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Downloading Movies for Free - Legal Under Intellectual Property Law?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by phonebox, 29 November 2015.

  1. phonebox

    phonebox Member

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    I want to create entertainment site that will stream movies online and let people download movies for free. I have a question, is it legal under Intellectual Property Law in Australia to give movies to download for free?
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    No, it's not lawful in Australia.
    It's breach of copyright, unless you have some arrangement (usually a licence) with the copyright holder(s) of the content.
     
  3. phonebox

    phonebox Member

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    Hi, thanks for reply

    But how come youtube.com has rights to steam movies online for free?
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    They don't, always.
    When you see full length movies on Youtube et al, it's almost never with the consent of the entity that owns the movie. That is, it's an infringing copy - a "bootleg".

    Often the bootleg has been unlawfully copied ("pirated") from a legitimate copy
    (such as a store bought DVD, or a "screener" - a copy supplied to a retailer to play in-store).
    At other times, it's a hand-made infringing copy - such as iPhone footage shot of a cinema screen.

    There's so much of it that the housekeepers at Youtube (etc) basically can't keep up.

    Sometimes though, the copyright holders (say, a movie studio) will supply ("upload")
    content that they agree can be shown on sites like Youtube.
    This usually is to promote other content (or other formats of the same content).
    Movie trailers and music videos are examples.

    Sometimes, people (like, say, record labels) upload content, and then (by agreement with Youtube)
    take a cut of the revenue from advertising that Youtube places on the page. Vevo, for example.
    Korean pop artist Psy's connections made a packet doing exactly this.

    Understand this. In Australia, if you buy a legit CD and rip it to your iPod,
    or a legit copy of a movie and rip it to your laptop, then no problem.
    You often hear this called "format shifting".
    But if you make a copy for someone else, that's infringing.

    What you propose to do is to infringe in an organised, large scale way.
    Don't.
     
  5. phonebox

    phonebox Member

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    Ok, I have another question. If I create short information about a movie that will show in movie theaters and give short details like screenshots and a trailer video to have a look at it, is that legal?
     
  6. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    You can publish information such as session times, release dates etc.
    because that information is in the public domain.

    But you can't use screenshots or trailers without the consent of the copyright holder.
    So, if you download a trailer from Youtube, and put it on your own site, then you are infringing.*
    You can avoid this by linking to places like Youtube where that content has been legitimately uploaded,
    rather than by having it on your own site..






    ================================
    * OTOH, if the studio or distributor gives YOU a copy of your own,
    such as a DVD is a Press Pack, then you'll probably be OK.
    But this generally doesn't happen to amateurs working in their sunrooms.
     

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