Take a hammer to your downloads!
Why you need to destroy all your pirated music, movies and games
Let’s keep it simple: downloading ‘free’ stuff from the internet which is supposed to cost money, whether it be music, movies or games, is against the law. As citizens, we have the duty to obey the law. If that wasn’t enough for you (and it really should be) then Romans 13:1 says that Christians ought to obey the law. Downloading illegal copies of music/movies/games/anything is rampant, so there’s a good chance that you and/or your friends have done it. So here’s some pointers:
1. It’s never too late to repent
Ask God for forgiveness. Make a commitment not to download anything illegally. Delete everything on your computer and iPod that you downloaded illegally. Yeah, you heard me. Missing out on those ill-gotten gains is a small price to pay for obedience. As you mourn the loss of that song/movie/game, remember why you are doing it. It’s about doing the right thing. Not only that, but also:
2. Being a “non-illegal downloader” is counter-cultural
Your friends may be surprised by your actions and change in attitude. Personally, I have experienced a mixture of odd respect and mockery for refusing to borrow a pirated DVD that was offered to me. Matthew 5:16 says that people may end up becoming Christians because of your actions. Let your actions be helpful to people, rather than a hinderance. It is a great opportunity to tell people you are a Christian, and that things like obedience to the law are a big deal to you, even the laws that a lot of people don’t care about.
3. Don’t be judgemental towards non-Christians
Looking down on non-Christians for not obeying Romans 13:1 is not productive. Unbelievers do not have the same perspective. Nevertheless, they are citizens, and ought to obey the law regardless. If the topic does come up, speak with grace and humility. Christians on the other hand, ought to obey the law as a Christian imperative. Still, you should always speak with grace and humility.
Doing Point 1 is really hard. I’ve been there myself. It gets easier after a while, trust me.
If you have any questions, comments, or want to know more about the technicalities of copyright, leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to respond.