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  #1  
Old 6th February 2015, 09:45 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Default Expropriation vs. Theft

It is said that appropriation can be moral (Matt 12:3-4) but not theft (Exodus 20:15).

How can one differentiate when an act is appropriation and when is theft? What is the difference?
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Last edited by Brother : 6th February 2015 at 10:15 PM. Reason: correcting title
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  #2  
Old 6th February 2015, 09:54 PM
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Default One example:

A big company has many supplies for its employees to use for their work, such as pens, folders, stickers, printing paper, labels, etc.

One of its employees needs one of those particular folders for his personal use which he considers important, and he takes one.

Is it theft or appropriation?
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  #3  
Old 6th February 2015, 10:01 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother View Post
A big company has many supplies for its employees to use for their work, such as pens, folders, stickers, printing paper, labels, etc.

One of its employees needs one of those particular folders for his personal use which he considers important, and he takes one.

Is it theft or appropriation?

Here is my post on the subject:
https://ronconte.wordpress.com/2011/...expropriation/
It is called "expropriation".

A small item of little value and no consequence to its owner can be taken without the act being theft. Traditionally, cases of expropriation center on cases of dire need, and items of value. I'm not sure if we should classify items of very little value as expropriation, but it is not theft.
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Old 6th February 2015, 10:16 PM
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Thank you Ron. I corrected the title.
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  #5  
Old 10th February 2015, 05:58 PM
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Default Pirate movies:

It is illegal to reproduce movies (or any copyrighted product) without the consent of the owners, these type of movies are commonly know as "pirated movies". Pirating movies has become as "business" of its own. So it would be immoral to download pirated movies from the web.

Now, I see that there is no so much concern from people buying pirated movies from the streets. Many of the people who sell these type of movies are poor people. Would be immoral to buy these movies from these people? - one effect would be helping the needy, but the other effect is inducing them in continue doing these type of business - which is illegal. On the other part, the buyer gets a bad quality movie at a considerably cheaper price. It is theft or expropriation in these situations?

Is it complex the evaluation of each case or it is simply immoral?
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  #6  
Old 10th February 2015, 08:33 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother View Post
It is illegal to reproduce movies (or any copyrighted product) without the consent of the owners, these type of movies are commonly know as "pirated movies". Pirating movies has become as "business" of its own. So it would be immoral to download pirated movies from the web.

Now, I see that there is no so much concern from people buying pirated movies from the streets. Many of the people who sell these type of movies are poor people. Would be immoral to buy these movies from these people? - one effect would be helping the needy, but the other effect is inducing them in continue doing these type of business - which is illegal. On the other part, the buyer gets a bad quality movie at a considerably cheaper price. It is theft or expropriation in these situations?

Is it complex the evaluation of each case or it is simply immoral?
There is some complexity to evaluate each situation. In general, though, entertainment is not a dire need, so it does not fall under expropriation.

There is a legal idea called "fair use" that applies to copyrighted material. I quote a copyrighted work within one of my books, and I am not stealing that material. From a moral point of view, this is an application of the common destination of all goods (general ownership).

If you own a DVD and make a copy, I think that is fair use. But making illegal copies of the movie and selling it on the street is theft of intellectual property. It goes far beyond fair use. And there is no dire need for movies that would justify it as expropriation (as might be the case for food).

I think it is immoral to make, sell, or buy pirated DVDs or video tapes.

As for movie downloads, you have to consider the will of the rightful owner of the copyright. I think some movies or movie clips are available online (e.g. on YouTube) and for whatever reason the copyright holders do not mind. Some TV shows place their episodes online, at one site or another, for free viewing/downloading to promote the show. You have to use your own judgment in this type of instance.

I would suggest avoiding bittorrent and similar download sites that tend to offer mainly illegal downloads.

I know many people like to buy or rent movies or TV shows through iTunes or through Amazon.com I use the Amazon instant video service to buy and rent movies/tv shows. They also have "Prime" movies that are free for Prime subscribers. Then there is Netflix, which offers a large selection of shows for a low monthly fee.

My point is that when entertainment is widely available for little money, there is no grave need to get your entertainment from pirated sources.
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Old 10th February 2015, 09:23 PM
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Thanks for all the information Ron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
My point is that when entertainment is widely available for little money, there is no grave need to get your entertainment from pirated sources.

Yes, I agree.
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  #8  
Old 14th February 2015, 10:09 PM
St. Thomas More St. Thomas More is offline
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Default Braking Sin

Though not directly related to this topic, suppose a person loses his brakes and drives into people and kills them. It's an accident. Objectively speaking, is it sinful? Subjectively, the will did not consent. Does that mean he's not culpable for the sin? Or that it's not a sin, at all.
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Old 15th February 2015, 12:17 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Thomas More View Post
Though not directly related to this topic, suppose a person loses his brakes and drives into people and kills them. It's an accident. Objectively speaking, is it sinful? Subjectively, the will did not consent. Does that mean he's not culpable for the sin? Or that it's not a sin, at all.

If there is no knowledge and no deliberate choice, then there is no act subject to morality. So an accident, as in the example you give, is neither an actual nor a merely objective sin. Morality concerns knowingly chosen acts.

Suppose a man freely chooses to have a nice salad for dinner. Unknown to him, the salad contains some poisonous mushrooms. He eats the meal and unfortunately dies. His act is not the actual mortal sin of suicide, because he certainly lacks full knowledge and full deliberation. But was his act, on a merely objective level, the intrinsically evil act of suicide? No, it was not. For he did not know that in choosing the meal, he was choosing his own death. His choice was in no sense a sin or an intrinsically evil act.
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  #10  
Old 12th March 2015, 02:05 PM
In hoc Signo Vinces In hoc Signo Vinces is offline
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Ron:

Have another scenario on Expropriation vs. Theft.

A person considers the Federal Govenment's activities to be immoral and wants to limit their tax contributions to fund these activities. If a person chose to use every available deduction available to do so, is that expropriation

In Hoc Signo Vinces
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