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[personal profile] stephiny
I'm somewhat prone to obsessing over what is right when it comes to moral issues. I end up thinking way more than is healthy, like the time that it was suggested to me that using wikipedia in any way for coursework was cheating. I'm still of the opinion that it's not, because proper research papers include bibliographies too, and the main thing I use wikipedia for is to find relevant sources of information on a subject. She wouldn't explain why or how it was cheating though, so I still find myself occasionally tearing the subject apart in my head trying to figure out how it is wrong.

The same goes for my thoughts on piracy. B thinks I'm a thief, and today on facebook this status was posted, "Ebook piracy is theft. If you upload or download an in-copyright ebook without paying for it you are a thief. No ifs, ands, or buts. You are a thief. It's no different to walking out of a shop with a book under your coat."

When two people that I respect disagree with me, that's a fairly strong sign that there is some kind of flaw in my logic. I can't for the life of me figure out what it is though, and it's not like I haven't carefully examined every issue that I can think of relating to it. I'm obviously missing something and it's really frustrating.

I understand perfectly that in terms of what the law states, I am a thief. Ethically though, I don't want to steal. I just have a different definition of theft to most people and if it's actually wrong then I have a lot of fixing that I need to do.

When I've watched a film online more than once I try to buy a copy. This is why I have a pile of DVDs that are still in their wrappers. I buy them because it seems wrong not to, because I've watched it enough that I can't justify not owning a copy. When it comes to books I read whatever is freely availible online first. Google books or amazon often have long excerpts that I can read to decide if I want to buy something or not. If I can't find anything like that, I'll hunt down a copy to download and read and I have a hard time stopping reading something partway through. I almost always read those to the end, even if the books are shit and not worth buying at all, which is wrong but still not resulting in the loss of a sale. At least there aren't many books that I download and don't go on to buy. I have a nice little pile of unread paperbacks because of this, though most books I like to read multiple times and I get enticed by the new book smell so they tend not to go unread for long.

But then again, everyone already knows I do that. I'm still missing something and it's going to drive me nuts until I figure it out.

Date: 2010-08-17 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arc-stormcrow.livejournal.com
I suppose the question is what you do with it. Barnes & Noble, for example, puts comfy chairs in between their bookshelves, so you can plop down, read part of a book, and decide whether or not you want it. I suppose you could probably read an entire book, then put it back, and treat it like your own personal library, but they'd probably get upset if you did that often.

That said, I've sat down and read a chapter or so, to see if I like a new author. In part, for money's sake, but also because I don't have the time these days to spend my reading time on crappy books. ::shrugs:: So I want to make sure that I'm going after the quality stuff.

Same thing with music. I've downloaded some songs (or listened to online versions) to see if I like a band. Hearing one song on the radio and liking it is one thing, but if the rest of their music sucks, I'll just pick up the track on iTunes instead of buying the whole album.

(And, as an aside, I don't see how using Wikipedia on coursework would be cheating. Maybe on a test, if it's not open book, but for normal papers or stuff like that, it makes perfect sense to me. It's just another reference source, really, just one with variable quality.)

Date: 2010-08-17 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stephiny.livejournal.com
It's always struck me as odd that brick and mortar bookshops actively encourage people to read before they buy, but something similar on the internet is seen as somehow something entirely different. Obviously a book read online can be read repeatedly whereas attempting to do that in a bookshop would get some objections from the staff. I do like that some publishers allow excerpts of books to be available on amazon for people to look at, and I'm sure that they must see some kind of benefit when it comes to the number of sales.

As you've probably already realised, I use amazon a lot. I buy my music from them as well and I like that the site allows the labels to make available 30 seconds of each track on an album so that I can listen first. It's interesting that listening to an album first is something that can't be done in shops. I'd quite like to see what impact that has on sales *heads to google*

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July 2011

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