The Instigator
mackoman_93
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
belle
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Downloading music from or of conventionally "illegal" sources and/or methods is not justified.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
belle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/18/2010 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,874 times Debate No: 11468
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (9)
Votes (8)

 

mackoman_93

Pro

I affirm the resolution Resolved: Downloading music from or of conventionally "illegal" sources and/or methods is not justified.

But first, I offer the following observations in order to clarify today's debate.

OBSERVATION ONE: this resolution is not restricted to a geographic region, thus we can conclude that this debate is pertinent to international issues. Therefore arguments concerning foreign examples are both topical and legitimate.

OBSERVATION TWO: "Conventionally 'illegal' sources and/or methods" does not pertain strictly to the illegal downloading of music, but can also include any means of illegally obtaining music.

I offer the following definitions in order to clarify today's debate.

Download- to transfer (software, data, character sets, etc.) from a distant to a nearby computer (from the Random House Dictionary)

Justify- to give or to be a good reason for (from the Cambridge University Dictionary)

Under these definitions I present the following BURDEN which the con must uphold in order to be considered for winning the round. The con must show that there is sufficient reason to "illegally" download music.

My FIRST POINT is that MUSIC PIRACY HURST BOTH TH ARTISTS AND THE PERFORMERS. According to the Institute for Policy Innovation, the U.S. sound recording industry suffers direct losses of $5.3 billion annually as a result of global music piracy. This shows in numbers the billions of dollars that the U.S. sound recording industry alone loses every year as a result of music piracy. On a global scale Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year. Even if the con side could mitigate the significance of these numbers they still have to uphold the burden of showing them to be justified. Music piracy, both domestically and internationally, results in economic losses in the billions every year, causing financial harm to the very people who produce the music that is being stolen.

Furthermore, my SECOND POINT is that at times MONEY FROM ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING GOES TO THE WRONG PLACES. Last year in 2009 a BBC News article reported that a large amount of the money that funds Hezbollah is derived from selling illegally downloaded music. The money made form this music ends up fueling terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah. So in the case of the people who are impacted by these groups, buying illegally downloaded music further enables terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

Remember, the negative has the burden to prove that in light of the two points presented by the affirmative, obtaining music through illegal means IS justified.
belle

Con

First of all, I would like to point out that the resolution is a universal claim. This means that the resolution implies that all cases of music downloading from "conventionally illegal" sources are unjustified. I would also like to remind my opponent that the negation of a universal claim is not another universal claim (all cases of music downloading from "conventionally illegal" sources are justified) but an existential claim; in other words "there is at least one case of music downloading from a "conventionally illegal source" that is justified. And indeed, I affirm this point.

First though, we must be clear on what you mean by "conventionally illegal" sources. For this round I will assume this refers in the main to torrent programs, and others such as Limewire and Soulseek, that allow the user to download music free of charge over the internet. If PRO had something else in mind I ask that he bring it up in the next round.

Onwards. My burden in this debate is to show that in at least one case music is downloaded from a conventionally illegal source, this action was justified. My case for this round is radiohead's album "in rainbows". In 2007 Radiohead self released their album online, encouraging listeners to download the album at whatever price they thought was reasonable. 62% of users downloaded it for free. [1] Thus anyone who downloaded "in rainbows" from a P2P program paid exactly the same amount as the majority of people who obtained the album from the official source. Since Radiohead allowed people to download the album free of charge, anyone who did so regardless of source was justified in that action.

To address my opponent's other contentions:

1. Harm to artists/performers

I would first like to say that, except in special cases such as Radiohead's album above, illegal downloading is stealing and thus a crime. Given that however, it doesn't follow that it is never justified or that downloaders are solely at fault. The enormous leaps in technology over the last twenty years has easily rendered the old way of doing things in the recording industry obsolete. Yet record companies and artists continue to insist on running their businesses as if nothing has changed. Yes, they are hurt by the new technology, but this is partly because they allow themselves to be. If they restructured the way they ran their businesses they would still be able to make a profit selling and distributing music (though perhaps a diminished one).

An example for comparison: If I live with a thief, it is their action not mine that is wrong. However, one could still say that I am foolish and harming myself for not locking my door before I leave the house and for leaving valuables around. IOW: it can be true both that illegal downloading is wrong and that there are actions record companies can take to reduce their losses.

If the demand for a given product falls the profits of the manufacturers will fall as well. That is simply the result of a consumer based economy. It doesn't apply unfairly or inappropriately to only certain industries.

2. Money to fund terrorism

All I can say to this is: so what? The manner in which money is made and the ultimate use to which it is put by the person making it are completely unrelated. If I ran a charity providing shelter to the homeless and siphoned some of my donations to funding Osama Bin Ladin would that make my charity work "unjustified"? Absolutely not. The two do not rise and fall together.

Consider the resolution negated.

1.http://news.cnet.com...
Debate Round No. 1
mackoman_93

Pro

Let's take a look at my opponent's opening statement. She makes a very important point about the resolution being a "universal claim." Even if one accepts the frame work that my opponent has provided, that even one example could some how unravel my logic, we see that the ONE example that she has provided does not even fall under the resolution because it fails to fall under either opponents definition. My opponent provided Radiohead as an example stating, "Radiohead allowed people to download the album free of charge". Legality of obtaining music, is not so concerned with a transaction occurring, so much as it is about authors consent to their music being downloaded for free. Some authors allow this. In those instances it is perfectly legal. In this light, the sole example that my opponent provided to support her premise is completely off topic. With no support for her case her position falls and you must look to the affirmative.

Moving on to my arguments...

On my first point she points out that due to technological advances artists are in part allowing themselves to be hurt. However, this doesn't make sense. Just because we don't listen to music on record players anymore doesn't mean that businesses should run differently. Her argument fails to show how stealing music is justified. If recording companies run their business the same way they always have, then how does this establish in any way that stealing from the very music providers is justified? It doesn't an ultimately she has not upheld her burden as the negative to negate the resolution.

On to my point two...

Her response to my second point about terrorism was, "so what?" Contrary to my opponents beliefs, the manner in which one makes money and how one uses it are completely related. They are in fact dependent on one another (you need to get money to spend it). Then she goes on to provide a completely unrelated example of Osama Bin Ladin and homeless shelters. She is trying to show how dirty money is still money, while this is true I would like to provide a counter example. Consider blood diamonds. These diamonds have been banned from international trade because of the horrifying ways they are obtained. If you think that blood money is still money, then I invite you to consult the international community.

Ultimately my opponent has not provided a legitimate, topical example negating the resolution. Her attacks on my case how no sway. And she has ultimately failed to uphold her burden as the negative, the burden to prove that obtaining music illegally is justified in any way. She has not done this, therefore you must vote affirmative. Thank you and good debate.

(Since this is my last presentation, I would ask the voters to omit any new arguments on the part of the CON as I do not get a chance to respond to them).

Thank you
belle

Con

If pro read the resolution carefully, he would see that it states "Downloading music from or of conventionally "illegal" sources and/or methods is not justified" not "Downloading music illegally is not justified". That would be a completely different debate. As it stands, my example is quite pertinent. Soulseek is a conventionally illegal source- most music obtained using this or other P2P programs is obtained illegally. However, some, such as radiohead's album "In Rainbows" can be obtained through these programs, and from the artists themselves, free. Therefore, if one obtains the album through one of those "conventionally illegal" P2P programs one has done nothing wrong and their action is perfectly justified. Additionally, this action is well within the scope of the resolution.

"Just because we don't listen to music on record players anymore doesn't mean that businesses should run differently. Her argument fails to show how stealing music is justified. If recording companies run their business the same way they always have, then how does this establish in any way that stealing from the very music providers is justified?"

I never said stealing music was justified. In fact, I specifically said that stealing music what not justified. My point about the record companies is that the best way to make music in the record industry is no longer to put out CDs, just like the best way to make money in the transportation industry is no longer to drive a horse and buggy (except maybe niche markets :P) The fact that record companies lose money from new technology is not an argument against new technology. Your argument fails in this regard.

"Contrary to my opponents beliefs, the manner in which one makes money and how one uses it are completely related. They are in fact dependent on one another (you need to get money to spend it)."

Again- so what? It makes absolutely no difference to the recipient of my money whether I originally got it from robbing a bank or from working diligently and saving over time. Money obtained legally can be put to illegal use, and money obtained illegally can be put to legal use.

Let me give you another example- say I hire a babysitter, and she uses the money I pay her to buy drugs. Is that a problem for the institution of babysitting? Absolutely not! Maybe just a problem for me, cause, who hires a druggy babysitter? In any case, the act of receiving the money from one enterprise and the act of using it in another are separate. The horribleness of the one does not project on to the other.

"Consider blood diamonds. These diamonds have been banned from international trade because of the horrifying ways they are obtained. If you think that blood money is still money, then I invite you to consult the international community."

If I spent the money I made from that on planting trees would that make planting trees bad? No. The "bad thing" is clearly the trade of blood diamonds, and that goes on regardless of what the profits are spent on.

Likewise, if I run an international consulting firm, and then take some of the profits to spend on obtaining blood diamonds, that doesn't mean that my company has done anything wrong- it means I have done something wrong, namely, sought blood diamonds. That doesn't make my consulting firm any more or less legal/bad/whatever. Your argument here is a non-sequitor.

Thanks for a fun debate!
Debate Round No. 2
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by chrisallen 6 years ago
chrisallen
"Furthermore, my SECOND POINT is that at times MONEY FROM ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING GOES TO THE WRONG PLACES. Last year in 2009 a BBC News article reported that a large amount of the money that funds Hezbollah is derived from selling illegally downloaded music. The money made form this music ends up fueling terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah. So in the case of the people who are impacted by these groups, buying illegally downloaded music further enables terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah."

I'm really not sure who this happens. i mean, how does one even make money from illegal downloads? who out there is paying to download stuff illegally?
Posted by USAPitBull63 6 years ago
USAPitBull63
Not exactly the same, but similar:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by burnbird14 6 years ago
burnbird14
Interesting debate, though I think Neg proved her point. I also seem to agree...the resolutionary statement was unsound to begin with, and she exploited the flaw. Nice job.
Posted by mackoman_93 6 years ago
mackoman_93
Borrowing with out giving back... interesting way of looking at it...

I suppose that would qualify as conventionally illegal as well ;)
Posted by mackoman_93 6 years ago
mackoman_93
I was thinking that I was gonna be too late, but when I logged on I still had 40 minutes left. I'm still here though.

you may be good but I'm not gonna let you win that easily :P
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
I don't like to think of it as downloading, simply, borrowing without giving it back.
Posted by belle 6 years ago
belle
haha nice save!
Posted by mackoman_93 6 years ago
mackoman_93
No worries :P I had 16 minutes left...

:)
Posted by belle 6 years ago
belle
don't forfeit on me noooooooooooooooooooooow
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belle
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