Is it morally wrong to watch clips of movies, games on youtube that were not uploaded by the owner of copyrights?


#1

For example, someone who is not the owner of the basketball game copyrights uploaded a video where a guy dunks. Is this video “stolen” by the uploder from the copyright owner? Is it morally wrong to watch this “stolen” video for fun? What about uploading a clip like these on youtube without having copyrights?


#2

This is kind of tricky. Fair use laws sometimes allow clips of copyrighted content to be uploaded without permission from the owner… but fair use laws are not clear in many cases.

I would say, if you believe that the video has been uploaded illegally then you should not be watching it. If you believe that there is a good chance that it qualifies as fair use then it’s probably okay to watch.


#3

The copyright owner has the exclusive right to copy and distribute his work as he sees fit. So if the video clip was uploaded by ReDd8442, odds are it’s not a legal copy. Usually, the copyright owner will indicate that the clip or entire video is there for whatever reason (promotional, for example) and will indicate it by using words like NBAdigital or NBAmedia, or similar. Morally, you should avoid watching such clips. The following is Fair Use:

copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Peace,
Ed


#4

I agree that this is quite tricky, and that there is a lot of gray area in the law regarding these things. But my philosophy is, if this is against the law, shouldn’t it be Youtube’s responsibilty to police what is uploaded and take down what is illegal? I have seen certain videos, such as tv clips etc. that have been left up on Youtube for YEARS. All in all, I guess I just don’t know, but truthfully it doesn’t bother my conscience to watch something that Youtube has deemed acceptable to be left up on their website.


#5

That’s the wrong attitude. Due to the way the Safe Harbor law and Digital Millennium Copyright Act are written, youtube doesn’t have to do the police work, so don’t try to pass this off as youtube’s responsibility. The COPYRIGHT OWNER has the job of scanning youtube and filing an official, legal request to have it removed. Example: We publish books. From time to time, our fans notify us that illegal copies of our books are on a file stealing site. We send them a takedown notice and a few weeks later, they are back up. So, yeah, it’s our time that’s being wasted and time is money. We could be doing other things during business hours that are far more productive than sending takedown notices every few days, but noooo, that’s not how the law “works.”

Google is a great example: nppa.org/node/60890

Peace,
Ed


#6

Thanks for the info Ed, as I admit that I do not know very much about copywright law. I have several serious questions that I would like anyone who can provide answers to to chime in. As I said, I am being serious because I honsetly do not know the answers!

  1. Should I make a thorough and exhaustive search before every video that I watch to make sure that it has been uploaded by the rightful owner?

  2. If this is a serious or grave issue, then why are the people who are uploading this material not being prosecuted by the law?

  3. If this is such a serious or grave issue, then why is Youtube not being constantly innundated with a barrage of lawsuits?

  4. Finally, if this is such a serious or grave issue, then why does the Federal government allow the website Youtube to continue to provide a forum for lawbreakers?

In other words, why isn’t something being said or done about it? I know the law and Christian morality are two different things.


#7

Again, this is tricky because sometimes a video can be legally uploaded without the owner’s permission. And other times you might not know who the owner is so you wouldn’t know if the owner was the person who uploaded it or not.
But if I saw an entire TV episode or movie then I would certainly read the video description and click on the user’s account to make sure it looks legit.

  1. If this is a serious or grave issue, then why are the people who are uploading this material not being prosecuted by the law?

Because it is difficult to find out who uploaded the videos. You can track down the address that the video was uploaded from which would narrow it down but unless there was a full criminal investigation there’s no way of proving who did it (i.e. it could have been somebody else using the same computer.)

  1. If this is such a serious or grave issue, then why is Youtube not being constantly innundated with a barrage of lawsuits?
  1. Finally, if this is such a serious or grave issue, then why does the Federal government allow the website Youtube to continue to provide a forum for lawbreakers?

In other words, why isn’t something being said or done about it? I know the law and Christian morality are two different things.

Because current law does not oblige YouTube to remove videos unless the copyright holder requests that the video be removed. And the only person who can request the video’s removal is the copyright owner so if the copyright owner does not know about the video then nothing will be done about it.
There has been anti-piracy legislation introduced (such as SOPA and PIPA) which were intended to make it easier to prevent piracy but those laws have been worded so poorly that they could have caused more problems than they solved, so they were never passed.
Something does need to be done about it though.


#8
  1. The law used to conform to basic Christian moral principles and still does in many areas. Starting in 1973, things gradually started going downhill.

  2. Every studio and recording company has a legal department. You can send them an email with a link and the uploader’s fake name. You can also ask for advice.

  3. The FBI has and will continue to prosecute those that violate copyright law. Unfortunately, the news spends more time on celebrities and sports than on news.

fbi.gov/sacramento/press-releases/2013/three-indicted-for-criminal-copyright-infringement

  1. youtube was sued by Viacom. news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57580355-93/youtube-defeats-viacom-copyright-lawsuit-again/

But lost.

However, a recent lawsuit is just getting off the ground.

thewrap.com/movies/article/music-publishers-sue-giant-youtube-network-fullscreen-copyright-infringement-108776

  1. Here is what the FBI says infringement costs producers and copyright owners.

fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/white_collar/ipr/ipr

  1. Here is a video on how to report an infringing video to youtube (the Irish accent is a bit strong): youtube.com/watch?v=lAmUoUXuqII

  2. I lived through a time period when the Federal, State and Local governments respected and reflected this country’s Judeo-Christian Heritage. That’s what they called it.

So, contact the owner of a video or music clip, either just the song or a music video. There is a small but dedicated group of Anarchists who want to steal. They like it. It’s wrong.

Peace,
Ed


#9

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