How do I repent of this?

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De Jager

Puritan Board Freshman
Greetings,

I have something I have been thinking about for a while.

When I was a teenager and into my early 20s, I engaged in the sinful practice of downloading movies and music - without paying for them (i.e. using "filesharing" services). I now rightly recognize that this was simply nothing less than stealing. Some of these items I have simply deleted, but some are still on an old computer and ipod I have at home - I don't listen or watch any of it, but it's still there. For about 5 or 6 years now, I have not stolen a single song or movie. The question I have though, is that sufficient for repentance? Perhaps I should make an effort to pay back the artists or producers who produced the material I stole. The law speaks of making restitution. I would like to be serious about repenting of this sin.

Regards,

Izaak
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
Continue to strive to not do it again. If possible delete or discard what you obtained illegally. Strive to be honest, generous, and fair in all your future motives and actions.:detective:
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Sending a donation to Hollywood would probably be appreciated. Those poor producers and stars can barely afford their plastic surgery and yachts nowadays.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
The law speaks of making restitution.
I think the restitution is with regards to the personal relationship that have been damaged (ie neighbour to neighbour / kinsman to kinsman).

Watch out that your repentance do not become a work by which you attain righteousness (ie how much repentance is enough, etc)
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
If you are convicted of the need to pay for what you took illegally, the easiest way to do that would be to acquire those same movies and songs again (as best you can remember them) and this time pay for them. Then the artists get paid what you owe them for having listened/watched.

Repentance is a change of attitude in the heart, so it is unwise to legislate specific outward actions that must always be taken as a result of repentance. Those outward fruits of repentance will be different for different people and situations. A repentant heart will cause some people to behave one way and others to behave another way. It sounds like you have a repentant heart—so follow your heart and do what it is telling you to do. Do this with joy over your changed heart, not a works-righteousness confidence in your outward actions.
 

JennyGeddes

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for asking this question. This thread is very helpful.




Greetings,

I have something I have been thinking about for a while.

When I was a teenager and into my early 20s, I engaged in the sinful practice of downloading movies and music - without paying for them (i.e. using "filesharing" services). I now rightly recognize that this was simply nothing less than stealing. Some of these items I have simply deleted, but some are still on an old computer and ipod I have at home - I don't listen or watch any of it, but it's still there. For about 5 or 6 years now, I have not stolen a single song or movie. The question I have though, is that sufficient for repentance? Perhaps I should make an effort to pay back the artists or producers who produced the material I stole. The law speaks of making restitution. I would like to be serious about repenting of this sin.

Regards,

Izaak
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Sophomore
Streaming services are leaving artists destitute. That is the true sin. I think you’ll be ok.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Snowflake
Remember that repentance is not the same as doing penance.

I believe it is sufficient simply to delete the music and then legally purchase any music you wish to possess.

I do not believe you need to reach back in time and pay for (in the present) everything you formerly downloaded in your ignorance.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Freshman
Kind of off to the side, but the weird thing to consider re. this issue is that, taxonomically, what we're considering could be more properly considered a form of plagiarism than conventional theft. I.e., one steals information rather than, say, depriving a store of a physical album. Something is copied; concerned parties lose nothing.

Now of course the counterargument is that profit is lost since the person who has downloaded the information has not purchased it. But as internet pirates often argue, this assumes that the individual downloading would have otherwise purchased the item, which is not a certain thing (granted, there must be a certain percentage of whom this is true, so it's not an empty charge; the question is, how big a percentage?).

I purchase all my media from Amazon, btw (just to cover myself here :hunter:). If I like something, I want to support the artist/producer. But it is an example of how the digital world and ecommerce is more complex than it initially seems.
 

pressing_on

Puritan Board Freshman
Agree with purchasing the item if you use and your conscience is whispering to you.

What about items that were purchased as a vinyl LP and cassette and no longer published, available only through pirate downloading? A lot of CCM of the 70s and 80s at stake here... :D
 

Saxon

Puritan Board Freshman
For about 5 or 6 years now, I have not stolen a single song or movie. The question I have though, is that sufficient for repentance? Perhaps I should make an effort to pay back the artists or producers who produced the material I stole. The law speaks of making restitution. I would like to be serious about repenting of this sin.
Others have given good advice. The other aspect of repentance would be making sure others do not repeat your sin, educating the 20 year olds in your life that abstract things can still be stolen.
 
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