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While I'm sure everyone here is discussing the great benefits of legal torrents and public-domain stuff (cough), I'll open myself up for ridicule by reminding participants that if you "accidentally" download something that is commercially release and/or copyrighted, you are morally obligated to pay the content creator and/or copyright holder. Stealing really does hurt the artist more than anyone else in the process.

Not saying anyone's stealing. Just a reminder, like "don't smoke." :)
 

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did you ever buy a blank VHS tape, or cassette tape?
Yes. Are you really that completely ignorant of the 1983 Betamax case? It's completely legal to tape for personal use, at least in the US (I'm aware I'm in a different country now, but still)

did you lend it to a friend, oh my god he may have copied it!
I don't generally "lend" my stuff to friends, no. I take the "personal use" part of "personal use" fairly seriously. What part of "personal use" are YOU having trouble with?

PS. What other people do is not my responsibility, morally or legally. Cain had it right when he said (originally in question form) "I am not my brother's keeper."

seriously, i know you intentions are good, but please dont feel compelled to "protect" us all every time a legitimate software thread turns to torrents.
Wasn't my intention to "protect" anyone, if I wanted to "protect" you I'd have called you all thieves and condemned your souls to hell for stealing. :)

I was reminding people that SOMEONE worked hard to make the things people download from torrents, whether it's a movie OR A LINUX DISTRO. It's irrelevant to what I said whether the torrent is being used to do something illegal or perfectly legal.

All I *actually said* was that if you download something that doesn't belong to you, you are morally obligated to pay for it unless it's been explicitly made clear that payment is not required. Even then, I donate to things like NeoOffice in order to SUPPORT THE WORK, not because I "should" or "have to" but because I want to.

there is a plethora of legal software and media available via bit torrents.
Yes there is, and my comments apply EQUALLY to those uses -- if you use it, pay for it (by donation or other forms of support if no direct-compensation model is required). But to pretend that the vast majority of torrent use isn't for illegal copying is BS and undermines your credibility.

i think your solution is part of the larger problem
I'd love to hear a fuller explanation of what this remark means. Seriously.

a) what was my "solution"? Looking back over my post, I don't see where I advocated one. I suggested that if you take something, you pay for it. It's the same model I use at the grocery store, and works very well for all involved. :)

b) what is the "larger problem" caused by proposing that people pay for what they take from the content creator/copyright holder?
 
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