Saturday, January 14, 2006

Is it ethical to download music I own? is a Russian site that provides mp3 encoded music. The copyright holders get nothing for this music. The musicians get nothing. Unsurprisingly, it's very cheap.

Whether or not it's illegal to download that music (in Russia, murder is almost a misdemeanor), it's certainly unethical.

But what about music I own on old cassette tapes or LPs? It is ethical and probably legal for me to digitize that music and load it in iTunes. Is it ethical (forget legal) for me to download the mp3 of the music I own from instead of wasting hours on the digitizing?

Which is more likely to lead to future revenue to the license holders -- music on tapes I don't listen to, or music I listen to that leads me to purchase new CDs? On the other hand,'s main mission is theft, so my money would be supporting their primary mission. On the other hand, the amount of money coming to them from people like me would always be insignificant.

Hmmm. I could ask my friend Lin, but shortly after getting the words 'allofmp3' out of my mouth I would need plastic surgery ...

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