The legality of watching streaming, copyrighted material.

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#1 Posted by famicommander (8524 posts) -
I've been doing some research, and I can't seem to get a definitive answer. Is it illegal to watching streaming, copyrighted material? The MPAA's site only seems to cover downloading illegally, providing illegal download, and making illegal things available for streaming. They do not mention anything about actually viewing streaming copyrighted material. Some places, I've read that it is not illegal because the viewer cannot be expected to know for sure how the material for the stream was obtained, or the copyright status of the material contained in the stream. Other places seem to claim that copyright law is only violated when an actual, permanent copy is made (which would make downloading illegal and streaming illegal based on the idea that the stream in your cache is not a permanent copy). I've also read that it is acceptable to watch streaming content from a television show that is currently being aired on a television channel to which you subscribe. Still others claim that it is illegal because you are viewing the material without first paying for it. I find the last situation to be the most likely, but I do not know for sure. The reason I ask is because I want to watch an old television show that is currently off the air and not available on DVD.
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#2 Posted by famicommander (8524 posts) -
"Piracy is theft, and pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Downloading a movie off of the Internet is the same as taking a DVD off a store shelf without paying for it. In 2005, MPAA studios lost $2.3 billion worldwide to Internet piracy alone. Posting movies on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) service or an unauthorized website is akin to giving illegal copies to millions of people." This doesn't seem to say anything useful...
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#3 Posted by carrot-cake (6880 posts) -
Well, I don't see why it would be illegal, because the user would not know how the video was obtained. Also, if the site didn't make you agree to a disclaimer that the videos are all illgeal, then I don't think anyone has a case againsed you. Then again, the laws in the US are different so I don't know.
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#4 Posted by carrot-cake (6880 posts) -
"Piracy is theft, and pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Downloading a movie off of the Internet is the same as taking a DVD off a store shelf without paying for it. In 2005, MPAA studios lost $2.3 billion worldwide to Internet piracy alone. Posting movies on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) service or an unauthorized website is akin to giving illegal copies to millions of people." This doesn't seem to say anything useful...famicommander

Oh noes they "lost" 2.3 billion dollars, why do I feel no sympathy?
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#5 Posted by RKfromDownunder (1463 posts) -

Its funny that you should mention this, I was earlier watching an account from the youtube user 'LiberalViewer' about his trials and issues with Viacom and their objection to his videos containing copyrighted materials.

He also mentioned that the rules and laws governing this issue are sloppy and highly open to interpretation, it just so happens that the MPAA and other big corporations interperet it in the 'you use it and we will kill your family with our private paramilitary forces' light. The end result is that no matter what you do surrounded uploading or watching videos that contains copyrighted materials, there is a chance that you may have a lawsuit leveled against you.

Not that those lawsuits ever amount to much. They have an attrocious record of success, most of them get slapped out of the way by sane judges in most areas of the world; the ones that like to suck up to the big corps or have no sense perspective may give you a good throtling.

That depends all on if its for commercial or private use though. I'm fairly sure that it is absolutely a-okay to watch copyrighted materials in a streamed video, I mean, as you already said WHO CAN TELL. Even if it is illegal, can you honestly expect that anyone would give a damn?

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#6 Posted by famicommander (8524 posts) -
Well, I don't see why it would be illegal, because the user would not know how the video was obtained. Also, if the site didn't make you agree to a disclaimer that the videos are all illgeal, then I don't think anyone has a case againsed you. Then again, the laws in the US are different so I don't know.carrot-cake
It makes sense, but still, you'd think such information would be easy to find and confirm. Or, perhaps the fact that it may be legal is WHY such information is hard to find.
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#7 Posted by vidplayer8 (18548 posts) -
It really doesn't seem like just watching it will get you in trouble. And I doubt that even if it would, they would be more worried about catching those who are putting it on the internet.
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#8 Posted by famicommander (8524 posts) -

That depends all on if its for commercial or private use though. I'm fairly sure that it is absolutely a-okay to watch copyrighted materials in a streamed video, I mean, as you already said WHO CAN TELL. Even if it is illegal, can you honestly expect that anyone would give a damn?

RKfromDownunder
I don't expect that anyone will care, and I don't expect to get caught (if it is illegal). It's just something that I began wondering about during the thread regarding music piracy. I mean, I definitely want no part in any theft, and that's more of an ethical issue than a legal issue to me.
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#9 Posted by RKfromDownunder (1463 posts) -

[QUOTE="famicommander"]"Piracy is theft, and pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Downloading a movie off of the Internet is the same as taking a DVD off a store shelf without paying for it. In 2005, MPAA studios lost $2.3 billion worldwide to Internet piracy alone. Posting movies on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) service or an unauthorized website is akin to giving illegal copies to millions of people." This doesn't seem to say anything useful...carrot-cake

Oh noes they "lost" 2.3 billion dollars, why do I feel no sympathy?

Because the MPAA is a bloodsucking, senile titan who is floundering in shallow water making a total ass of itself infront of the entire world? People will continue to pirate just to spite the MPAA, sorry but with the astronomical profits made from film you are going to have to try better than that to make others care.

Its plain and simple, their market is speaking out. They have created a culture where watching films is now so expensive it is almost a luxury for many of the population. Mabye if admission fees were not so high people would not be so inclined to just download the movie. If you can't make a competent sale scheme, your business is SCREWED.

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#10 Posted by RKfromDownunder (1463 posts) -
[QUOTE="RKfromDownunder"]

That depends all on if its for commercial or private use though. I'm fairly sure that it is absolutely a-okay to watch copyrighted materials in a streamed video, I mean, as you already said WHO CAN TELL. Even if it is illegal, can you honestly expect that anyone would give a damn?

famicommander

I don't expect that anyone will care, and I don't expect to get caught (if it is illegal). It's just something that I began wondering about during the thread regarding music piracy. I mean, I definitely want no part in any theft, and that's more of an ethical issue than a legal issue to me.

Ethical issue eh.

Its more of the 'its data therefore i don't have to pay for it' ramble. I don't really give a damn either way. I just think people need to remember that the depth of their perspective may be flawed; some laws are flawed in their nature.

I think thats the problem. They are making this out to be such a major, critical issue. The laws are rigid and uncompromising and the punishments for breaking them are quite legendarily painful. But laws governing theft won't matter spit if the demand for the item in question is too high for the supply to meet the needs of the population!

Take this theoretical situation for instance: There is plenty of food and lots of people, but the food is too expensive for large numbers of people to afford in quantities large enough to satiate their demand for it.

Only in reality its entertainment and the hunger is peoples' desire to be entertained. Obviously its not as life threatening, but we have become so addicted to all this flashy media that the demand has blown skyhigh, yet the prices have only steadily risen!

I'm no communist but surely ANYONE can see that at some point was BOUND to occur :D.

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#11 Posted by carrot-cake (6880 posts) -

[QUOTE="carrot-cake"]Well, I don't see why it would be illegal, because the user would not know how the video was obtained. Also, if the site didn't make you agree to a disclaimer that the videos are all illgeal, then I don't think anyone has a case againsed you. Then again, the laws in the US are different so I don't know.famicommander
It makes sense, but still, you'd think such information would be easy to find and confirm. Or, perhaps the fact that it may be legal is WHY such information is hard to find.


You are probably right, because if they really are that unclear about it then it probably is legal. Otherwise they would state "Streaming copyrighted material is a violation of the copyright law"

[QUOTE="carrot-cake"][QUOTE="famicommander"]"Piracy is theft, and pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Downloading a movie off of the Internet is the same as taking a DVD off a store shelf without paying for it. In 2005, MPAA studios lost $2.3 billion worldwide to Internet piracy alone. Posting movies on a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) service or an unauthorized website is akin to giving illegal copies to millions of people." This doesn't seem to say anything useful...RKfromDownunder


Oh noes they "lost" 2.3 billion dollars, why do I feel no sympathy?

Because the MPAA is a bloodsucking, senile titan who is floundering in shallow water making a total ass of itself infront of the entire world? People will continue to pirate just to spite the MPAA, sorry but with the astronomical profits made from film you are going to have to try better than that to make others care.

Its plain and simple, their market is speaking out. They have created a culture where watching films is now so expensive it is almost a luxury for many of the population. Mabye if admission fees were not so high people would not be so inclined to just download the movie. If you can't make a competent sale scheme, your business is SCREWED.



Pretty much sums my feelings up. If they don't want to improve then, screw em.

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#12 Posted by omfg_its_dally (8068 posts) -
I'm pretty sure its not illegal to watch it, but of course its illegal to upload it. In fact you could probably find what your looking for somewhere deep in the jungles of YouTube, would you get in trouble for watching something off of there? No.
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#13 Posted by Ghost_702 (7405 posts) -
Perhaps it's the same as watching an illegaly downloaded movie. Streaming it is illegal if they didn't have proper authorization but as for watching it, i'm not entirely sure if it would be handled in the same category as downloading.