wrong in general. In my attempt to be pro-file sharing, I described how I use it. I do understand that no matter how anybody uses file sharing, there isn’t a reason that exists that can justify it being legal. I guess I can say I’m morally wrong when it comes to sharing files because it is illegal. :oops:

Now I’m going to propose some solutions so we as consumers who steal music and give it away can stop it from happening. An average CD will cost a consumer at least $12.75 (this is what the RIAA says). An average CD will contain about 10-15 tracks of music comprising of about an hour or so. When comparing a CD with the two newer formats, SACD and DVD-Audio, they are the same price. Now, how come CDs are so expensive? I think that if the record companies would just lower the average cost of CDs to at least $10, I wouldn’t hesitate in buying more albums without having to illegally preview them. I do not believe a CD should cost a consumer $15 - $20. I recently went to an area Media Play which has a decent progressive rock and metal collection available. This is the only store in the area that has any sort of progressive collection. I bought the new O.S.I. album, the new Gordian Knot album, and the second Explorer’s club album. Guess how much THREE CDs cost me…$55. :evil: That’s a lot of money for THREE albums. Now I am forced to pay this because I do not have a credit card or any way of paying online, and I generally frown upon doing that because I am a paranoid person.

All of these albums, I had previously downloaded about a week ago to see if I would like them, and I did, and subsequently went out and purchased them. Now suppose I wasn’t able to preview them illegally. I’ll look at two cases. Case one is I could have pre-viewed the albums by downloading small clips of songs from the artist’s websites or music retailers who offer previews of albums they sell. I personally have been hosed when it comes to doing this. There have been albums in the past where I didn’t download them illegally and thought a clip of a song would suffice and went and spent $15-$20 for a single CD and it turned out to be nothing of what I was after. A lot of clips offered by bands or internet retailers do not do the album justice and therefore can at times be a form of false advertising in my view. So as a result of that, I frown upon just going out and purchasing albums that I have not previously heard and thought them good enough for me to purchase. Case two is exactly that; going out and purchasing an album that you haven’t heard at all before. Reading reviews and hearing things about an artist or an album is a good thing, it helps me decide if I should purchase an album by them or not. Just by going with word of mouth and other’s reviews doesn’t work for me because a lot of the times, I do not end up agreeing with the review.

Now after all of this paranoia and penny pinching I have described above, I probably sound like a nuisance to the recording industry. Well I own over 200 CDs. Of which, at least 75% of them I have purchased as a direct result of illegally obtaining previews of them. Before I was able to illegally download music, I wasn’t very interested in music or the progressive scene at all. It really opened up doors for me, and it got me to purchase a heck of a lot more albums than I would have ever before. Basically put, the result of me downloading music illegally is me purchasing more CDs, and it is illegal. Illegal or not, I do not keep the mp3s or attempt to distribute them freely to most of the people who have illegal intentions with them, which is sharing further and never purchasing the music. I will download an album of any artist that I deem interesting, and if I like it, I go out and buy it. If I don’t like it, I don’t buy it, destroy the mp3s, and move on with things. Personally I do not think I am hurting anybody by doing things this way even if it is illegal. Even though what I’m doing is illegal, my intent is not to be illegal. But, the system has its problems, and the problems are that the majority of people who do use file sharing use it for illegal intent. I do believe that that is a major problem and I do not think file sharing should exist because of that. If the record companies reduced the prices of CDs more which would put a little more faith in the record companies from the consumers, file sharing most likely wouldn’t be as big of a problem as it is now. There are some examples of the recording industry trying to give more value to an album. I’ll take some examples. The new Porcupine Tree CD is priced at a nice $10. Some of the major record labels are including full length DVDs with their albums and are keeping the prices of those the same as a regular CD. I think this is a good thing, a very good thing and I surely hope the record companies continue to do this.

Ok, I guess now I can receive another bashing based on how stupid I am because I illegally file share…so let me have it.
Some people dig someone special
where as other people just dig the dirt
some try hard to make the spotlight
where some just fade away at midnight

-Roint Stolt-

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Post by Guest » Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:21 pm

Fingolfin wrote:The band is giving those ones out for free, and you can burn them on all the CD's you want (as long as you don't try to sell them or something dumb like that)


Thanks, I know that. And besides I have no interest in selling other people stuff.

This is definitely not my area... I'll let you people argue over there.

By the way, the forum is not a battle field...

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The High King of the Noldor wisely cuts back on the miruvor

Post by Fingolfin » Fri Mar 07, 2003 9:41 pm

Sorry if you actually thought I was serious about that stalking thing! I was merely implying that I love the thrill of debating, pursuit of truth, learning, whatever you want to call it. :) I'm not mad or upset at anyone, just really passionate about the subject. And Changfest, I totally agree that CD's should be less expensive, and I'm not going to shoot you or anyone else down as a evil person or something for not following the law; the direction our argument is going is purely objective. My intent is only to examine what the law means and why we should or should not follow it. I genuinely am trying to find the truth - I'm not close-mindedly trying to convert anyone to my specific agenda; I would be so happy if you could prove me wrong! Quite frankly, I really wish file sharing was morally acceptable. I really want to go download some Rammstein! (Of course, if I actually knew German better I might not like them at all, but that's really not the point of my comments) Theremin, you're only a sophmore? Well I'm a junior. I'm don't have a doctorate in philosophy or anything, and as far as I'm concerned, you're doing fine in this philosophic discussion. :) And sys-ex, i don't want to exclude anyone form our argument!

Ok. So here's the issue that has now been raised: Why should we follow the law?

You're saying that since the law is man made, it is not perfect, and has shown time and time again to have erred in the past - why would it be perfect now? And if it's not perfect, why are we obligated to follow every last detail of it?

Tough question. This reminds me of Plato's Crito, a dialogue in which Crito tries to convince his friend Socrates to escape from prison to avoid his sentence of death. I'm not the best at summing up arguments like this, but I'm going to try, because this really is what we're talking about. Just bear with me for a little while. So Socrates had been condemned to death for "corrupting the youth" and "making the better argument the worse", a sentence which really was not just, since he was really innocent. He did not corrupt the youth at all, and he certainly did not make the better argument the worse (which our class concluded meant basically playing devil's advocate and blaspheming against the way the gods had ordered the world in his views); people just didn't like him because he proved to them and everyone else that they really weren't so smart and wise as they thought they were. Crito tells him that he should preserve his life and go into exile, because "a) you could have just chosen exile as your sentence instead of continuing to insist you were innocent during your trial, and they would have let you; no one cares b) I guarantee you I can get you to escape; i have enough cash c) you are doing WRONG by staying here. you have an obligation to preserve your life. d) the city wronged you in the first place"

Socrates response is as follows: I can just hear the laws speaking to me now.  They'd be saying "Socrates, what makes you think that you are on equal footing with us? That you have the right to retaliate against us because you don't agree with us? You'd destroy us! No one would have any respect for us and all of society would be in complete chaos! You must either persuade or obey us. By living in this city, you have an obligation to follow us. If you have a problem with that, you can leave Athens and go somewhere else, but you have lived here your whole life and raised your family here. If the law condemns you for something, you must pay the penalty."

Crito can't object to that.

Agreed, file sharing is a little bit less serious than whether to escape prison to preserve your life, but still, these basic principles apply. We live in this land, we have an obligation to follow our country's laws. If we have a problem with them, then we should work within the system to try to solve it. Notice that the unjust laws of our system have been amended in this way; people don't just go change them when they feel they are bad, they use the government to bring about changes. And it's not like the file sharing thing is such a big deal anyway. It's not unjust. Maybe it seems a little unreasonable some times, but if we wish to change this, we should work within the system, not just flagrantly violate it. If we say it is acceptable to break little laws like this, what follows next? What is it that gives you the right to download Pink Floyd off of Kazaa and not selling drugs to your pals at school? How are you going to draw a clear line through which laws you can and can not violate? And why bother even having laws at all if you can violate some of them?

As for the unjust laws: Once, when a temporary aristocracy had taken over Athens during the Peloponnesian War, Socrates and four other men were ordered to seize this one man and bring him before the Council so that he could be killed. Socrates refused, and stayed at home. Because he disobeyed, the council was going to kill him. Luckily for him, the government went out of power before he could do anything. The point here is that Socrates isn't against refusing to follow unjust laws, but he would say that a citizen who is found guilty by the law must pay the penalty. He would say it would have been wrong for him to try to escape when the Council was going to kill him. So if the government ordered you to kill your best friend, and you knew he was innocent, you could refuse, but you would have to pay the penalty.

Those were basically the issues raised in the Crito, and maybe I didn't necessarily have to bring that in, but I just want you to realize that I'm not completely insane! Socrates would agree with me. ...I think. So was that answering your question, or did I misunderstand it?

I hope I'm not intimidating anyone by mentioning plato and philosophy and stuff. Thinking critically like this is just what I do every day for about eight hours, so it's kind of engrained into my brain. ;) You certainly don't have to be a genius to prove me wrong.
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Theremin
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Post by Theremin » Tue Mar 11, 2003 7:07 pm

I really am out of arguments supporting my case. I could use some free meals for life though. :D
I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

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