The digital age has somewhat muddied the waters. Once upon a time you could buy a book or a DVD and when you were finished using it you could pass it on to your friends so that they could enjoy it (you still can!), and that isn't considered stealing. Make a copy for them to view, with the same exact result (they get to see the movie or read the book), and suddenly it is illegal. The law was drafted to prevent people from making numerous copies and selling them for profit, a clear infringement to copyright. For a person to make a copy for a friend to view rather than snail mailing the original seems to be in a "shades of grey" area. I'd be surprised if most on this forum haven't at some point downloaded something for personal use that would infringe copyright if the letter of the law was applied.
You make a good point Shirley.. except that even 40 yrs ago you could tape or even xerox music/books to share, but it wasn't legal.
The problem is that if a person LOANS you his movie, snail mail, it goes to one person only, and it goes back to the owner… you don't get to keep a copy. If you put on a server, many can copy it. Right now musicians are in terrible financial straits over people pretty much stealing their work instead of buying it. Some music programs (I am blanking on names) pay the artists a bit every time you listen to their music, thanks to advertising. That's great. But if I want to own a song on my own computer or to burn on a disk, call me a patsy-- but yes, I buy it. I believe people who create books, music, art... they have a right to get paid as much as your plumber, mechanic or grocer. I don't sneak into movie theaters either, btw, not even if I could do it and not be caught.
Many digital books can be loaned, btw. I have borrowed a few and loaned many of mine through Amazon. You could, of course, just let someone borrow your e-reader or mp3 player, lol, but that's more generous than I want to be.
I don't know what the solution will be years from now... I know that cable companies tried to block recording movies and that didn't go over so well. So I do agree there are certainly conflicting and gray areas. But a cavalier approach to stealing, justifying it because the owner is rich, etc... that bothers me. And it bothers me for someone to try to pretend it is legal or for educational etc. If you are going to do something, man up. 🙂
Thanks for the calm voice. 🙂