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JacobGalt

Why is it immoral to illegally download software?

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Isn't it in my self-interest to do so?

It is not necessarily immoral to violate a law. But it is immoral to violate a proper law as this one.

Read Rand on property rights. S/w is the property of the creator; if he does not offer it for free and it is illegal to download it, then you must pay the asking price. It is not in your self-interest to steal the property of others.

Note, however, that once purchased, it is implied that you can use it however you choose for yourself but not for resell or to otherwise make it available to others.

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It is immoral to steal for the same reason that it is good to own the thing you are considering stealing. You might say: Either way, I get to listen to the music, right?

Well, what value can you get from the music? You can enjoy it?

What is enjoyment based on? Some aspect of successful living? Self-expression?

What is the "successful living" of stealing something? What does petty theft express about you?

CAN you enjoy listening to stolen music? Only to the extent that you are utterly, mindlessly shallow.

Morality is what is practical, really and truly.

-- Mindy

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Isn't it in my self-interest to do so?

Are we talking about illegally as in violating copyright? If so...

It is clearly immoral. Think about how evasive such an act is. You are denying that wealth needs to be produced by man for him to live, and that he needs to have a right to the product of his labor. No man who tramples the rights of others can claim rights for himself, so violating the rights of others is a self-contradiction and hence irrational. Since man needs to be rational to make the full and proper use of his faculty of reason (which is a cardinal value), being irrational is not in his self-interest. Here is an article that discusses some related issues: Prudent Predator Argument

Remember the cardinal virtues, and observe how this act violates them all: It is dishonest (you sacrifice your view of existence to your victim), it reveals lack of integrity (since by asking this question, it is obvious that you recognize that stealing itself is wrong; otherwise you would not have specified this), it destroys your independence (you need your victim, he doesn't need you), it is irrational (for the reasons stated above), it is unproductive (you are only reducing wealth, not acquiring (or producing) it; nothing can be a value to those who attempt to gain it at the cost of their mind...i.e. the software is a disvalue), it works against your pride since you lose your sense of being able, and it is unjust (you are punishing someone for doing good and trying to reward yourself for doing evil), and finally it is not benevolent because it reveals that you are not willing to trade with others; rather, you resort immediately to force (at least in this case).

If not (which I suppose would imply that it is an act of censorship by government that it is illegal, I can think of no other example)...

Then it would be moral (though make sure you don't get caught!).

Tristan

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Isn't it in my self-interest to do so?

If you actually like what you are stealing, it isn't in your self interest to do so, if you actually value something, support it with cash.

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You cannot steal an intangible item, nor do I believe anyone has the right to own anything they conjure up in their minds.

This is where I differ with many objectivists/libertarians.

Where's the intangible? The download is physical. The memory is physical. The music is physical.

-- Mindy

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You cannot steal an intangible item, nor do I believe anyone has the right to own anything they conjure up in their minds.
Why then would they have a right to own something that they make with their hands?

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You cannot steal an intangible item, nor do I believe anyone has the right to own anything they conjure up in their minds.

This is where I differ with many objectivists/libertarians.

That is a very subjective distinction. And that differs from Objectivism, not simply "some obj.s."

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You cannot steal an intangible item, nor do I believe anyone has the right to own anything they conjure up in their minds.

This is where I differ with many objectivists/libertarians.

Read this.

Tristan

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You cannot steal an intangible item, nor do I believe anyone has the right to own anything they conjure up in their minds.

This is where I differ with many objectivists/libertarians.

You also differ with many Objectivists in that you believe simply stating an opinion - free of rationale - is of any value to a discussion.

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No, because you live in a just society that would hopefully catch and prosecute you for doing so. Downloading software you didn't pay for is immoral because you are violating the terms of use set by its creator.

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You cannot steal an intangible item, nor do I believe anyone has the right to own anything they conjure up in their minds.

This is where I differ with many objectivists/libertarians.

What has ever been built by man that hasn't first been 'conjured up in the mind'? By that line of reasoning, anything can be stolen. But you're going to say that 'stuff' is property? By what right? Isn't the notion that you 'own it' just conjured up in your mind?

(and if you dare suggest that 'possession' is ownership, then I'll steal all your stuff and when the police show up, I'll tell them you said that and that "I" possess it now. Therefore by your own words, it's mine)

Edited by treii28

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It is immoral to share intellectual property which you call 'an illegal downloading stuff'. (I doesn't mean to show your friend a book, but, for instance, to print it for him.)

But if you succeed to get the notes for a favorite musical work, to discover a physical formula or to alayze speech from a fiction book your friend had shown you, I don't see any moral problem.

Intellectual property rights are about business, and are no proper if you want to keep your intellectual property for your own.

T.R.

Edited by Tomer Ravid

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