is this stealing?

is it stealing if you watch movies and music uploaded to youtube?
and i usually watch anime at a website called, its a website that hosts content uploaded by third parties so you can watch anime for free, but does that count as stealing?
i would really appreciate if someone could give me any advice. thank you

I’m not sure. If it’s been uploaded so people can watch it without having to purchase the DVD sets, then unfortunately yes it is stealing. There are some shows that companies allow on YouTube, but probably not many anime shows. If you go to you can see which TV shows are uploaded by their creators.

i see,
is it still stealing if the person who uploads the content has purchased it himself but just shares it with people on the internet?
so for example on youtube if a user posts a song that he purchased on one of his videos?

Well, I know with songs you have to the rights or permission to use it. Many songs are on YouTube legally though, so they are easier to find than TV shows/movies.

ok thank you.

I think it is only illegal to download or upload unauthorized video content and that streaming is legal, but I’m not sure on that.

Hi Bakmoon (and others?):

Check the laws of your country to see what applies to you; what is considered illegal “theft” or “stealing” in one country is often perfectly legal “sharing” or “streaming” in another. Here in Canada (where I live) almost no-one would consider watching videos/hearing songs on youtube or downloading videos off other websites as theft; and indeed, Canadians pay a fee whenever they buy blank media (like CDs) in order to compensate any musicians who claim they have lost revenue from music piracy. Though we have a series of copyright laws working their way through debate in our parliament, usually what happens is that the government falls before any changes to the Copyright Act get passed (democracy is sometimes annoying when the people get in the way LOL); and thus while downloading things is sometimes disputed in theory, in practice it is tolerated. Ottawa University academic Michael Geist is the go-to guy for any new changes/revisions to the Copyright Law in Canada:

In other countries, there are differing views. Here’s a rundown on how it stands in various places:

Catholic Answers has seen this question many times before, with differing answers (again, it depends where you live and what laws apply to you):

Good luck in deciding what is best for you!


what im asking is wether its a sin or not.
is it stealing by catholic definition if you listen to content uploaded by a third party on youtube?

Hi Someperson:

Well asking whether something is “sinful” is, admittedly, a bit different than asking if it is “legal”; if it’s a legal question, it (usually) can be answered with a firm yes or no, given the exactitude of the law. But given as definitions of sin are subjective, it’s very hard to decide what is sinful, as some things may be sinful for some people and not for others (some people find provocative dress leads to lust. others dont. your mileage may vary).

The Catholic definition of “sin” is here. Basically, sin is defined as a “morally bad act not in accord with reason informed by the Divine law”. That’s a pretty broad definition, obviously, so I thought I’d try to narrow it down a little. Content on youtube could (I suppose, depending on the video) be a incitement to lust (which is certainly sinful). Then again, maybe some would consider it theft (which is also sinful). Here are the two formal definitions:

lust: “The inordinate craving for, or indulgence of, the carnal pleasure which is experienced in the human organs of generation.”

theft: “Theft is the secret taking of another’s property against the reasonable will of that other.”

So the question becomes: do the youtube videos incite lust in the viewer? Or do you think you have stolen something by watching them? My own view is, no, and no. I don’t have a youtube account, and when occasionally a video link to youtube comes up from a webpage I’m reading that says “you must be 18+ to watch this video” I normally just skip over it; I don’t want to create an account just to watch a 30 second video clip. Youtube’s own Community Guidelines tell us what the site is to be used for, and they don’t include pornography or other explicit materials, and the site asks people to flag those items if they do come up:

Is it theft? I can’t see how; youtube is a legal website, it freely allows videos to be uploaded/downloaded, and indeed my cable provider advertises in my neighbourhood saying “Sign Up With Rogers Cable and With Our New Plan You Can Download 100,000 Songs/Watch 10,000 Youtube Videos a Month” sort of statements…I mean, the Internet/Cable/Telecom Companies sell you internet access fully encouraging you to use these websites, so how can they turn around and complain when you pay your monthly fee to do just what they told you that you could do? That seems to be to be “bad faith” on the part of the corporations; if they encourage something with their left hand, and then criticize it with their right, they are the ones acting immorally. I think most people feel they’ve basically “paid” for the material on the web they watch/listen to when they pay their monthly Internet/Cable bill…so from their point of view, it’s an “all you can eat buffet” of downloading or streaming or whatever it is that you do.

My take on the “third party” thing…Youtube makes its money on advertisements. If somebody “complains” that they own a copyright on a song played in somebody’s youtube video, fine…it’s up to youtube to investigate, and, if it is so, it’s up to them to cut a deal with the copyright owner to host the video (maybe a share of advertising revenues). It’s certainly not the fault of the people who watched the video; that would be like a TV Station broadcasting a Movie, say, that it didn’t have copyright clearance for, then blaming or suing the TV Station’s audience for watching it! I mean, seriously…how is a satellite TV viewer in Canada supposed to know that the “Late Night Fright Show” broadcast on an American station didn’t have the Canadian Copyright License (or whatever), and he is supposedly “sinning” by watching it? I have no way of knowing if a song played in a Youtube video is “licensed” or not; there’s no way to know if the uploader cleared the video with the copyright owner first (maybe the musician doesn’t care, or wants to get his song out there. Maybe he doesn’t know. Maybe he’s getting a share of the ad-clicks. Maybe he is a friend of the uploader. Who knows?) You need “full knowledge/intent” for something to be sinful, and it seems to me that it’s up to the website to sort this sort of stuff out…they make millions of dollars off this stuff, the passive viewer doesn’t make a penny.

Sorry if I can’t be more helpful…this stuff is really subjective, and people of good will disagree about it. So Good luck with whatever is best for you.



thank you very much!
yes, you have been a good help.
although i dont see what my question has to do with lust lol. i just watch whatever movie i like, if theres a sex scene well, what can i do? not watch the entire movie because of one scene? :confused:
anyway about the copyright thing (which was my original question), im going to ask a priest. yoiu bring up good points, but i just want to be certain. there are a lot of grey areas with copyright morality. :frowning:

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