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Old 03-22-2010, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,301,902 times
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Hiya -

Recently, a teen told me about spending hours watching newly released and older movies online and free of charge on several internet sites (including movies-links.tv).

It's easily gotten to, no membership is necessary, nor are there any fees, special hacker tricks or secret passcodes utilized to access it. Surely, if current blockbusters are available for free, this can't be legal and must be some sort of copyright infringement and/or theft, right?

I don't see any warnings, with a few easy clicks one can watch (or download, I believe) Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp & the current Sherlock Holmes movie with Jude Law. I'm tempted to try it but keep thinking "this sounds too good to be true". Since I've tried my entire adult life to stay out of jail, I'd prefer my night of George Clooney viewing not be interrupted by the FBI kicking in my door.

Are any of these sites legal? And/or is it only illegal to watch the new films still in theatres but not a real oldie, such as a Bogart or John Wayne film?

Lastly, I had no idea where to research this info. Who regulates online films being made public and free, such as one sees on YouTube?

Thanks very much.

Last edited by PatanjaliTwist; 03-22-2010 at 01:35 AM.. Reason: My apologies, didn't know I shouldn't list full URL's.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:01 AM
 
240 posts, read 350,708 times
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To my knowledge these sites don't host them, they link to another site which hosts them and the site that host them usually isn't aware that they are hosting them and the sites that host them usually take them down once they are aware that someone posted them. There are so many places to upload your movie to that not much can be done about it anymore. You can even find copyrighted content on youtube and they use image recognition software to prevent such, but it still happens. There is just too much content out there for a company to personally review every upload.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,301,902 times
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JN... Yes, I have seen YT videos of concerts or interviews disappear after a few weeks and yes, the site I listed linked to many other sites showing the movies.

My comment to those who believed there was no harm in viewing was "infringement is infringement", however, the opposing point was "if it's made available and I'm not downloading, renting or selling the content, it's free, it's legal, I didn't post it or profit from it, I simply watched it".

Point taken. Perhaps profit, no. But, we're all supposed to pay $10/ticket to view films in theatre. But, moral issue aside, I'm wondering about the legality of an unsuspecting viewer who happens upon a free 'net upload of the next big Denzel movie. Can s/he be carted off to court or fined if over 21? If under 21 are the parents legally bound? Any idea who would regulate this and share the laws?
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,301,902 times
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As a follow-up to my own q... I did find this info, if anyone else is interested, regarding some free sites which many probably already know about at "spreety dot com slash movies dot aspx". There are 25-ish free, seemingly legal sites for movie/TV viewing.

Thinking outloud now, there must be some site one can visit to type in a URL to find out if it's legally hosting movies? I tried the FBI site and either I can't find info or it's not available. Only found stories on those who were arrested with thousands of illegally copied movies. This can't possibly be that difficult to find, can it?
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:30 AM
 
240 posts, read 350,708 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatanjaliTwist View Post
As a follow-up to my own q... I did find this info, if anyone else is interested, regarding some free sites which many probably already know about at "spreety dot com slash movies dot aspx". There are 25-ish free, seemingly legal sites for movie/TV viewing.

Thinking outloud now, there must be some site one can visit to type in a URL to find out if it's legally hosting movies? I tried the FBI site and either I can't find info or it's not available. Only found stories on those who were arrested with thousands of illegally copied movies. This can't possibly be that difficult to find, can it?
I've see court cases involving this. It is illegal to knowingly host the content, but not to link to it, well that is the general impression I get, though it may vary from country to country.

File-Sharing and Link Sites Declared Legal in Spain | TorrentFreak
UK Court Finds That Simply Linking To Infringing Videos Is Not Infringing | Techdirt UK Court Finds That Simply Linking To Infringing Videos Is Not Infringing
Deep linking and search engines legal? - Copyright and Commercial Law Issues The German Federal Court of Justice issued a verdict today holding that an online service which offers links to articles in a protected database is not in violation of copyright and competition law
FAQ about Piracy or Copyright Infringement -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse contributory infringement
Michael Geist - U.S. Court Rules Against isoHunt For Inducing Copyright Infringement U.S. Court Rules Against isoHunt For Inducing Copyright Infringement
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Summaries of Fair Use Cases
ALA | Copyright Court Cases (http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/copyright/copyrightcases/copyrightcourt.cfm - broken link) COPYRIGHT COURT CASES

It is unlikely you will go to jail for viewing a movie online, at least not in the near future. Unless you are posting movies or hosting them, you are pretty safe.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,301,902 times
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JN... Very informative and helpful. Thank you very much for your time and research.

Glad to hear the wee ones I'm visiting for spring and their mates won't be going to "the pokey" as they called it. I'll keep smaller bills for bail money, just in case.

Well done.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:14 AM
 
7,376 posts, read 13,032,102 times
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1)It depends on what country the host is in. Different countries have different copyright laws. If you follow such news about sites like pirate bay you know how much legal battles they go through. They literally close up shop and move to a different country. 6 months ago they were hosting their webstie in a nuclear fallout shelter somewhere in Europe, i forget where.

2)As posted above, just because you have a site where copy righted movies can be downloaded from doesent make them illegal because they may not actually host the movie, just the link. This is a gray area.

3)As far as torrents go its not illegal to download a torrent. Let me explain really quickly what a torrent is for those that dont know.

"Torrent" files are, specifically, a small file of information used by a technology known as "bitTorrent". To be super pedantic about it, because the ".torrent" file itself just has some administrative information in it, there's nothing wrong with downloading it.
But that, of course, is not what you meant.
The word "torrent" is also frequently, though incorrectly, used to refer to the actual files being shared using bitTorrent. So while you might use the ".torrent" to initiate a download, most people call the download itself a "torrent" as well. And that's more than likely what you're asking.
"bitTorrent is nothing more than a file downloading technology. "
But here's the catch: bitTorrent is nothing more than a file downloading technology. It's highly efficient, optimized for large files and for decentralized storage of the files being downloaded, but ultimately it's nothing more than a way to copy a file down to your machine.
Copying a file to your machine is not illegal.
The technology used to copy a file to your machine is not illegal.
In some ways you could just as well ask "Is it legal to download files from the web?", to which the answer is (obviously, I hope), of course it's legal. We do it every time we view a web page.
The problem comes from looking at exactly what kinds of files are being downloaded.
Downloading copyrighted files without permission is illegal. And it doesn't matter what technology you happen to use to do it: bitTorrent, FTP, web downloads, [ or getting a CD in the mail. If the material is copyrighted and you didn't pay for or otherwise get the legal right or license to receive those files, those are all copyright violations.
Unfortunately bitTorrent technology has become confused with illegal file sharing simply because so much of that illegal activity uses that technology.
So let's be clear: the technology is legal. BitTorrent is legal. Torrents are legal. But using bitTorrent or any other technology to download copyrighted material that you don't have the right to is not.
And yes, bitTorrent and bitTorrent-like technology can most definitely be used for totally legal activities. As just one small example I believe many Linux distributions are often made available as torrents. Perfectly legal, and exactly the kind of large download that bitTorrent technology was designed for and excels at.

The only truly legal streaming movie video sights will be sights such as hulu. They actually pay for the movies by placing ads in the movie that you have to watch. Not to mention most movies and shows they offer are either free(non hbo and such) or older.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Temporarily, in Limerick
2,898 posts, read 5,301,902 times
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Thank you, Skel... This makes more sense and is what I initially thought... you can't view current movies sans buying a theatre ticket. YET, it is simultaneously confusing as to where the viewing line begins and ends. I'm assuming most, if not all movies retain copyrights regardless of film age... someone owns that 1920's big studio vampire movie and 1930's screwball comedy. Some lapse, sure, but I'd bet the vast majority have not. But... how does one know if what's been uploaded isn't a legal copy?

One of my friend's teens showed me part of a movie being viewed which was obviously uploaded by someone who got their hands on a "test pressing" DVD (my own phrasing to best describe it), perhaps their personal, legal copy as a studio employee. Every so often throughout the movie (which was in theatres several months ago) was the disclaimer "This is for viewing purposes only and is not to be rented or sold" just as the film switched to B&W then back to color, to disuade selling I'm sure. Again, the room comments (from adults) were, "We're not renting, copying or selling, just viewing a test pressing which was sent out so others can view it. The recipient wanted us to view it, hence uploaded it. Therefore, we're all doing nothing wrong". I do see the point in feeling they're viewing a legal pressing of the movie and are relieved of any copyright responsibility.

Interesting observation: The disclaimer in the movie said nothing of copying, downloading or uploading... only no renting or selling.

According to one of the links JN listed above (and other good info I found on nolopress dot com), one can buy a music/audio CD, lend it to a friend to have said friend take a listen, return it to the owner and there is no copyright infringement because there was no sale or illegal copying taking place... just free listening. The same for a book... one may legally lend a book to someone who isn't paying for the right to read it... it's already been purchased once. Also, according to the same link one can also copy a purchased CD onto a home computer and/or Ipod, essentially making two or more copies and not be liable to purchase additional copies or be in violation of copyright laws... just more free listening.

If that carries over to DVDs, one should be able to view free movies online if anyone once paid for them and/or perhaps if they were freely distributed, as in the test pressing referenced above.

This gets murky, which is why I found a form on the free movie link site to ask just these questions of the staff... are we in hot water for viewing movies at the links they offer? I'll list their response, should I receive one. They list the following disclaimers:

"Important Notice:
Please be advised that many video files, particularly those for recently released titles, may have a very short lifespan before they are removed from host sites. Watch Movies does not host, nor does it upload video files. Links are sourced and indexed only. For this reason, we cannot repair dead links. We do, however, endeavour to locate replacements as quickly as possible. We ask that members be patient and we apologise in advance for any inconvenience."


AND

"Disclaimer:
Watch Movies provides links to other sites on the Internet (DivX host sites, supernovatube dot com, megavideo dot com, myspace dot com, tudou dot com, veoh dot com, youku dot com, youtube dot com, and others.) We do not host or upload any video, films, or media files. Therefore, Watch Movies is not responsible for the accuracy, compliance, copyright, legality, decency, or any other aspect of the content of other linked sites. If you have any legal issues please contact the appropriate media file owners / host sites."


Note: I changed the websites to read "dot com" as I wasn't able to post URL's in my initial post.

Since the FBI has warnings on the beginning of commercial DVDs, I'll assume they regulate such matters. I found no info on their site which addressed the viewing issue exactly, but I suppose if I get a vague reply from the watch-link dot tv cubicle dwellers, I can email the FBI directly.

It seems to me you shouldn't be able to view them legally, but I've seen pieces of films on YouTube before they were taken down, didn't initually consider it was illegal to post & scarcely gave it a thought that I'd be liable in any way as a lowly viewer.

Gee, I'd hate to end up in prison because I saw the Sex Pistols film illegally on YouTube... that's just vicious. (Sorry, couldn't resist).

Thank you for your time and effort, and in explaining bit torrent, as well.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:04 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,414 times
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Hey guys,
if you are looking for a site where you can get 100% legal movies online then check this out!
My friend showed me that website he found and its really great. I joined that website and it works perfect, now I can watch all my favourite movies anytime and anywhere i want with high speed server and good quality.

tinyurl.com/2dllrwo
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