Copyright- Right to copy

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No, you cannot download the song

No, you cannot download the movie

No, you cannot download the serial

So what if it is on LimeWire?

So what if it is on Torrent , Mobshare or Napster?

You cannot buy the book at the traffic signal

MOM! You just love to say no.

Now, with the click of a button the kids buy a song or album from their account on iTunes. They have a large collection of CDs and blue-ray films.

Mom, even on YouTube the movies are available, though in parts. Is that legal?

As many instructions as I give, I am asked equal number of questions.

Mom, we are not downloading we are just streaming it

As pioneers to bringing the famous Grid seminars – a copyright programme-to India, my father, Dr.P.N.Singh used to say, “In India copyright means the ‘right to copy’” It was a task to convince organisations as many would say ‘Why not just photocopy?’

That was in the late 80’s and 90’s. Now, the scenario is different. There is greater awareness of copyright violations but however there is also greater ease in copyright violations.

With all my years of studying business ethics, I am still not sure what format is legal what format is illegal, which sites are legal and which illegal. Is it the one who uploads wrong, as we would not be able to download if there were no uploads.

For example, The Recording Industry of America (RIAA), on behalf of its member companies and copyright owners, has sued more than 30,000 people for unlawful downloading.

And no, I am not yet convinced that all knowledge is for free sharing. KOPIMISM, a religion in Sweden, believes that copying information is a sacred virtue. On January 5, 2012, Kopimism was accepted by Sweden as a legitimate religion.

Again a question- Should the parent be responsible for a child downloading a movie through the family’s IP address? What about a landlord who supplied Internet to a tenant?

At home, as I go to retire to bed I see the Wi-Fi flickering fast, while crunchy wafers are being eaten as their midnight snack, is it that the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy is being watched?

Oh! I despair, with all the ethics training I am imparting to my children, do they still download? My heart twists in anguish.

Then my heart says, maybe it is just Snapchat and Instagram and not a download. I discover I am right…