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Discussion Starter #1
Do you folks have objections to downloading movies/music/TV shows for your entertainment as opposed to buying/renting ?

There is no question a good deal of money can be saved but there are a few lingering questions

1. Is it ethical in your opinion or even legal in your neck o' the woods ?

2. Does it save that much money ? We certainly need to factor in the cost of high-speed Internet (as opposed to Internet Lite for example) and the extra cost if you exceed certain download threshold.

I do download music but I typically buy movies from Blockbuster/Rogers via their Previously Viewed programs where I can get 2 movies for $20. I like to build up a small collection for the occasional movie nights with friends and families...I understand we can now download 720p and 1080p so I will look into that before I make the jump to Blu-ray...I find it hard to shell out $20 for a Blu-ray disc.

What's your take on this ?
 

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Do you folks have objections to downloading movies/music/TV shows for your entertainment as opposed to buying/renting ?

There is no question a good deal of money can be saved but there are a few lingering questions

1. Is it ethical in your opinion or even legal in your neck o' the woods ?

2. Does it save that much money ? We certainly need to factor in the cost of high-speed Internet (as opposed to Internet Lite for example) and the extra cost if you exceed certain download threshold.

I do download music but I typically buy movies from Blockbuster/Rogers via their Previously Viewed programs where I can get 2 movies for $20. I like to build up a small collection for the occasional movie nights with friends and families...I understand we can now download 720p and 1080p so I will look into that before I make the jump to Blu-ray...I find it hard to shell out $20 for a Blu-ray disc.

What's your take on this ?
Stealing is stealing, no matter how much people rationalize it. :)
 

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To be more precise: copyright violations are copyright violations. But you don't have to violate copyright to cut down on your TV, movie and music costs.

There's plenty of streaming radio sites like lastfm.com and you can often download free singles from artist and publisher web sites. You can also save a little by ditching your iTunes account (which recently just upped prices for most of their singles) and registering at emusic.com. That'll give you more bang for your buck (assuming you like indie, classical and jazz).

For movies, you can buy used or register at zip.ca (Cdn equivalent of netflix). Or you can download out-of-copyright or Creative Commons releases like sitasingstheblues.com (absolutely gorgeous animated re-telling of a tale from the Ramayana).

For TV, you can do what I did and ditch the cable subscription and go back to antenna. I recently bought a HiDef UHF antenna for my LCD screen and I can get a surprisingly large number of US and CDN channels. Obviously, this will vary depending on where you are.
 

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I develop software for a living and create content on the blog that is often stolen by spam blogs and I'm very sensitive about copyright issues. For me downloading movies / music is a strict nay.

There is one gray area I'm not sure about. If you already own a movie, is it okay to make backups for strictly personal use? I think it is but the law may not agree.
 

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In Canada we pay a tariff on recordable media. As far as the industry was concerned you've already stolen their intellectual property and are charging you for it.

Now the industry is crying bloody murder because they under estimated the proliferation of file sharing. The MP3 compression format and adsl/cable made it possible for everyone to download quality content in a reasonable amount of time. As far as I'm concerned the industry shot themselves in the foot and am opposed to any changes in Canada's copy right laws.
 

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I develop software for a living and create content on the blog that is often stolen by spam blogs and I'm very sensitive about copyright issues. For me downloading movies / music is a strict nay.
I'm pretty conflicted on this issue. I disagree with overly restrictive copyright laws and think they can stifle creativity as often as promote it (see the above linked sitasingstheblues.com to see how copyright restrictions on 80 year old music sabotaged the commercial release of that movie).

That said, I'm also a content creator (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/hodge) who has had a little success in selling his photography and I would hate the unauthorized re-sale of my images. However, most of them are creative commons share-alike licensed and I'm happy to see my work freely copied for non-commercial use.

There is one gray area I'm not sure about. If you already own a movie, is it okay to make backups for strictly personal use? I think it is but the law may not agree.
Unfortunately, what's legal and what's ethical don't always intersect. In those cases, I'll go with my own sense of ethics regardless of the letter of the law. Nothing wrong with making personal backups.

In fact, I see nothing wrong with downloading free digital copies of any music you ever purchased regardless of format or whether you even still own a copy. It could be argued that this type of format-shifting is perfectly legit because, under the terms of purchase, you don't actually own the music, just a license to listen. So why shouldn't that license be freely transferable to other media formats? I don't believe this argument has ever been tested in a court of law but I'm comfortable with my interpretation esp. since it lets me listen to my DESS remaster of the Beatles Blue Box "Abbey Road" instead of the crappy EMI CD release with a clear conscience ;)
 

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In Canada we pay a tariff on recordable media. As far as the industry was concerned you've already stolen their intellectual property and are charging you for it.
Yes, that is a stupid tariff. Why should I have to pay a tariff on blank media when I want to back up my personal files? It is especially grating when you pay the tariff and have never downloaded music or movies.

That said, downloading still infringes intellectual property, stupid tariffs or not. Just because someone stole my wallet doesn't mean I have the right to go out and do the same.
 

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In Canada we pay a tariff on recordable media. As far as the industry was concerned you've already stolen their intellectual property and are charging you for it.

Now the industry is crying bloody murder because they under estimated the proliferation of file sharing. The MP3 compression format and adsl/cable made it possible for everyone to download quality content in a reasonable amount of time. As far as I'm concerned the industry shot themselves in the foot and am opposed to any changes in Canada's copy right laws.
Retail stores of all sorts build a 'shrinkage' percentage into their prices, to compensate for shoplifters. Insurance companies factor fraud costs into your policy costs. Etc, etc. The good people always pay for the misdeeds of the bad.

No difference with recordable media. Certainly not a rationalization to steal intellectual material. Not sure if that was the point you were making...
 

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Nah I'm not really rationalizing IP theft I'm just annoyed by the whole tariff issue.

They were happy screwing everyone whether they were stealing media or not. Now that they are on the losing end of that deal they want to change the rules. I think if they want copy rights laws changed in Canada then all the tariff money they've ever collected over the years should be returned.


@bullseye I'm sure they factor that into DVD and CD costs already. The tariff is probably double dipping for them.
 

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I'm a regular iTunes user as I feel the musicians should be paid for their talent and hard work. That said I do take advantage of the free downloads if I like them and buy iTune cards at Costco where you can get $60 worth of gift cards for $50. I'm as thrifty as the next person but feel strongly about ripping artists off.
 

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I'm a content creator, a lawyer who works mainly in IP, and an employee of a software company. I deal with IP issues on a daily basis, both personally and professionally. And yes, I violate copyrights all the time.

However, I wouldn't say that my motivation is to save money- it's generally more for purposes of convenience than for cost savings, although money does play some factor. While music downloads are arguably the least likely to run afoul of copyright laws (and I stress "arguably"), I'm much more likely to pay for "legitimate" music downloads than for videos or other content.

I can't help but think that a major part of the reason why I and so many others tend to disregard many copyright restrictions is because Canada's legislation is totally out of step with current technologies and public opinions. When the law is viewed by many (perhaps even most?) people as being of little concern or effect, we all become "criminals" and see even less validity in the law. It has a bit of a snowball effect- the more people find that they have already violated the law, the less they care about continuing to do so.

Until Canada updates its IP laws, I'll continue to upload CDs and old albums to my iPod, record shows with my PVR, and download those episodes of Lost that I missed. I may not always feel great about it, but I don't feel bad enough to stop. :eek:
 

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I'm a content creator, a lawyer who works mainly in IP, and an employee of a software company. I deal with IP issues on a daily basis, both personally and professionally. And yes, I violate copyrights all the time.

However, I wouldn't say that my motivation is to save money- it's generally more for purposes of convenience than for cost savings, although money does play some factor. While music downloads are arguably the least likely to run afoul of copyright laws (and I stress "arguably"), I'm much more likely to pay for "legitimate" music downloads than for videos or other content.

I can't help but think that a major part of the reason why I and so many others tend to disregard many copyright restrictions is because Canada's legislation is totally out of step with current technologies and public opinions. When the law is viewed by many (perhaps even most?) people as being of little concern or effect, we all become "criminals" and see even less validity in the law. It has a bit of a snowball effect- the more people find that they have already violated the law, the less they care about continuing to do so.

Until Canada updates its IP laws, I'll continue to upload CDs and old albums to my iPod, record shows with my PVR, and download those episodes of Lost that I missed. I may not always feel great about it, but I don't feel bad enough to stop. :eek:
Great comment MGL. Question for the lawyer in you, what are Canada's IP laws regarding the downloading of video? Is downloading permitted, but uploading/sharing not?
 

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Great comment MGL. Question for the lawyer in you, what are Canada's IP laws regarding the downloading of video? Is downloading permitted, but uploading/sharing not?
Short answer: no.

The ridiculously-oversimplified-but-slightly-longer answer: There is an argument that this may be the case for music, although the courts haven't yet definitely decided the issue and legal opinion is pretty divided. Section 80 of the Copyright Act allows for private copying of audio recordings to an "audio recording medium" and imposes the blank media levy that has already been discussed in this thread. There is debate over whether this section also allows for copying onto an iPod or hard drive- the wording of the Act suggests that it would, although this is far from certain. Uploading / sharing would still be off limits.

However, there is no similar provision for video, so those Lost episodes are forbidden fruit. :)
 

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There is debate over whether this section also allows for copying onto an iPod or hard drive- the wording of the Act suggests that it would, although this is far from certain.
Is there still debate? Weren't there rebate cheques sent out like 5 years ago because they had illegally charged levies on ipods.
 

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Is there still debate? Weren't there rebate cheques sent out like 5 years ago because they had illegally charged levies on ipods.
Oh yes, there's still quite a debate on this one! The courts have ruled that the Copyright Board doesn't have the power to impose a levy on digital music devices, but the question of whether an MP3 player can be considered an "audio recording medium" that falls within the private copying exception is a separate question that hasn't yet been adequately answered.
 

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Until Canada updates its IP laws, I'll continue to upload CDs and old albums to my iPod, record shows with my PVR, and download those episodes of Lost that I missed. I may not always feel great about it, but I don't feel bad enough to stop. :eek:
In my mind, I have no moral reservations whatsoever in using the internet to download an episode of a TV show that has been aired on a channel that I pay for on a monthly basis, for example, 24. Why? If I had a VCR, I could record it and watch it later. If I had a PVR, I could record it and watch it later. If I had a DVD-VCR, I could record it and watch it later.

Downloading from the internet is using another medium to watch it later. When Sony first introduced the VCR they were taken to court by Universal Studios who argued that this was a breach of copyright. Sony successfully defended the charge, saying that they were "time shifting". Which is precisely what I am doing, using another medium to perform this task.

The arguments that are put out re commercials support the cost of the broadcast are totally bogus. I've watched a few episodes of 24 on Rogers on Demand - guess what kids, other than advertising for other shows, there are no commercials!
 

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In my mind, I have no moral reservations whatsoever in using the internet to download an episode of a TV show that has been aired on a channel that I pay for on a monthly basis, for example, 24. Why? If I had a VCR, I could record it and watch it later. If I had a PVR, I could record it and watch it later. If I had a DVD-VCR, I could record it and watch it later.

Downloading from the internet is using another medium to watch it later. When Sony first introduced the VCR they were taken to court by Universal Studios who argued that this was a breach of copyright. Sony successfully defended the charge, saying that they were "time shifting". Which is precisely what I am doing, using another medium to perform this task.

The arguments that are put out re commercials support the cost of the broadcast are totally bogus. I've watched a few episodes of 24 on Rogers on Demand - guess what kids, other than advertising for other shows, there are no commercials!
Nick24, I tend to feel the same way "morally" as you do. It's just another delivery method, and I'm already paying (indirectly) through my cable bill.

I published a post on my blog today that takes it a step further and deals with my struggle over whether or not I should just cancel my cable package and just watch TV through online content and downloads.
 

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I published a post on my blog today that takes it a step further and deals with my struggle over whether or not I should just cancel my cable package and just watch TV through online content and downloads.
We don't watch too many primetime shows, and those that we do, can be viewed online or via on demand.

If it wasn't for the fact that I like to watch hockey in HD and my wife likes to watch baseball in HD, we'd get rid of the cable subscription in a heartbeat. I realize that you can watch some sport (TSN for example) via a streaming download, but after watching the Canada vs USA world junior hockey game at new year via streaming, I quickly came to the conclusion that it's not an option, after constantly having to refresh the heavily pixelated feed.
 
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