Kamal Dhillon, a Grade 12 student at Balmoral Hall School, is the 2010 Glassen Ethics Competition winner.

This year's essay topic was: "Is it OK to download music, movies and games without paying?" There were about 80 entries from high schools in Winnipeg and across the province. The contest, held annually since 2007, is jointly sponsored by The Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics and The Department of Philosophy at the University of Manitoba. The winner receives $1,000. The Winnipeg Free Press publishes the winning essay.

Please, read this essay and tell us, what do you think about Kamal's essay?
Was it easy to write about this particular topic?
Why has it spread like fire around the world?
Is it just good tools to write? Common sense? Clear ideas?

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 13, 2010 H11



  1. I agree with Kamal. The movie-videogame-music industry has to try to benefit from file sharing and find new ways to generate income. As Kamal states: File sharing offers also a great opportunity to young unknown artists. I have published a book about 4-5 years ago and, as an author,I wouldn't like to see my book available for free in the Internet. But, on second thought, if it were, I would probably be more popular and sell more copies.

  2. Times are changing and we have to adapt. Of course a lot of people are going to lose their position and earnings but that always has happened: when cars expanded, horse-breeders lost money, when talking-pictures apperared, a lot of actors with an accent or not well-modullated voices had to change their jobs... But now, the problem is powerful people are the ones losing money and they don't want to. They are trying to keep their great situations without working any more.
    What they have to do is think about new things they can offer. When TV started broadcast in the 1950's, producers create "Cinemascope", "Technicolor", "3D"... and cinema survived. Some writers are publishing their novel first chapters on the internet and doubling their profits. Music groups like Oasis think about elaborated ways of tease their new songs.. Brains at work!
    Entertainment gurus cannot charge us with astronomical prices any more for things that don't worth it. One CD copy costs less than a cent... how am I going to pay 18€ for it? Technology make costs fell down so it should be the same for prices or we will obtein what we want for free.
    Nobody wants to be cheated!!


  3. So, this is for everybody, what do you think the future will bring??
    What about books, as many people are saying?? Will this aply to paper books and e-books?
    Which other items may this affect to?

  4. Paloma Blanco3/3/10, 7:40 PM

    I agree with Kamal too.In our case we have the so *popular* SGAE who has so many adepts. I think that if you just share files in the so-called peer to peer files that shouldn`t be punished. Another thing is when you download to sell it because if you only download for yourself I shouldn`t punish either. In our country we are just paying a canon every time we buy a CD or a laptop or an MP3. They are considering you are already downloading music or whatever stuff so we are already in some way punished. So, in my case, I think we are justified. Besides the web was born to share files and everything. I always compare this situation with the drug consume: if you have drug to consume yourself, nobody will punish you, you won`t have any problem. But if you have a very big quantity that make think it`s not for your personal consume or even if you decide to invite a friend of you to have drug, that´s when you have the legal problem.

  5. Hello,

    Just like my classmates, I think that sharing files, music, videos... shouldn't be punished. In the same way that the cine and music's artist want charge a certain among of money by their work, others guild could ask for it. Additionally, the way the article's author says, the industry could improve their success if they adapt to the situation. I think that an actor, musician... cannot live from her first work for live.

    As regards the questions of Lucía, I think that sooner or later and especially when the e-books is generalized, writer will begin to ask for the same amount of money, however, one day this has to finish. Now, the Government want close unloading web pages and this is the first step to close other kind of web pages later. In general people are quite annoyed and with a lot of reason.

    Cristina González Angós

  6. Paloma, Cristina, well done, thanks for your comments. As you say, all will have to be reorganized, new time bring new changes and challenges too!
    But I'll tell you something. I thought this topic would be more discussed!!

  7. OK, let's try to pep up this thing!
    Paloma, Cristina, you have not convinced me. I'm an author (here's a link to my book: http://www.amazon.com/F%C3%9ATBOL-AMERICANO-para-todos-Spanish/dp/1602642540/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268500923&sr=8-1).
    Now, how am I supposed to get a life if 90% of the people that download my book do not pay for it?

  8. As I said, new times bring new changes so may be we will need new laws and new ways of buying these products.
    Diego has set out a good question from the author's point of view (Diego!! You do are an author!! Fútbol americano para todos!! I feel thrilled!!!)
    What do you think of paying a small amount for books when going to the local library?? Is it the same as downloading music? Books?
    If we pay for them, should it be cheaper now (we pay for no paper, inks, delivery, etc)??
    Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. ;-D