Vakkali wrote:I'm almost certain that this has been discussed here before...but here it goes.
Does downloading music, books, or other kinds of media from the internet without paying constitute a violation of the second precept, in your opinion? What is it exactly that makes something stealing? Is it depriving the rightful owner of the object in question? If that's so, then downloading a copy of it doesn't count. Is it that fact that, when something is downloaded, the creator loses potential money that he or she would have earned through the sale of a physical copy? Really just looking for opinions, I know this won't lead to any definitive answers.
If only the Buddha had had the internet...
I worked a little on this with my family lately as one of them has been using cracked versions of proprietary software over the past decade or so. The problem was that every other year the vendor will release a new version of the product and as a bystander the fault lies on both sides of the coin i.e. both consumer and vendor. The software vendor phases out old editions too quickly, the user i.e. consumer forgets annually to include a budget as per software refreshes.
The other irony is that unlike perishable foods where they grow stale and rot after a couple of days, software stays on your computer once it's installed. Take for instance I am still using educational versions of propreitary software that was purchased while I was a student. In other words I paid up as a student. In the first situation above the predicament was that the vendor phased out old software. Right here the other situation, it's that the licensing was meant a couple of years ago which has changed as I entered the workforce.
It gave alot of problems trying to reconcile this, the monk who gave me my triple gem refuge told me to pass up on taking the Five Precepts until I sort all these out. He had a point I guess. I told him about e-precepts awhile ago.
In the spirit of free inquiry, I'm quite glad that when I'm over the internet we do ask questions and they do get answered. When I was in doubt, sometimes I spoke to a Live Support Chat at the vendor's official website.
I don't want to touch the dial on Google's platform-specific products like youtube you can read up in the news yourself. I won't wish to discourse about the public licenses such as GNU GPL when reading them requires sufficient legal knowledge to begin with. ... Essentially restraint as a good rule of thumb seems quite relevant. Some awareness, like asking ourselves why we need the online resources in the first place that can be useful as well. Of course, discernment is always important it is infeasible that another guy tell you what to do when he himself could be trying to cope himself. Come to think about it most internet users are pretty good at fasting, try sitting in front of a computer I've been at my terminal over more than an hour just keep your drinking water near to you, hydrating oneself keeping calm is as important as observing the precepts