Would this be stealing?

A new T.V. show cam out yesterday (Korra), and I wasn’t able to watch it when it was on. They have the previous episodes on their websites for free (but not the ones that came out yesterday). These websites say that they are not able to stream to where I live so would it be a grave sin of stealing to watch these episodes from another source? I have an ad-blocker so I never see adds from any website. I could see this as being considered a grave sin, or a venial one. On one hand the content would be viewed on a website that wasn’t theirs, but on the other they post it online for free themselves, and either way I wouldn’t see adds because of the program I use. When I tried talking to my pastor about it, I go a vague kind of response that didn’t say if it was stealing or not. Opinions?

No. If you can click onto it its free for the viewing. I know others will disagree

No, I doubt it would be, just see it as a gift for being a nice person,

First of all its not stealing.
After you watch it, its still there, you have taken nothing and
you have not diminished it in any way, nor have you prevented anyone else
from anything.
But…if you are aware that the people legally providing it intend for you to pay for it in
some way , then it raises a question of honesty.
Howver, the fact is that the medium they are using is your computer and you have every right to secure your computer how you wish.
You have no contractual agreement with them and you have no agreement not to watch another source.
If it is freely available then it is not dishonest unless the other sites are doing something dishonest or illegal.

You could connect via a proxy from a country to where they do stream and maybe get it that way as well. Anyway, I don’t see this as sinful unless you hold very strictly to some supposed agreement between you and the company that produces/distributes the show. But then, do you read all your software agreements and abide fully by them? And I know two wrongs don’t make a right- But do the companies strictly abide by their agreements? I would not personally worry about this.

Ask your priest.

The copyright owner is the only person/entity that is allowed to stream content. If it says it’s free then it’s free. If it doesn’t or you don’t know, you should find out.

Just because a TV show can be turned into digital bits, does that mean it doesn’t exist when you watch it? Of course not. Take Netflix. Why would anyone pay them money to get digital bits streamed to their computer? Because they have obtained the right to do so. What you get is not nothing.


No. Not even venial. Nobody is missing anything, not even potential revenue, because of what you did. Thus you didn’t not steal anything.

I think there are two questions in your original post: I. Is it okay to bypass region blocks online to view content that is freely available in other countries? and II. Is it okay to use an ad blocker in a browser?.

I. If it’s not available in your country, there is probably a license or agreement with a broadcaster in your country for you to view it. That broadcaster may or may not have its own website. Regardless if they do or not, bypassing a region block would break that license. In most countries it would be illegal to break a contract, but it’s kind of a gray area because bypassing it you won’t even see any sort of license that needs to be accepted. This would be at most a venial sin for a few occurrences. You do not need to go to confession. You can simply say an Act of Contrition privately to God to be forgiven. If you started doing this for all your TV watching, it would become more serious. I don’t know if it could become a mortal sin though.

II. I don’t know of any laws making ad blockers illegal, at least in the U.S. If they were illegal, you can bet they would not be easily available from Google Chrome’s or Mozilla Firefox’s official plugin databases. Not a sin at all unless it is used for malice (to “punish” a website you don’t like). I personally use ad blockers because a lot of internet ads depict women not wearing much, and I have had an addiction in the past to sins of impurity. Those types of ads can be a trigger. I do turn it off for websites that I support and know don’t have bad ads such as Catholic Answers.

Hello friends

If a person gives up cable TV but yet has cable internet is it wrong to stream channels that they no longer can watch over the antenna? Cable channels such as HGTV, AMC, History, etc? The channels would not be paid for separately but the internet is paid for.

A person is paying for the internet service and the person has found shows on streaming sites that they use to watch on paid cable, is it a sin? Mortal sin?

If a show is on regular over the air antenna, but let us say weather interferes with reception of that channel would it be a sin to find it on your internet streaming site? It was free over the air should it be considered free on a streaming site?

Why is it okay? Why is it wrong? Is it wrong because you no longer pay for the service of the cable channels?

Thank you

Interesting what the human mind will find to fret over.

Well, that is sort of what I am asking. IS this something to fret over?

You have done your best to seek wise counsel, the matter clearly is complex, though most here find in your favour. Clearly it isnt grave matter.

You are now free to decide personally before God using your conscience as guide.
When there is still very reasonable doubt you are allowed to decide in your own favor.

Alright, thank you for the replies. Here is the skinny. If the site your viewing from is licensed/has permission to broadcast it is okay. For instance, the Wimbledon channel was free during the championships. IF said site that you stream from does not have that permission then you should not watch.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.