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Old 08-15-2006, 12:41 PM   #46
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Hm, well, I'm not 30+, but I'm 21 and just finished college. I've not encoutered this attitude in high school or college. The only friend I had that stole was actually a kleptomaniac (I mean she had issues in her head and needed help). As for cheating, in my school any form of cheating or plagiarism results in automatic failure of the entire course. It's actually quite easy to catch and in college most people were smart enough (or fearful enough) not to even consider it. Maybe it's different at other colleges? My experience has been the opposite of what you described. My parents, who are 48 and 50, were out of control, my dad especially loved to party and loved his drugs. He dropped out of the junior college after one semester. In high school, many of his friends only graduated because they told the teachers if they were not allowed to pass, the teacher would be stuck with them for another year. He also said one of his friends would turn in other people's papers (these were hand written papers) and not even bother trying to write them in his own hand or change a few words. Not that I really care, my dad is a fine dad and has a great job, but I've never had any experiences like that as a teen or young adult.
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:24 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
the tracks acquired for the mixed CD came from my old CDs, some downloads, and some tracks that i ripped from mixed CDs that other people had made for me.

at some point, someone paid for the track, and it was passed along.

the record industry would consider most acts of creativity that they cannot control -- such as my making mixed CDs -- to be theft because it means greater profits for them.

what if i taped the last season of The Sopranos off HBO and gave a copy of it to my friend just down the street.

is that stealing?

and what is the "thing" we are talking about? can i physically hold the tracks in my hand? can i contain music in my hands?

i've paid for the blank CD. i've paid for some of the songs on the compiliation. i've paid for the hardware that allows me to burn the CD.

or is it that things like movies, music, television shows -- what you're really paing for is the delivery system of the "product," and not the "product" itself.

have i puchased Achtung Baby -- or have i purchased the CD through which i can listen to Achtung Baby?

who else do i have to pay?
The law currently allows you to make a copy of a broadcast show for personal use. I think it is clear that if I download a season of a television show, I've taken away a sale from the show's owner.

I can record a television show to watch it later. Copying that show (creating multiple copies) for others enters the gray area. The enterainment industry didn't fight so hard when copies naturally degraded with each subsequent copy. Now that digital copies are near perfect mirror images (compression may cause some loss of quality), the industry is putting more effort into the process.

Do you really think that if one person buys the media, and the rest of us get free copies, no stealing is involved?
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:32 PM   #48
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Do you really think that if one person buys the media, and the rest of us get free copies, no stealing is involved?


if i were selling CDs, i'd agree with you.

as gifts, on a small level, no i don't consider it stealing. i don't think it's as black-and-white as you do.

how do you feel about bootlegs of U2 concerts? should U2 collect a royalty every time someone trades a bootleg?
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:43 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
if i were selling CDs, i'd agree with you.

as gifts, on a small level, no i don't consider it stealing. i don't think it's as black-and-white as you do.
I don't see it as a felony theft, but technically it is still a crime.

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
how do you feel about bootlegs of U2 concerts? should U2 collect a royalty every time someone trades a bootleg?
Again, we haven't acquired the rights to the live recording and the recording was obtained by covert means. I think we've comforted ourselves by (i) not selling bootlegs, trading or giving away only, and (ii) citings statements by Bono or the Edge that non-sale of such recordings is okay. Of course, this didn't stop us from seeking out recordings back at the beginning of the Vertigo tour.

Once we get use to a cartain level of wrongdoing, what is to stop us from letting it grow?
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:12 PM   #50
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


I don't see it as a felony theft, but technically it is still a crime.



and like many technical crimes, most law enforcement agencies don't feel as if it's worth enforcing, and since i'm quite certain no one is going to be harmed when i give my mother the CD along with the gift i bought her in Switzerland last spring, i feel fully comfortable that making her drive to work a bit more pleasant is worth any sort of "stealing" i might have committed.



[q]Again, we haven't acquired the rights to the live recording and the recording was obtained by covert means. I think we've comforted ourselves by (i) not selling bootlegs, trading or giving away only, and (ii) citings statements by Bono or the Edge that non-sale of such recordings is okay. Of course, this didn't stop us from seeking out recordings back at the beginning of the Vertigo tour.[/q]

i fully enjoy the bootlegged DVDs and CDs i've acquired from the shows, and i'm quite certain Bono is happy to have me have them.

i can't help but think that mindless adherence to certain principles is an exercise in self-aggrandizement -- look at how virtuous i am!



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Once we get use to a cartain level of wrongdoing, what is to stop us from letting it grow?
common sense?
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:22 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
and like many technical crimes, most law enforcement agencies don't feel as if it's worth enforcing, and since i'm quite certain no one is going to be harmed when i give my mother the CD along with the gift i bought her in Switzerland last spring, i feel fully comfortable that making her drive to work a bit more pleasant is worth any sort of "stealing" i might have committed.
I understand the cost-benefit analysis for enforcement. There are many crimes which selectively go unenforced. Five minutes in an automobile demonstrates that every day.

I don't think we want to use lack of enforcement, however, as the measuring stick for what is and what is not a crime.


Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
common sense?
Actually, this is a relatively poor method of limiting an increase in wrong doing. I believe the majority of those incarcerated started with fairly small infractions, allowing them to grow over time. The sense they used was not as common as we'd like to think.
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:26 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
I don't think we want to use lack of enforcement, however, as the measuring stick for what is and what is not a crime.


why not? i'm pretty sure i commit crimes in Virgina each weekend, but i don't see anyone coming to lock me up for them (at least not yet). i committed a crime last night. technically.

the principle is that no one is harmed by my "crimes." and, yes, i know what they are, and i'm quite certain there aren't any hidden victims of my actions.



Quote:
Actually, this is a relatively poor method of limiting an increase in wrong doing. I believe the majority of those incarcerated started with fairly small infractions, allowing them to grow over time. The sense they used was not as common as we'd like to think.
and how many people make mixed CDs with downloaded tracks, give them to their mothers for their birthday, yet somehow manage to get through life not selling bootlegged CDs of U2 conerts out of the trunk of their car in the parking lot after the Philly show?
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:46 PM   #53
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Re: A Question For My Fellow 30+ers

Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
I am 39 years old. Lately, I've really taken notice of some things that really bothers me about a growing number of "young uns". Seems to me that the line between right and wrong sure seems to be getting blurred more and more.
Do you also see a disturbing sinking of basic moral values? Does it bug the crap out of you like it does me?
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Im 44 and agree with you.
Here's info on a book you may enjoy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slouching_Towards_Gomorrah

dbs
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:22 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Are "we" stealing more because we're morally corrupt or because you dinosaurs had no Internets?

Stealing was occuring 20 years ago it was just at a much slower rate, those damn cassettes and VHS tapes are pretty slow.

So I don't see any "moral" difference in the last 20 years when it comes to this...
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:22 PM   #55
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Please, please - can't we just go and join together in the spirit of wiping out the Boomers thus saving us untold millions of dollars in social welfare
I'm still thinking about the bonobos...Do they engage in Gen. bashing? Seriously though, you sound like an ageist...don't forget, if you're not in the grave you too will grow old one day. I know, (well, I think) you're joking, but many a thing said in jest...blah blah. (And I'm not a 'boomer' defending the boomers, nor am I part of gen. X--god how i hate labels...I'm in that space in-between. But Bono's considered a boomer, so WTF?)


Irvine511 and crusader, your dialogue was quite engaging. Irvine, do you think Bono and the boys would be okay with taking their music if they weren't so bloody wealthy? As a writer and an aritst myself, I value and need the protection of copyright and TMing. I can understand the disgust at big co. and rationalizing personal ethical choices, but c'mon man, your brain ought to be fully developed by now. If you have to justify or rationalize something there's a clue that there might be something wrong with it.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:13 PM   #56
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Originally posted by JCR
Irvine511 and crusader, your dialogue was quite engaging. Irvine, do you think Bono and the boys would be okay with taking their music if they weren't so bloody wealthy? As a writer and an aritst myself, I value and need the protection of copyright and TMing. I can understand the disgust at big co. and rationalizing personal ethical choices, but c'mon man, your brain ought to be fully developed by now. If you have to justify or rationalize something there's a clue that there might be something wrong with it.

firstly, my brain is fully developed, and i don't think making distinctions and fully thinking through an issue is at all rationalizing.

if i were taking your music and selling it, that would be one thing. that's piracy, and that's illegal. if i am taking your music and putting it on a CD for someone else, i would think this would be a good thing for the artist -- more people are hearing your music! this will most likely lead to greater record and concert sales in the future.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:36 PM   #57
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Re: Re: A Question For My Fellow 30+ers

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Originally posted by diamond


80s-
Im 44 and agree with you.
Here's info on a book you may enjoy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slouching_Towards_Gomorrah

dbs
This is just another blame the left, athiest, and hollywood for all the wrong, America was better when we were segregated and the women stayed home bullshit waste of paper.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:37 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



firstly, my brain is fully developed, and i don't think making distinctions and fully thinking through an issue is at all rationalizing.

if i were taking your music and selling it, that would be one thing. that's piracy, and that's illegal. if i am taking your music and putting it on a CD for someone else, i would think this would be a good thing for the artist -- more people are hearing your music! this will most likely lead to greater record and concert sales in the future.
I knew your brain was fully developed, I was just messin' with ya. Thinking through an issue isn't the same as rationalizing or justifying unethical behaviour one has actually committed or thinking of committing.

Gotch yer point on the latter and I agree
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:54 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
if i were taking your music and selling it, that would be one thing. that's piracy, and that's illegal. if i am taking your music and putting it on a CD for someone else, i would think this would be a good thing for the artist -- more people are hearing your music! this will most likely lead to greater record and concert sales in the future.
I agree with your analysis that the sharing would likely benefit the artist. The recording industry would say that is not your decision to make.
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:35 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
the reason most kids cheat in school, i think, is not necessarily because they're lazy, but because they know that they are being judged by a set of highly arbitrary markers. it's insanely difficult to get into college these days, something i don't think people over 40 truly appreciate until it comes time for their children to apply. and the more you understand how the process works -- GPA, SATs, clubs/sports/music -- and you've been taught that college acceptance is the be-all, end-all summation of your childhood (and that important sticker on the car), then the process of learning takes a backseat to the accumulation of various "points" that will make you more attractive to an admissions committee.

it's also vastly easier to cheat than it was 20 years ago. i bet you 20 years ago if you'd all had the same tools as kids today do, you'd have just as many people cheating as today.
I agree that it's easier (plagiarism, which I typically encounter multiple times per semester--and not just from my undergrads--comes to mind), but I'm a bit confused as to what you're suggesting about the (im?)morality of it by referring to it in tandem with downloading. In the latter case there's often sincere disagreement about what does and doesn't qualify as theft, even setting aside the "record companies are greedy" rationalizations (which often seem to be acknowledging that it's theft, but arguing that in context theft isn't always wrong, depending on the behavior of the party being "deprived" through theft). But cheating is a bit less of a gray area, is it not? What room for disagreement would there be as to whether sneaking answers for a test into the classroom, or presenting work lifted from some article online as your own, is outside the bounds of the expected teacher-student relationship?

Incidentally, the growth of the "publish or perish" imperative has similarly given rise to increased "cheating" among academics...falsifying one's CV with references to nonexistent publications, plagiarizing the work of colleagues (sometimes with their consent--"swapping"), etc., to the point that many universities now employ quite a few people just to track down things like this. So I'm not sure the perceived significance of "process" necessarily increases with age--not in any across-the-board way, anyhow. On paper maybe, I can appreciate the argument that your average cheating student finds it easy enough to justify their means according to their ends (GPA), because after all your average student doesn't plan to become a teacher, so they have little sense of stake in the mutual integrity of that relationship. But in practice it seems that even those who do plan to teach are nowadays more likely to manipulate that "process," and that unfortunately, this trend continues on into their professional lives as scholars. Which unless we academics are an exceptionally corrupt lot , makes me wonder what sort of analogous manipulations my cheating students who continue on into business, politics, law, etc. might be committing. I'm not saying some of them won't ultimately "snap out of it," so to speak...but for those that do, I'm skeptical whether aging is really the catalyst. Perhaps it's that they feel less judged by arbitrary markers? Plenty of careers offer those in abundance, though, and practically any authority figure can be reframed as merely an obstacle to your getting what you need, want or deserve.

Now whether all this adds up to solid evidence of some *general* decline in moral integrity, I don't know. But I do very much see it as a serious problem and a threat to the value of learning, the increases in ease and incentives for cheating notwithstanding. I can be sympathetic to the pressures my students who cheat are under without on the one hand saying "Well they'll grow up eventually, it's no big deal so I'm letting it slide," or on the other, "This is hopeless. They're so gutted that nothing I can say will get through to them, so I'll just give them an F and skip the consultation." (I do have colleagues who do both.) I know not all of them will listen or care, but I feel like I owe it to them and to my profession, not to mention the people whose lives they'll affect in the future, to try.
Quote:
as for downloading ... i think this is actually a poor example of stealing. one thing kids today have a lot more of is information, and the more information you have the tougher it is to live by broad pinciples because exceptions and distinctions start to pop up all over the place. when you realize that it costs only pennies to manufacture a CD, and then HMV turns around and tries to get you to buy it at $18.99, and only 3 tracks are any good anyway, it's hard to feel too much sympathy for a massive record company and an insanely overpaid artist if you get those 3 good tracks over Kazaa.
I don't know that that many artists are insanely overpaid, but at any rate, is sympathy really the appropriate criterion for determining if it's wrong or not?

The disagreement about whether making mixes, especially from stuff you already own in hard copy, constitutes any kind of theft I can understand--in part because by the time I was a teenager, making mixes on cassette (CD burners came later obviously, though CDs were around) was commonplace, and not something it occured to anyone I knew to see as wrong, especially since the commercial availability of singles was so paltry at the time. I did then though, and still do, have reservations about swapping recordings of whole albums--you tape Black Flag for me, I'll tape Sonic Youth for you--because once you get a large-scale dynamic of that going, then quite a few less albums are being sold relative to the number of people who are availing themselves of what, in theory, you're supposed to buy the album to enjoy. I find it hard not to conclude that that has serious potential to hurt artists in the big picture. Now admittedly the market is less album-oriented these days; on the other hand, obviously singles are much more readily available commercially, so I'm inclined to think the same logic still holds, and if anything applies more now to mixes than it did in the past. But considering the example my "generation" has set in this regard (if 30-somethings constitute a separate generation; I think perhaps, technologically speaking, we do) I'll grant this makes it a bit harder for me to deny the existence of a gray area in good conscience.

I do agree though that anecdotal examples of young people who think it's no big deal to steal from Wal-Mart (thank you Abbie Hoffman???) make a poor basis for broad generalizations about moral decline, and that you have to take the nature and scope of the relevant temptations *and disincentives* into account if you're going to point to an increase in violations (in which case stats would be helpful) as evidence for a general decline in "moral fiber." When I managed a (chain) bookstore in grad school (we also sold music and video) "internal shrink," as we called it, was a significant problem, and there were various policies (bag checks, no merchandise allowed in employee-only areas, etc.) in place to combat it, some of which occasionally raised hackles. The standard explanation given to managers of why these policies were necessary was "Don't give good people a reason to do bad things," which could be taken as condescending, but I did appreciate the thinking behind it. And it was my experience with the employees I had to fire for stealing that most of them had started with something small and then, almost compulsively, gotten into helping themselves to more. None of them ever tried to tell me it wasn't a big deal, though...I think because as someone they knew and worked with, it was harder for them to project abstract "stealing-from-the-thieves" type rationalizations onto my place in it all. Similarly, I've never had a student caught plagiarizing try to tell me it's OK because they need a good GPA. If people don't fundamentally have faith in "the system" and act accordingly, then it's only a question of time before someone else bites back, and that's when the depth of your belief in the legitimacy of what you're doing will really matter.
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