The Generational Divide in Copyright Morality

Throughout the article, it seems that those that feel that the copying or burning of copyrighted materials is immoral are the aging populations. There is a strong generational divide, apparently, between those who feel that this action is immoral or not. It seems as though the younger population, those that grew up with this technology, feel that this is acceptable and okay. However, those from a different time seem to think differently. Whichever way you slice it, there will always be exceptions and differences in opinion. These shades of grey is where this debate rages on, and this keeps the issue of illegal copying at the forefront of our moral dilemmas.
The fact is, many bands do not mind that their music is being downloaded. In fact, many love the exposure. I was recently reading a magazine with a director talking about his new movie, and in the interview he said “You can buy it in any store.. or just YouTube it, who would buy something when you can get it for free?”. These were the direct words of a man in the industry. In another personal opinion, I recently tried to buy a CD of a band I heard at a concert. When I asked the musician if they had CD’s to buy, he said that they didn’t but that I could “just download them”. He was completely fine with me downloading his music, in fact he seemed impressed that I would think that highly of them to do it.
When broken down, the problems we are facing now are simply magnified versions of the problems that occurred when VHS recorders came out: even then people were “stealing” movies or television shows without permission. This, however, has since become a non-issue. The entertainment industry is still holding strong, despite the availability of these illegal recordings in the 1980’s. I feel that soon the music and film industry will also grow and adapt to this new form of “theft”, and that the results will be a more consumer friendly, technologically advanced system. By forcing the industry to advance, we are in turn making everything better for ourselves.

Ryan O’Shea

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