Anyone who goes to youtube and searches the phrase “full movie” can see that there are plenty of full movies available to watch there for free, and some of them are pretty decent. My question is whether it is okay to watch these. A few considerations come to mind:
Take-down notices are a big part of youtube, and when a company notices a film of theirs that is on there, they may file a take-down notice and youtube is required to remove it. Arguably, movie companies are giving tacit permission to youtube to host the movies that are there, by not issuing any take-down notices for those ones, while issuing them for other ones. Is that a good argument?
Some films are definitely there with the permission of the copyright holder, because youtube has a “movies” section at youtube.com/movies and they only place movies there in cooperation with the copyright holder. They use advertising and a pay-per-view service to compensate the copyright holder in a similar way to what hulu does. Arguably, movie companies have made it clear what movies they think are authorized to watch online by putting them in the “movies” section, and any others on youtube are unauthorized, and therefore bootlegged/pirated/immoral. Is that a good argument?