Downloading (copying) does not take (replace) the original from the owner (in fact it increases the amount of possession
), so at best, it is incomplete akusala kammapatha. It is also sharing (dāna), especially if you give it to others. So maybe some kusala is possible.
Furthermore, what is "taking another's property"? Being the one who rips the original DVD or CD and gives copies to others for free?
If one downloads what is given for free (by the ripper) what is broken? The owner (the uploader) can give it for free. So from him, it is not "taking what is not given".
"There are five constituents of this act: another's possession, awareness that it is another's possession, the mind to steal, the activity, and the carrying off (of the object) thereby
Commentary to Samma-Ditthi sutta:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#fnt-8
3 first factors are possibly fulfilled.
4th factor is questionable.
5th factor is not fulfilled.
But if you give this copy to others for free, isn't it dāna (generosity) on your part?
This brings to another question. I understand how personally ripping the DVD to hard drive and posting it could fulfill first 3 of 5 factors. But those who download the file, they are not taking the real owners property. They copy what is freely given by that original DVD ripper? So maybe there isn't even any breaking of 2nd precept. This is digital world of 21st century, not 5th Century BC.
(we can replace DVD with CD from which one rips mp3 music files).
Alex, "Robin Hood",
-that is a bit of bending laws until they fit!
If property of another is ILLEGALLY downloaded, it is just that: Illegal. And that was the question of the topic starter.
4th factor (activity) is questionable.
It is not. The action of an illegal
download is illegal, and thus breaking the 2 precept.
5th factor [carrying off]is not fulfilled.
Of course not, because it is not a material good that can be carried like goods in the Buddhas times!
Nevertheless, it is property:
Intellectual property (IP) is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law.
Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.
Although many of the legal principles governing intellectual property have evolved over centuries, it was not until the 19th century that the term intellectual property began to be used, and not until the late 20th century that it became commonplace in the United States. The British Statute of Anne 1710 and the Statute of Monopolies 1623 are now seen as the origin of copyright and patent law respectively.
In addition to that, The Buddha often emphazized to respect the "laws" of a land, f.i. in "illicit sex".
If I use any of Alan's or Ven Appichatos photographs without asking their permission and download them illegally to my machine, I am breaking the 2nd precept.
So I will ask first, and have to accept the reply.
I either buy or get it for free, and that's all there is to think about!
It's the same with music downloads, etc.
If it's illegal, that's all she wrote. If in doubt, ask permission, and you will find out. That's a general advice to everybody.
More often than not people will give permission and, if that is their livelyhood, downloading their intellectual property without their consent is a grave offence, which leads to enourmous loss if many peope do it, not just "another 10 $".
Hope that makes it clear.
It is worth a thought if we need to aquire possessions here.
There is always the option to watch something on Youtube etc, WITHOUT a download to one's machine.
And charity to others with stolen goods is no charity.
It's trying to find noble excuses for a bad thing, it's trying to play Robin Hood without having a case.
Illegal downloads are about luxury goods everybody can survive without.