Is it a sin to watch copyrighted television shows and movies on Youtube?

Hey everyone. Would it be a sin of stealing or some other sin to watch copyrighted television shows and movies on Youtube which were likely illegally uploaded? Many of these things stay on Youtube because I think only the copyright owner is allowed to report them for copyright violations. But anyway, I sometimes watch shows on Youtube and stuff because I missed them on television or something. Would this be a sin?

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No, but it depends what you’re watching, for example God hates Classic Disney so you can’t watch that.


****Yes,my dear and beloved is a sin but in most case depend on your knowledge on the script your watching to.If you know but your ignoring that is the copyright will be a problem with your relation with God.

You are legally allowed, under copyright law, to download and view a television program up to ten days after it airs. There are also several programs that air their episodes online free (south park would be one example). If it is one of those then it also wouldn’t be a sin to watch them.

I personally feel there’s also some grey area if you’re viewing them to see if you like the show / movie, and intend to buy it later, but I imagine a few people here would disagree with me.

Yes. It is equivalent to theft.

If you miss a show on TV, then either buy it on DVD or via a legitimate online supplier like Netflix or accept that you missed it.

Before the internet and video recorders, you didn’t get a choice. Now, you have the opportunity to sin - and do so easily - but that’s no justification for doing it.

If you had knowledge that some show that you were watching on YouTube was illegally obtained, then, yes. You would be sinning. However, determining that would be very difficult.

I have never heard of such a law, and I believe that you are gravely mistaken in your statement.

Hmm, my wife told me about it, I’ll have to ask her where she heard it.

This is a sin I definitely need to work on >_>

What about stuff like anime, where’s there’s no way to purchase a version you can watch and understand. Would you consider fan-dubbing illegal? What if you intend to purchase a series once it releases in the US, assuming it ever does?

Also, what about things you legitimately cannot find anywhere? For instance, I spent a great deal of time trying to find a copy of The Langoliers, to no avail (at least not one that hadn’t had the prices gouged on it, stupid ebay…) After putting in a good faith effort to obtain it legally, would you still consider it a sin to download it? The same is true of a few musical artists I like who’s stuff is simply not sold in the US.

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I would say it is stealing, but you are at reduced culpability since you are simply using the product of someone else’s sin. Kind of like buying stolen merchandise off someone. I’d suggest going to confession if you feel really guilty about it and then invest in a DVR. :smiley:

Sorry, but partaking in or taking possession of something that is stolen in the knowledge that it is stolen is still theft. One would be an accessory to the crime and handling stolen goods is punished just as hard in law. There can be no justification for it.

I’ve asked three priests, on three separate occasions, if it is a sin to watch (not download) videos that might be in copyright violation. All three have told me that it is not a sin on my part because it is not my job to make sure everything I watch is in compliance with copyright law. That is the responsibility of whoever posted the video. Hope this helps.

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No sin, since you don’t know it was illegally posted.

Don’t make assumptions. Whatever happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty?

And if everything is a sin, then nothing is a sin. This overscrupulosity diminishes and trivializes the impact of grave sin.

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I would agree with the Priests. Besides, how do we know videos on YouTube aren’t posted by the artist themself? Many musicans have their own YouTube channels.

I’ve seen TV shows on YouTube were the were uploaded by someone sitting in front of a TV with their phone recording the show. IMO, that’s no more different than the user inviting you into their home to watch said show.

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I’m sorry, but those priests are wrong.

To partake in something knowing that what you are partaking is there by illicit or illegitimate means is clearly wrong.

Obviously if you don’t know, then you aren’t sinning.

But it is usually reasonably obvious whether a video on the internet has been posted officially or not: usually the account doing the posting on Youtube will be obviously owned by the rights holder and its description will make that clear.

For example, CNN will post officially as ‘CNNInternational’. An unofficial uploader of something produced by CNN would be ‘fredbloggs1324’ or ‘funnykitten847’ or any number of random names that people choose.

It’s easy to tell if something is legitimate. If it doesn’t look ‘kosher’… it probably isn’t.

I’m sorry but I’m going to have to go with what the priests told me. It isn’t my job to make sure something is in copyright compliance.

Sounds like passing the buck to me.

All you need to do is be observant and use common sense. I’m not asking you to take a sworn affidavit from each account holder who uploads a video.

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And all I’m saying is responsibility doesn’t fall on me but on the person posting the video. How on Earth am I supposed to make sure they are in copyright compliance? Commonsense doesn’t answer that question for me. For all I know, they are in full compliance with copyright law, no matter how illegitimate they look. It is simply not my job and if that is passing the buck, so be it. I’m sorry but that is my take on it.

Common sense dictates that a video of, say, the entire Jurassic Park movie uploaded onto Youtube is not there licitly, whether the rights-owner of the movie has reported it or not.

I’d have thought that would be obvious, but plainly not.

There are several movies and documentaries that are uploaded legitimately on YouTube; I’d not be surprised to the Jurassic park series up there; especially if it’s in a single piece, since you have to arrange that with youtube.

I promise you that I have seen - and reported to the MPAA - several full movies on Youtube that were clearly not uploaded by their original rights owners.

You can tell by the name and description of the account doing the uploading. A corporate entity uploading its own copyrighted (or permissible) material will clearly be identifiable as such. It really doesn’t take much common sense to be able to identify the ‘pirates’ (or even the woefully naive or ill-informed) from the legitimate accounts.

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