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We have a new question today.  Carolyn Allen , who writes the terrific Meridian articles on weight loss, wants to know how she can keep in touch with far-flung family members.  But before we get to her request, we have two last letters on movie piracy.  Avast, mateys!  Here they are!

My children used to tell me that it didn’t matter if they copied their friends CDs.  Until I pointed out that they were stealing, they would say the bands whose music they were listening to made so much money that it was ok.

But it isn’t just about copyright laws and intellectual material. There is another form of dishonesty here. The people whose jobs are involved in the production of DVDs or CDs, the printers who print the covers, the shops that sell the products, the lorry drivers are all affected when people don’t buy because they can get it for free or buy cheaper versions.

So we are not just stealing from the big stars who can afford to lose some of their fees or the big companies who won’t miss our money.  Pirates are also stealing from the hundreds of ordinary people just trying to make a living.

Copied CDs and pirate DVDs are not allowed in our home and downloads have to be paid for (even if it’s by me).

Carol

England

You make a great point, Carol.  There’s a whole food chain here that depends on people being honest.  It is no less dishonest to steal from the big stars at the top of the food chain than it is to steal from the “little people” at the bottom, but if having compassion for the “little people” is what keeps people from stealing, I’m all for it.  Thanks for writing.

Our last letter is from “Movie Snob,” who started this discussion in the first place:

I’m the original “Movie Snob.” I am the original writer of the letter about movie pirating. Thanks for all the insightful comments! There are just a couple of things that I want to clarify.

I wholeheartedly agree with all of you that pirating of movies, music, and any other copyright infringement is wrong, legally and morally. I personally am a cake decorator and have long understood that I can’t take money for a cake that I’ve made that includes the image of a copyrighted character. I have turned down orders before because I wouldn’t do it.

My intent in writing the letter was not because I was confused but because I wanted to know what the opinions were among the LDS readership of this magazine. I hate to believe that the family in question would knowingly do something illegal or that they know is morally wrong. So I wondered if there were others out there who were just not aware that streaming or downloading certain movies from the Internet is copyright infringement.

This is a fairly new form of pirating considering how far technology has come. There is no hard copy being made and in most cases nothing is being bought or paid for. I can see how some people might think it is harmless or no big deal, and I thought it was an interesting topic for discussion.

I also feel I must clarify that my teenage daughter did not know that the movie was pirated while she was at the party. It was a movie that she wasn’t interested in, didn’t know much about, and it she didn’t even consider that it wasn’t out on DVD yet. It was I who told her later that it must have been pirated because her father and I had just seen it in theaters. I then followed up with a discussion about what pirating is and why it is wrong. So, in fact, I did take a stand regarding my beliefs on the issue and taught my daughter.

Thanks again for the good discussion. It’s comforting to know that there are so many of us out there learning and trying to do the right thing every day.

Movie Snob

I’m glad that Meridian readers were able to help you quell your fears, Movie Snob.  That’s just one of the free services that Circle of Sisters has to offer!

Now for Carolyn Allen’s question.  It’s so short that you’ll miss it if you blink, but it’s food for thought anyway:

Have you done one of your roundtable discussions on how families stay in touch with each other when everybody leaves home?  If so, is there a link to those responses?  We’re at that stage (the very beginning) and are looking for ideas/answers.

Carolyn Allen

Okay, people.  What do you do to keep track of parents and kiddies and grandkids and other family members who live far away?  How do you use the new technology (or old-fashioned means) to keep everyone close together?

Send your suggestions to [email protected].  DO NOT USE THE FORM ON THIS PAGE BECAUSE YOUR EMAIL WILL GET LOST.  WRITE DIRECTLY TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS LINKED HERE!  Put something in your subject line to tell me your letter isn’t spam.  Carolyn and many others are waiting to hear from you.

Until next time — Kathy

 “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

Want more Kathryn H. Kidd?  Visit www.planetkathy.com to read her blog, get free stuff, and participate in the new Ask Madame Kathy forum.

Whether you want to create your own personal history or would like Kathy Kidd to do it for you, Kathy’s blog has what you’re looking for.  Go to www.planetkathy.com and click on “Writing a Personal History” to get more information.