Watching Copy righted videos a sin?

Today is saw a video called Ghetto Deer (has cuss) and in the description he said he didnt own the video or no copy right intended.Also is it a sin to watch any type of copyrighted things?

I would have to say yes it is a sin because you are taking ownership of something that you have no permission to have which is stealing. Stealing is a sin.

Copyrighted videos is like, half the Internet right there. The other 40% is abandoned 90s HTML pages that look like they’re inspired by Lite Brites and terrible fashion, and the other 10% is that.

I don’t think so. Once something goes on the internet, the person owns the video/song/media/etc., and using that without permission is stealing. Ergo, being on anything involving a video or a song anywhere would be sinful. It’s only if you deliberately use it and intend to monetize it, which is stealing, where it’d be sin.

I am a lawyer, but this is NOT legal advice!!!

If a client presented this hypothetical scenario to me, I would tell the client that he has violated no law, and in our terms, has not sinned. Simply viewing something that may be otherwise protected under federal law is not, in and of itself, a problem. For example, if I post the complete Godfather series on YouTube, you can view it. No legal problem. I, on the other hand, absent permission under Title 17, U.S. Code, will be in all kinds of hurt for violating the fair use provisions therein.

Accordingly, I don’t think you have sinned. On the other hand, if you go to a movie theater with a friend, and that friend records the movie while it is playing, and then you watch the illegal recording later, then that may be sin. Illegal? Probably not, but sin, maybe.

My two cents, which is what it is worth! :thumbsup:

what if you just close your eyes and listen instead ?

usually if you just clap your hands 3 times and walk backwards 50 feet, and then do a cartwheel you are good to go, but if in the off chance your eyes start to burn, chances are you are really up the creek with out a paddle in which case yeah you probably shouldn’t of watched it.

If you know - or are told - that something is not legitimate then you should avoid it as it is tantamount to theft to enjoy something for free that you should otherwise have paid for - i.e if the people who made it did not give permission to other people to copy it and/or give it away.

The gravity of the matter is up for debate - i.e. it might be venial or mortal depending on circumstances and intent - but you certainly shouldn’t watch or listen to something if you know it’s not meant to be free…

Obviously it’s not always possible to tell if something on the internet should or shouldn’t be there, so from a sin point of view you’re free to use your best judgement in such cases. If you think there might be a problem, it makes sense not to do it.

Don’t stress about it too much: it’s usually possible to tell if something is legitimate or not. Videos online will usually be posted by an account that you can tell is official. I.e. a Christina Aguilera music video probably won’t be legitimate if its posted by “fredbloggs1234” but probably is official if it’s posted by EMI or VEVO or some official account. (Disclaimer - I have no actual idea what record label Aguilera is on, I just picked her at random!)

Just use common sense, you’ll be fine.

Excellent advice.

As per trevor1055; "Simply viewing something that may be otherwise protected under federal law is not, in and of itself, a problem. For example, if I post the complete Godfather series on YouTube, you can view it. No legal problem. I, on the other hand, absent permission under Title 17, U.S. Code, will be in all kinds of hurt for violating the fair use provisions therein."

Oh boy. This - again.

First of all, anything you watch on youtube unless explicitly identified as being owned by EMI Music or MGM Digital is suspect. Most people don’t know what Fair Use means. And youtube is required, by law, to take down any infringing videos and music.

Copyright means right to copy. So if it’s put up by JoE883911, odds are it’s illegal.

One of the other rights a copyright owner has is distribution rights. For example, some of our books cannot be sold in certain countries.The same with a video. By copying it without permission, posting it anywhere, without permission, you are distributing it without permission. When in doubt, find out or avoid it.

Stealing is a sin.


The Supreme Court of the US recently ruled that this is not the case; they basically said that a person who owns something has a right to do what they want with it, including selling it, regardless of the desires of the copyright holder.

And as trevor rightly pointed out with the law behind him, simply viewing something, regardless as to whether it is protected under the law is itself, not a problem. To equate such an action to “stealing” is wrong and misleading. One does not “steal” simply by watching.

Maybe not in terms of law, but in moral terms, if you get something for free that, by rights, you should have paid for in order to have the benefit of it, then that is tantamount to theft.

Laws don’t always reflect moral realities, remember.

Not every situation is a moral or immoral dilemma, either. There is a reality of things being morally neutral. It may be unethical to put a video on youtube that you don’t have the rights to but it is a long stretch to state that watching the same video is “theft.” What, exactly, has been stolen?

“Theft” is taking something that rightfully belongs to another. Copyright violations are just that, violations of copyright laws. The two are not interchangeable. People are just going to have to get used to the fact that computers and the world wide web have made it a brave new world. I think it ludicrous to expect someone who types a title into google to have the moral duty to investigate the publishing and copyright holders of every song and video on the internet.

What is being stolen?

Say you want to buy a movie that is streamed to your computer from Netflix for $10.00, then you see it on youtube or a file stealing site for nothing.

That is what is being stolen.


I don’t know whether it’s theft or not, but I don’t watch things illegally. If you like a show or a movie, you should support the people who make it- either by buying it or by watching the show for free with commercials. Otherwise, those people won’t be able to make more stuff in the future.

I sometimes make exceptions for stories that aren’t legally available in my country, though. I’m not sure whether that counts as stealing or not. If I don’t have the ability to support an artist, I don’t see how enjoying their work is stealing in that case. :shrug:

Please talk to your priest and receive guidance from him in these matters.

Then, according to your statement above, loaning or borrowing a book, movie, magazine, cd or any other item which one does not own the copyright is facilitating theft. Is this what you are saying? Have you never borrowed, loaned or just browsed through something without paying for it?

Are, then, not libraries houses of theft that allow people to consume books, magazines, newspapers, movies and cds without due payment? If not, then why?

Someone on this site once posted that they posed this very question to their priest. His response was that "people make too much out of it." I happen to agree with him. When I was a kid I used to put my little tape recorder in front of the tv and record the theme songs of many tv shows. No one back then suggested that I (and many others around the world) was stealing anything. In college, people copied out of books in the library all the time; no one ever suggested we were stealing anything. Now, if I send a song to someone from a cd that I own I am nothing but a thief.

It is one thing to mass copy something without owning the publishing or copyright and sell it for money. That is the classic definition of “piracy.”

I would say:

If it’s something that’s commercially available (like on DVD), and you’re watching it in some other form instead of paying for it, that’s stealing.

If it’s something that’s not commercially available, and you are absolutely sure you will buy a copy if it becomes available, that’s not stealing.

Would you equate reading a book to someone over the phone to be stealing? Why or why not?

No -

Having a book in front of you is more convenient.

The person having the book read to them over the phone doesn’t have the same convenience as the person with the real book.

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