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dc.contributor.advisorMoore, Andrew
dc.contributor.advisorDawes, Greg
dc.contributor.authorGibson, Charles Reuben
dc.date.available2014-08-20T01:56:10Z
dc.date.copyright2014
dc.identifier.citationGibson, C. R. (2014). The Ethics of Piracy for Personal Use (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/4954en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/4954
dc.description.abstractIn recent years the dispute over the ethical status of piracy has intensified. The entertainment industry maintains that piracy is theft and extremely harmful whilst consumers maintain that many acts of piracy are in fact harmless and that the industry is unjustly exercising its monopoly over works of fiction on electronic media (F.E.M.s). At its core, this is a property dispute over who owns physical instantiations of F.E.M. such as DVDs and over what our property rights are. Both parties appeal to analogies with ordinary property to justify their views but such justifications fail because of the numerous dissimilarities between ordinary property and F.E.M.s. I outline a better argument for the ethics of piracy which focuses on harms and property rights. A cost-benefit analysis of piracy harms is inappropriate because of well-known weaknesses with such an approach. Employing a general prohibition on harm, I argue that piracy harms sales in the range of 4.1% to 12.89% and reduces employment opportunities but does not affect incentives to produce new F.E.M.s. These harms are not instances of wrongful harming because they do not violate morally justified property rights. While the F.E.M. property bundle is likely to include some moral rights, such as a right of paternity, it does not include moral exclusionary rights over experience of F.E.M.s and any such large scale special rights are only justified if they maximise social welfare. Thus the trumping power of rights in the piracy dispute is significantly weaker than thought by Himma (2008). Piracy is morally permissible in the sense that it does not violate justified property rights but impermissible in the sense that it is responsible for a collective harm to sales. Moral obligations for collective harms are complex but I outline conditions for piracy which prevent such acts from collectively harming sales and an alternative system called F.E.M. Hub which encourages agents to adhere to their moral obligations. Thus some but not all acts of piracy are morally permissible.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectPiracy
dc.subjectIntellectual Property
dc.subjectEthics
dc.subjectApplied Ethics
dc.subjectRights
dc.subjectHarm
dc.titleThe Ethics of Piracy for Personal Use
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2014-08-20T01:32:09Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophy
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
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