is this sinful?

Hi, I can’t decide if this is a sin or not…

I don’t download any movies/tv shows/music online for free… but I see on Youtube, sometimes people upload entire movies. Is it sinful to watch them, even if you don’t download them?

thanks :slight_smile:

If it bothers you and you can go without it don’t do it anymore. It’s really a weird issue. On one hand some shows put their episodes online anyway. They may not be available in your area so that creates some confusion on how serious the sin can be if at all.

I don’t think it is. My husband and I occasionally watch some shows on Youtube. Sometimes that is the only place to find some obscure stuff.

I’ve been wondering this too is it sinful???

Well it is sinful to upload movies to YouTube. By watching you are benefiting from that.

It is illegal and therefore arguably sinful for someone who doesn’t own the broadcast rights to a movie or tv show to upload it. Sometimes the upload is done by whoever owns the rights, which is fine.

You can usually check with whoever uploaded it.

As Christians, I believe it is our duty, under normal circumstances, to follow the law of the land in which we reside. Paragraph 2240 of the Catechism says that Christians are to obey the established laws, except, as Paragraph 2242 says:
"The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”*

… also, this is a really old thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

What about the use of copyrighted content for wallpapers (personal use).
I’ve heard that for personal use it’s okay, but I’m curious about the use of fanart as wallpaper, because I’ve heard that fanart without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal. So any fanart I have as a wallpaper is illegal I guess. In this case would it be a sin to use them as wallpapers?

It depends on your conscience.

Is watching uploaded videos on youtube legal or not?

It would be legal, however, in the case of an uploaded movie, it technically shouldn’t be there in the first place. It’s not because it’s legal that it’s there but the inability of YouTube to scan and process every upload to check for copyright. So I guess it would still be illegal. Same thing with AMV’s etc. It may be uploaded for some time, but if caught, it can be removed by copyright claim etc. Whether or not it is caught or recognized as such does not necessarily mean that it is legal.

But how can the viewer tell if the copyright owner gave the uploader permission to upload the video or not?

For me personally, I just use it as a rule of thumb that the person probably didn’t. I once wanted to make an app about a TV show, but after emailing for permission, they said no for diluting the content etc…

I’ve never ever heard of a case where copyrighted content of a full film is given permission to be uploaded by someone else. I have never seen this happen, as it makes no sense for a company to allow copyrighted movies to be uploaded. It’s one of the reasons for copyright so that it may not be reproduced and distributed through other means other than the copyright holder.

Also, in regards to AMV’s and such on YouTube, most probably are illegal because most people from experience just get the videos themselves and edit, post etc. Only time I’ve personally known someone to get permission (after getting videos removed initially from copyright) was someone who uploaded fan animations based on a show. However, he is either very close to or is a professional animator, and the person hopes to actually pursue a career with the company of said TV show. Hence, he was only able to reupload content that got leniency from the company since it lacked copyrighted characters in the animations.

Technically, we don’t know, but by prudence most likely any movie online on youtube are probably illegal and AMV’s probably are as well unless. In terms of AMV’s they probably aren’t removed that easily since for a lot of companies they may see it as free advertising. But technically it may be seen as illegal from an objective standpoint.

I am FAR from being a legal expert, but this is what I think from what my knowledge.

Wish I can see Karol: A Man Who Became Pope, it’s not on Netflix or Amazon for streaming. :frowning:

As others have stated those of faith in Christ are called to obey governing authorities so to deem this act as sinful you have to research and see if it is indeed illegal. I would start with the YouTube copyright laws and see if users are even allowed to be putting this content on the site because of its potential to be illegal. However from my brief research you can watch anything on Youtube and not worry of prosecution. But if somebody illegally uploads Man of Steel and you watch it, it would be the uploaders liability not yours. This is a bit of a silly analogy but “you can watch someone steal but don’t try stealing yourself.” Of course though not all movies on YouTube are culprits of copyright infringement there are movies on the site that do have the legal clearance to be shared there. But YouTube doesn’t have a lot of procedures for weeding out and fixing copyright problems in the system, in the end if it makes you feel bad then don’t continue viewing those things on YouTube.

But how can the viewer know if the video was uploaded with out without the copyright owner’s permission?

Technically we don’t. But with good reason, it is most likely not with the copyright owner’s permission. In the case of movies with copyright, then that is virtually an automatic no (unless the movie is very old and is not bound by copyright anymore). For most movies, there is absolutely no reason a distributor would allow a regular user to upload their movie online. Sort of defeats the purpose of making a profit on their part.
Also, if it was a valid upload from a regular user with permission, it would probably be expected to find it in the description regarding this. It’s a big no-no in general to not give credit to the creator or source when it is due.

In the case of an AMV and such, I believe most fall under the fair use (forgot name) so snippets and stuff are okay (although it is a grey area, and some companies are very sensitive about this and still ask that it be taken down). For example, there was a fananimation regarding characters from a real TV show. It got taken down by the company (Hasbro). Only with dialogue between the fananimator (who is basically a professional animator) and the company was he able to get some of his animations back for public viewing.

Unless there is something to indicate that it is an upload with permission, then it is most prudent to assume that it was not uploaded with permission as it is very unlikely in the first place for movies and other copyrighted videos to be there in the first place.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit