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Advantages Of Downloading Copyrighted Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1611 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Copyright is a form of protection, by which we can protect the things that weve typed or manufacture and development of rules specifying how published. In these days we can download many things through the Internet without the knowledge of its reference and without paying for it. In this report I will highlight aspects of ethics about downloading copyright and its result, I will give a final suggestion to the dilemma.


Nowadays, we can see a lot of people who download many things without taking into account the copyright and that thing is against the low because they infringe on the rights of others. According to what Louis Kroeck says “It is not illegal to download copyrighted material as long as you have the consent of the authority.” (Kroeck, 2012)

Some sites are adding some of the articles or songs and claim that with the consent of the author, but in fact the opposite, which leads to legal prosecution for fraud they had and infringement on the rights of others. P2P network is the largest example of websites or software that allows the user to download any music for free from the Internet and exchanged over a single network. And the most famous of these sites are Limewire, forstwire, and Napster. Napster allows users to download the corresponding version of pedigreed free.

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People turn to music download sections, some books and other online without regard to copyright and to shorten the time and save money or indifference to it. According to what Max Baldwin says “In fact, 95 percent of music downloads from the internet are illegal downloads and only less than five people in the world have been arrested for illegal downloading as opposed to the millions of people that download illegally.” (Baldwin, 2010). Resulted in the roping the idea of some sites that are developing some of the articles and to the loss of musical copyright, respect the articles of the law that we must follow.


Advantages of downloading copyrighted:-

There are things around us may be unethical, but gave us some of the pros, the problem of downloading copyright where a small number of pros are:

Shortening the time, where we can find any song or article in any site and downloaded quickly on your computer and it saves us going to the songs stores and libraries. So we don’t have to wait for delivery.

Save money, where we can get on any album or a book or other for free, which is in fact a precious. So we will not paying for it.

Readily available, Sometimes we want to buy a song at the night and the store is closed, so we can get it from the internet. And sometimes some albums or books that are not available in the market and can be found in the Internet.it will be available in website all the time.

Disadvantages of downloading copyrighted:-

There are many negatives for downloading copyright problem and these are some of them:

Illegal and immoral, Known you when you download music or article without the author allow it, you are breaking the law, which allow to your exposure to legal repercussions.

Effects on Music Industry, According to ehow.com “According to ThinkQuest.org, every year the music industry loses approximately $4.2 billion to piracy worldwide. Musicians, too, rely on the sale of records to make a living, which in turn enables them to continue to be able to make music.” (What Are the Disadvantages of Downloading Free Music From the Web to Play on Your Own PC or CDs? Read more: What Are the Disadvantages of Downloading Free Music From the Web to Play on Your Own PC or CDs? , 2012)

Virus and Spyware and hacked program, when you download anything the subject your downloading can carry viruses and that’s can affect your computer, some viruses can damage your computer completely and you can never use the computer again.

Therefore, the question in the dilemma will be is downloading from the internet immoral?



Consequentialism refers to the type of philosophy implied in the principle of ethics and its aspects. In essence consequentialism means that the morally right action is the one with the best overall consequences (Grimmelmann, 2009). This means that the end results justify the means through which it is conceived.

In case of downloading copyrighted infringement, the first thing is to establish as the downloaded material is right or wrong and does it possess a greater risk if it is downloaded illegally (or infringement). This theory ponders on the fact that is the result obtained greater in theory than from the result of violation. The second important aspect of this theory is that whether that the result obtained due to the downloaded material cannot be obtained while violating lesser or something that is even less than that (Warwick, 1999).

This theory also ponders on the fact that copyright law is basically enacted to obtain information and promote creative activities. Although it is good to do so, these are not moral obligations that must be followed till the end. In light of this theory, downloading copyrighted material is not immoral.


Non-consequentialism takes on a different approach in this regard and this philosophy directly implies on the moral obligations of the action itself. According to this philosophy, some kinds of actions or activities are wrong in themselves (Woodcock, 2000) and not just wrong because they have negative results or consequences.

Speaking in terms of the issue of downloading copyrighted material, this theory discourages this kind of action. It is because copyrighted materials are the private property of some individuals and the decision lies solely with them that whether they want to distribute that material or not. This theory even characterizes the act of downloading copyrighted material as illegal or theft.

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There are certain boundaries of freedom that one can enjoy as long as he or she is not trampling on others. The issue of downloading copyrighted material directly relates to this theory as people use their ‘downloading’ freedom a little too much (Grimmelmann, 2009) and end up downloading copyrighted material for which they would have to pay something in reality. This is the reason that this theory categorizes this act of downloading copyrighted material as immoral.

Virtue-based ethics:-

This theory is more based on the relativity of action in terms of a virtuous person than the end result of the activity itself. In basic terms, this theory means that a right action or ethical action is one which the virtuous person would do under the same circumstances. Regarding the case of downloading copyrighted material, this theory takes an interesting twist.

Talking about the issue of downloading copyrighted material, this theory does not hold any final implication (Baldwin, 2010) as to whether this action can be considered right or wrong. If a knowledge source is being downloaded that can certainly benefit a lot of people, then this theory might shift in this case favor because a virtuous person is one who looks for the greater good.

However, if the downloading of copyrighted material is hurting the original owner and fewer benefits in this approach, then this theory might be against this feature. So it really depends upon the type of circumstances that is present at that time.


In my opinion, the ethical issue related to downloading copyrighted material lies solely with the subject of material being downloaded. There are tons of different things that are present on the internet and are copyrighted material (Woodcock, 2000). These might include movies, music, games, books, magazines and computer software.

I have to agree more with more of virtue based ethic here because this theory truly reflects on my thinking of this matter. The type of material that is being downloaded defines as to whether my action is moral or immoral and does downloading it provides me with any greater good (Grimmelmann, 2009). For example, a book that is quite expensive in the market and is out my budget range is available free on the internet; I will download it for my use. This is because I know that this book can help me and other fellow students in achieving personal growth which otherwise would have not been possible if I were to buy it. Virtue-based ethics theory discusses the actions of a pious or virtuous person in the same circumstance and according to me; I fall in this category and have a same outlook.


There is a never ending debate present on the issue of downloading copy righted material where one side strong-fully objects to it while the other side posts its benefits. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of this activity (Woodcock, 2000) and none of them seems to outweigh the other. In the end, it all depends upon the fact that whether the action performed has resulted in any major losses or trampling of moral issues.

The major thing to lookout for here is that whether the results obtained from downloading copyrighted material possess greater good. If copyright infringement poses a serious threat to the hard work of an individual, then without a doubt it is considered wrong as the person rightfully deserves the credit for his work by paying him or her. On the other hand, if it has more benefits than risks then it can be considered an acceptable act.


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