Should I report this?

Earlier today I went looking online for information and reviews of a film about the life of St Francis of Assisi.

I already own it on DVD, but I wanted to find out more about its production and the actors involved. In my search I discovered the entire movie on a video site (I won’t name the movie or say which site, obviously, as I don’t wish to tempt others to watch it without paying for it). I know that it shouldn’t be there. The whole movie is there to download, and the account holder making it available is not an official one for the movie’s makers, distributors, or anyone else. It’s just someone who’s copied the film and uploaded it whole, along with a number of others from unrelated sources.

Now I can’t report it to the video site concerned because they don’t offer a way to do so if you’re not the actual rights-holder yourself.

Should I therefore report the account holder on that site to the MPAA (The Motion Picture Association of America)? This isn’t an isolated one-off upload by that account - there are several other full length films and TV programs in their upload list, all from different producers. The account holder concerned isn’t making any personal benefit from uploading the movies so far as I know, but they are enabling others to download them without any restitution being made to the people who made the films (and that’s everyone involved, actors, crew, directors, investors, the lot)…

I’ve found the MPAA Report Piracy web page. If I do not report it, am I therefore complicit in the acts of others who illicitly obtain a movie that they should have paid for?

If you can figure out who to report it to, do it.

You might want to report it to the producers of the St. Francis movie separately since they might not be represented by the MPAA.

I’m no expert on copyright law, but depending on how old the movie is, it’s entirely possible that it could be in the public domain.

If I remember correctly, a film has to be 75+ years old for it to fall into public domain. And even then, I believe there are new copyright laws which allow a company to renew those claims. I could be wrong, though.

Honestly, I wouldn’t waste your time. Websites like this exist all over the place and I guarantee that if you can find it with a google search, then the MPAA already has. The problem with these sites is that they are either run by hackers who can hide their location very well, or they are based in countries with much looser enforcement of copyright laws, and therefore, no reasonable way to get it shut down.

NOOOOOO!!! leave it alone. if you don’t like it, leave it alone. I stopped downloading “illegally”, but the mpaa is not exactly a virtuous institution. they are looking out ONLY for their profits. which is arguably immoral. some people can’t afford to buy movies all the time. if i go over to a friends house to watch a movie, should i pay him? no. unless you are dloading it and making copies., this is at most venial. imho. if you wouldn’t see it otherwise, i think it is okay to download it for personal viewing.

Whether they are looking out only for their profits or not, and whether they could be using their rights to the movie more morally or not, they do have the right to not have their movies stolen. If people cannot afford to buy a movie, or legally get to watch it some other way, and regardless of whether or not it would be virtuous for the rights holders to provide a free way to watch the movie, then that person simply cannot watch the movie. There is no right to watch movies that other people made and don’t want to distribute for free.

Theft is not OK. Options are 1) purchase, rent, or otherwise legally view, or 2) do without. There is no moral theft option. And reporting theft is good.

Pending a decision on what or how I report it, I decided to email the account holder that uploaded the videos and let them know they were breaking copyright and might like to take the videos down lest they get prosecuted.

If they don’t in the next couple of days, then I’ll report it.

As for contacting the producers of the film, well that’s remarkably difficult to do: they don’t tend to put their addresses on the credits, and, in any case, this film is a number of years old (although well within the 75 year copyright timeframe) so any such contact details would almost certainly be out of date.

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