Rare movies on Youtube

Hi everyone, I just wanted to discuss the issue of pirating, but on some different circumstances.

I don’t like to download files illegally, and know that it is theft.

However, is it the same with Youtube? I wouldn’t normally watch a whole movie on Youtube, but I have been interested in a rare movie (called Goodbye Lenin!) that I really can’t find at Blockbuster or the library. The whole thing is on Youtube, but would it be sinful to watch and I guess support that copyright infringement? I don’t have a car or anything

I may just be trying to justify my sins, but many others seem to torrent without guilt. If I was able to rent this movie or borrow it from someone legitimately, I would. However, my resources are pretty limited.

Watching a movie on Youtube that is extremely difficult to find to buy in the open market, is not a sin. That is one of the main points of the service Youtube provides.

How is watching a movie on YouTube different than borrowing it from the library? You’re not paying anything either way and it’s not like the library is paying special licensing or copyright fees.

Hm, that is true. Although some may argue I am supporting the guy who ripped the movie onto Youtube by viewing it.

Alright, maybe that didn’t make alot of sense.
Thanks for your reply.

I always thought Youtube won’t show copyrighted stuff without special permission… Maybe the movie’s rare enough to not have a copyright? Or they’ve agreed to this? :confused: Really good question!

I’ve seen that movie! It was both enlightening and sweet… though i forgot how it ends (watched it maybe 3 years ago).

I thought also it would be ok to watch things on YouTube, because they remove stuff that owners of the material don’t want up there. However, I’m suspicious as to how capable they are of scanning every single upload to see if it violates their rules (is that really possible…? how many uploads a day are there anyway?)

I heard Netflix is cheap, and they have a huge range of movies.

I’m pretty sure that it is copyright infringement. I often see people post full movies to YouTube and they usually eventually get taken down (though not immediately). I looked the movie up on YouTube and it looks like someone posted it on the site only a week or two ago and it doesn’t have many views. I bet it will eventually be taken down. In this case I’m pretty sure someone put it up illegally, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Some bands love to have their music videos on YouTube, while others have them taken down when they find out about them. If you want to be sure you don’t view any copyrighted material, you might want to stick to sources where you know the company signed off on it. There are some decent movies at the YouTube Screening Room, and some on Hulu as well.

As a collector of rare (truly rare) movies, I think there’s an important distinction to be made about what’s truly rare. When a studio’s copyright, their ownership, expires on a title, like “Suddenly” (the Frank Sinatra movie) or some of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “Road To” movies, or whatever, it lapses into what’s called “public domain.” The film noir “Detour” from the 1950’s, for example. The term “public domain” means the film’s rare enough that the copyright lapsed and the studio no longer claims ownership. It’s not stealing. It’s legally and morally ‘up for grabs.’

A film that has limited distribution (like, evidently, “(500) Days of Summer”), is technically not “rare” because there’s a studio that is enforcing its copyright and it’s maintaining distribution channels. So, while a film like “Goodbye Lenin” may not be showing at every shopping mall multiplex from here to Des Moines (though it would be cool if it could), that in and of itself does not constitute a “rare” movie.

YouTube routinely - and strictly - enforces copyright of all complainants. I know this for a fact because when I tried to check out the new tracks by Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, or whoever, that someone posted, YouTube either keeps the video and yanks the audio, or they remove the video entirely.

A rare movie is something like the silent film “Trapped By The Mormons.” (That’s an actual, legit silent movie.) I have it on VHS. It’s public domain. I’m free to do it with whatever I want: copy it for people, whatever.

There are some nice movies on there indeed, it’s always a good way to waste some time.

Ummm…you won’t get in trouble for it…but it’s probably not the best thing to do if it worries you. But there are some movies on there that have been allowed by the studios to be on there(independent ones mainly)

The way I see it, as long as someone isn’t claiming that they own the copyright and they aren’t charging people to see it, it isn’t stealing. It’s no more stealing than it would be to own a copy of the movie on VHS or DVD or even 8mm and invite people over to watch it.

As I said, this was answered in the Ask an Apologist forum:

Technically, you don’t download anything off YouTube. It’s video streaming. If you could download it, that would mean you’d have the capability of saving it on your computer or burning a DVD of it. To the best of my knowledge, you can’t do that on YouTube.

YouTube does not want to break any copyright laws probably more so than any of us don’t want to break them. Of course, they can’t monitor everything, so copyrighted stuff still gets posted, but eventually it gets pulled. If you’re that concerned about it, shoot YouTube an email with a link to the video in question and ask them if the video is violating any copyright laws. They’ll be able to acertain that much more easily than any of us can.

You’re not “supporting” him/her (It could just as easily be a fem). No $$$ is going from your pocket to his/hers.


How about Netflix? It’s fairly cheap (you can get two movies a month for $4.99), and they have an incredible selection, including movies much rarer than Goodbye, Lenin.


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