What are the pros and cons of illegal downloading?
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The main benefit of illegal downloading (if you are talking about benefits for the people who do the downloading) is that you get to have things that you did not pay for. You get to listen to music or watch movies without having to spend your money. This is clearly a material benefit to you.
On the other hand, the major con is that you are breaking the law and doing something that is ethically questionable at the very least. If you download something instead of buying it, you are essentially stealing. Even if you download something that you would not have bought, you are still using that without permission.
So, the pro of this is that you get a tangible benefit, but you have to weigh that against the idea that you are doing something that is illegal and unethical.
The argument above is accurate and concise. My guess is that most people give little consideration to the ethical component of illegal downloading. Unless one writes or records or creates some other kind of product which can be stolen (taken without payment), he does not fully understand the ramifications of such actions. Most are not in this situation, so they do not have any compunction about taking such intellectual property without remuneration.
Illegal downloading of an artist's work, be it an author or a musician, deprives that artist of the residuals connect to the sale of his/her production. The person who illegally downloads music, for example, deprives the musician of earnings, earnings that he or she must share with others on the recording, not to mention production costs, etc.
If enough people illegally download, the artist may go into terrible debt and not be able to make any further recordings. People who download illegally should ask themselves, "How would I like it if others could access my original composition for free?"
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