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Thread: The Ethics of MP3's: Buy - Download - Sell?




  1. #31
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: The Ethics of MP3's: Buy - Download - Sell?

    If I buy a CD, and then later (for whatever reason), purchase and download the same album from iTunes or eMusic, then I have every right to sell the CD.

    I have done that a few times. Lost a CD, repurchased album as mp3's, find the CD, sell the CD.

    Or

    Buy CD of long OOP album that has been transferred from vinyl to tape to digital, find remastered version on eMusic, purchase/download better quality version, sell CD.
    I think there was a language issue that caused some confusion; this isn't aimed ssipes but just in case anyone is confused. Downloading is when you buy a digital file from Amazon, iTunes, Emusic, etc. You then own that music and whatever rights are associated with it.

    Ripping is when you put a CD in your computer to create mp3s.

    If I'm reading this correctly, ssipes' hypothetical situations are perfectly okay with those details. She ends up with two copies of the music somehow and gets rid of one. When you buy music online, you have certain restrictions. With iTunes, IIRC, you are supposed to only keep the music on 5 machines including mp3 players and can only share with people within your household. Emusic and Amazon, as far as I know, are not as restrictive, but I still have to keep the music within my personal use. I think fair use with CDs is similar to that of Amazon and Emusic.


    So, ladies, what are some non-offensive ways to educate? How can we make people aware of the legal details without coming across as being accusatory?
    I think beyond the legal details, the moral and practical details for artists is one that is great. There is a good amount of belly dance music that is independently produced and the artists see real money in their hands. You can certainly mention the legal aspects which may scare some people but I think there is something to be said about supporting an artist.

    In terms of Swap Meet, I don't know but I think it's something we can all take back to our real life communities and address before it becomes an issue. I think the artists themselves can be a huge influence, if they approach it in a non-accusative manner. I can really only think of a single instance in real life where someone in the belly dance community has talked about the licensing for music.

    Maybe it's being naive, but unless it's pretty blatant someone is selling a copied CD or doing something shady, I'm not sure what you can do or should do. Again, I keep all my music and have a huge stack of CDs. However, there are probably 10 CDs I don't care for and have technically used once, to make mp3s. It is likely that someone may have music they don't like, have deleted the mp3s off their computer, and then decide to get rid of the physical copy as well.

    I think if you bring the issue of copyright, it does look accusative, even with the most benign way. It would be like if you started talking to me about why I shouldn't steal while I'm in the midst of grocery shopping.


  2. #32
    Ultimate BHUZzer Tourbeau's Avatar
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    Re: The Ethics of MP3's: Buy - Download - Sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by indigostars View Post
    In terms of Swap Meet, I don't know but I think it's something we can all take back to our real life communities and address before it becomes an issue. I think the artists themselves can be a huge influence, if they approach it in a non-accusative manner.
    I think it's almost better if the artists stay out of it. I often wonder whether B&H did more damage to themselves by calling attention to the problem. They definitely have a legitimate grievance, and the dancers who are stealing their music should be ashamed of themselves, but people can be so weird, and it's hard not to imagine that there aren't a few out there who thought, "I wasn't going to steal your record, but since you're being such big, whiny babies about it, maybe I will." I also wonder if advertising how badly they've lost money to bootlegging is tantamount to announcing that they'd be more likely to absorb the debt than hire a lawyer and go to court. You're painting a bull's eye on yourself when you tell criminals you can't afford to stop them. They've obviously got a vested interest in preventing bootlegs of their music--someone who doesn't stand to gain any money from the situation makes a more compelling ethical argument.


  3. #33
    Master BHUZzer tigerb's Avatar
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    Re: The Ethics of MP3's: Buy - Download - Sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    I think it's almost better if the artists stay out of it. I often wonder whether B&H did more damage to themselves by calling attention to the problem. They definitely have a legitimate grievance, and the dancers who are stealing their music should be ashamed of themselves, but people can be so weird, and it's hard not to imagine that there aren't a few out there who thought, "I wasn't going to steal your record, but since you're being such big, whiny babies about it, maybe I will."
    That is certainly what happened to Metallica after they came out against Napster so strongly.
    Vashti Silks is my silk dye blog


  4. #34
    Ultimate BHUZzer ssipes's Avatar
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    Re: The Ethics of MP3's: Buy - Download - Sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hala Jamal View Post
    After reading more posts, I do agree that posting on threads of people selling single use Cd's could be inflammatory and could only be reported and left up to Rosey. I chose my words carefully when I suggested "Please consider this. . ." but as we've seen many times, people can be pretty hot-tempered and easily offended.
    Hala, it doesn't matter how you politely you were to word this hypothetical post. The meaning is the same. It is offensive to those who are not keeping illegal copies. And while I agree with you that there are almost certainly people who are doing this, you really can't know who it is, can you? Unless of course they admit it in their swap thread, which usually isn't the case. Even a politely worded suggestion to read this thread is, in fact, an accusation. It isn't that people are easily offended, it's that what you are suggesting is offensive.

    What if you posted a costume for sale, and I posted in your thread "Pretty please just make sure you are truthfully representing your merchandise! And please make sure you ship the costume to the buyer once they send you the money!", or posted a link to a thread where people were complaining about unscrupulous costume sellers. Would this not come off as some kind of unjustified accusation??

    Your first post seems pretty clear to me:
    "FOR SALE: This CD album by this artist - used once"

    I read that as "I bought the original CD, downloaded it onto my computer and am now selling the album for almost as much as I paid for it."
    Are you not saying that whenever you see someone selling a used CD you, in fact, suspect them of something illegal and unethical? Without any evidence at all? Am I misunderstanding the meaning of "I read that as"?
    Last edited by ssipes; 01-26-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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  5. #35
    Mega BHUZzer indigostars's Avatar
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    Re: The Ethics of MP3's: Buy - Download - Sell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tourbeau View Post
    I think it's almost better if the artists stay out of it. I often wonder whether B&H did more damage to themselves by calling attention to the problem. They definitely have a legitimate grievance, and the dancers who are stealing their music should be ashamed of themselves, but people can be so weird, and it's hard not to imagine that there aren't a few out there who thought, "I wasn't going to steal your record, but since you're being such big, whiny babies about it, maybe I will." I also wonder if advertising how badly they've lost money to bootlegging is tantamount to announcing that they'd be more likely to absorb the debt than hire a lawyer and go to court. You're painting a bull's eye on yourself when you tell criminals you can't afford to stop them. They've obviously got a vested interest in preventing bootlegs of their music--someone who doesn't stand to gain any money from the situation makes a more compelling ethical argument.
    I don't fully recall that discussion. However, if the discussion is framed in positive terms (supporting musicians vs. accusations of theft), I think it could be effective.

    For many people I know, the excuse to illegally obtain music has been "The artist doesn't receive the money, just the producers." This is mostly larger music acts (think: Top 40) but I've seen people get into that mentality. I don't know how much producing a CD costs and maybe some article that isn't shaming people or guilting them into buying things isn't the answer but a pragmatic description of the time, money, and creativity that goes into making a CD. This would be more of a "thank you" to people who buy the music and why they're thankfu. It would contain some of the "why you shouldn't steal" but probably also a lot of informative pieces on the CD production process.

    I think also not only how the discussion is framed but also when. If Artist A were to write an article today, when there are no immediate issues s/he has with illegally obtained music, that rings a lot differently than commenting after the fact.


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