I need help with scrupulosity concerning copyright and videos on Youtube


Hello everyone. I have been having this scrupulosity issue for a long time concerning copyrighted videos on Youtube. Basically the thing is, I want to watch videos on Youtube but I do not want to violate any copyright laws by doing so because I feel that I would be committing the sin of theft if I watched an illegally uploaded video on Youtube. But the problem is, I never know for sure whether or not a video is illegally uploaded or not. For example, I often fret a LOT over something as simple as watching a music video because I fear that I may be sinning by violating copyright law. Can someone please help me to put my mind at ease with this? I have obsessive compulsive disorder and that combined with scrupulosity causes me a great deal of distress in this matter.


Holly, I believe it is Youtube’s or Google’s responsibility to decide which videos may be illegally uploaded. It is certainly not your responsibility. Further, you are not the one who uploaded the video. And since you have no way of knowing for sure whether there is any illegality involved if the video is not removed by Youtube (though there is probably none), there is no intention on your part to participate in anything illegal, and therefore no sin committed. Just the fact you are so worried about this indicates your intention is NOT to sin. I hope this may be of some help.


one stuff to be more sure is to go to the official chanels, for example if Bob dylan Vevo has a video i know its because they wanted to, also when the link to buy the songs is in there, at least for the audio.

also common sense is a good tool.


Youtube videos that have the original artist/publisher listed (with a link to purchase the song) are properly licensed. If you don’t see such a link, don’t watch.

You might also stick to Vevo.com, the part of Youtube that only consists of properly licensed music videos.

On a more long term note, finding activities away from the computer may help reduce your anxiety, particularly athletic activities, but theater or board game groups may also help.


While it is Youtube’s responsibility to remove illegally uploaded videos, they are not perfect and some shows can slip through the cracks, especially if the uploader altered the video slightly by speeding it up, slowing it down or mirroring it. Be very wary of the uploader’s name. If the name matches the name of the owner of the content (for example, if episodes of Cartoon Network shows are uploaded by the Cartoon Network Youtube channel, you know it’s okay). If you watch an illegally uploaded video you aren’t stealing, but you are supporting someone who is stealing. Here are a few Youtube channels that upload content for free and legally:

-Funimation (lots of free full-length anime episodes, both dubbed and subbed).
-Vevo (music from old and new singers, along with the music video).
-4Kids (lots of episodes of family-friendly cartoons).
-Vizmedia (mostly trailers and drawing tutorials, but still).
-CartoonNetwork (only clips, shorts, interviews and music videos are free; full-length episodes require payment).
-Hulu (mostly ‘best moments’ and clips are free).

Also, there are websites out there that stream full episodes for free and legally. Crunchyroll.com is a good example of this.


You have to use a little judgement here. Anything on youtube that is not VEVO is suspect; you need to check to see if the channel is “official”.

Those who have OCD and scrupulosity MUST get the guidance of a spiritual director for these kinds of questions. :yup:


One of the underlying issues I think is that these sites will tolerate copyright violations to the extent that they want hits, but if someone complains they’ll remove it.

But if you’re one of the cable news stations or Buena Vista, is it even worth your time to hunt all this down?

The other thing I’ve noticed too is that they’ll take down full episodes but will allow opening theme clips of TV shows to be on there, so I think there’s some aspect to wanting free advertising, if you will.


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