Asked to do something illegal - what would you have done

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by UKnjb, May 18, 2007.

  1. UKnjb macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2005
    London, UK
    I received an e-mail, sent through macrumors, the other day from a fellow macrumors member - someone I didn't know (a brand-new member, zero posts). Briefly he (and it was a he) wanted me to e-mail him an mp3 file of a piece of difficult-to-obtain piece of music that he had correctly presumed I owned; he wanted it "as part of a compilation he was creating to play at (his) friend's funeral". He had tracked me down, by Google, from a specific thread I had started here, relating to putting this piece of music as background on a web site I was constructing.

    My initial response was to oblige - always try to be helpful, me, especially to someone from this community - but then I knew that to do so would be illegal. So I could ignore his e-mail completely - why I should get into contact with anyone, especially unknown, who was asking me to do something illegal? (it really is illegal, isn't it?) Or I could respond in some suitably polite manner, expressing regret but inability to accede to his request. In case he was some sort of Performing Rights person or some such agent - always paranoid, me - I used one of my totally anonymous e-mail addresses to reply. Once I had sent the mail off I felt a tad like a sanctimonious prig for declining to send him the file using the illegality reason.

    I did provide links in my reply to where the track could still be purchased and also the holder of the copyright on the music.

    I am sure that if a friend asked me the same thing, I wouldn't really have a problem in handing it over, especially if it was wanted for the funereal purpose. And I think that I may well have not too many problems if one of the well-known, "reliable", macrumors members here asked me the same thing, although i would think long and hard.

    Would you have done things differently and would you have any conflicts with double standards with respect to friends/trusted people asking the same thing?
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Seriously, is it by an indie artist still around, or some commercialised stuff which would send the money purchasing this song to some fat cat's pockets?
  3. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    You did completely the right thing. Sharing an MP3 with a friend is just like letting them take a copy of your CD. It's not legal, but it's one of those things that people do occasionally for those they know. With strangers different rules apply.

    And that whole "funeral" argument is so misused you should be immediately suspicious of anyone using it.
  4. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    i think you did the right thing. first, it is illegal. second, i do think it's rude and inappropriate for a total stranger to ask you to give him something that can easily be purchased (and it was indeed nice of you to send him a link to where it can be purchased). and, third, i'm with you on the paranoia - he could have been anyone trying to trap you into doing something illegal. not cool.
  5. smokeyrabbit macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    Escape from New England
    Is it harder to track you down and ask you to share an mp3 file or just find it outright and download it for yourself? If it's difficult to download illegal music how come illegal downloads outnumber legal ones by so much? I would think this person targeted you for this reason rather than really wanting the music for themselves.
  6. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    If they can purchase it online, then they should go ahead and do it that way - the legal way. I think you did the right thing here. It might have been the RIAA in disguise! :eek: :p
  7. MarkCollette macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    A single mp3 track is a very cheap thing to buy, so at first blush, I'd say it was questionable to bother hunting someone down to try to get it for free. By questionable, I mean either pathetically cheap-skate, or suspicious, depending on your personal paranoia level :)

    But, when writing this, I thought that maybe they're a minor, or have bad credit, or something, so they don't have access to a credit card, and thus can't purchase things online. Who knows.
  8. dstoltz macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2007
    If you've ever burned a mix on a cd for someone, that's pretty much the same thing.

    I say screw the RIAA. Be bold. Stick it to the man. Email the file. lol
  9. Winterfell macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2007
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
  10. szark macrumors 68030


    May 14, 2002
    I think you did the right thing. Especially if the song is readily available to be purchased on the 'net.

    In a somewhat similar vein, I once received an email from someone else here at work (who I didn't know) asking what model year my car was, so he could borrow my navigation DVD to make a free copy. :rolleyes: I just ignored him.
  11. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    You did the corrrect thing. It's absurd to go to such lengths to obtain a piece of music for free when it would be far easier to just purchase it. Very odd that someone would go this route. If they want it for free, there are other ways that don't involve implicating you.

Share This Page