Digital Piracy: The Robin Hood Myth

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Digital piracy is the act of downloading copyrighted material from the internet without paying for said material. The definition alone is strikingly similar to that of theft, albeit catered towards digital age applications. Theft of physical property is not a murky subject legally, however, the popularity of the Robin Hood myth would suggest it may be morally. The transition to theft of digital property has only served to obfuscate the issue of morality. Analyzing the issue from a utilitarian perspective may elucidate the morality or perhaps reveal shortcomings in utilitarianism. Utilitarians universally determine morality based whether the consequences of an act have maximized utility. Though all utilitarians examine consequences, differences …show more content…
Nevertheless, an example from the past will aid in better predicting future repercussions. When Napster emerged, the entertainment industry’s claims that piracy would lead to the downfall of the industry were much the same as they are today. Not only was this claim proven false, but also some independent or less radio popular bands at the time attribute their success to Napster. The reality of Napster’s impact provides reason to discount alarmist claims of a dire future for the entertainment and focus instead on the actual utility …show more content…
Rule utilitarianism act types do not capture the concept of digital piracy and make forming a convincing argument difficult. In contrast, act utilitarianism allows for fair judgment by considering actual consequences rather than alarmist predictions or legality. However, conclusions about the utilitarian views of digital piracy drawn above are not absolute, but instead are contingent on their outlined premises. Consequentially, the practice of definitively judging morality, even within a specific ethical theory, seems

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