Q. I know that stealing a physical item is a sin, but if it is a tv show that some one records and shares online, or some one shares music files, online is that a sin? It is virtual files not physical. So many people download music online, very big percentage I believe, what do you think about this?
A. If you take anything that belongs to someone else you are stealing, which is a violation of the commandments and therefore a sin. This includes intellectual property that is protected by copyright. Some TV shows can be downloaded for personal use without cost, but most movies and musical performances must be purchased and prohibit distribution even when there’s no financial gain. If you accept copyrighted files to avoid paying for their content you are stealing, and if you give such files to someone else so they can avoid paying for them you are an accessory to theft. I know lots of people do it, but that doesn’t make it right.