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MacSamurai
Jan 27, 2009, 07:47 PM
I've seen a few threads asking wether lime wire is illegal or not and the question always comes up wether it is legal to download music/movies off the internet. From what i know the simple action of downloading the file is not what is illegal,it is the the reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted media which is illegal.So if i were to download(ie via a direct download) a mp3, and not share, it would not be illegal?Would anyone be able to give me some specifics into the legality of this and help make things a bit clearer?I do understand that this can vary with the countries the person is living in,so I would be interested in hearing about the different laws aswell.

flyinmac
Jan 27, 2009, 07:55 PM
I've seen a few threads asking wether lime wire is illegal or not and the question always comes up wether it is legal to download music/movies off the internet. From what i know the simple action of downloading the file is not what is illegal,it is the the reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted media which is illegal.So if i were to download(ie via a direct download) a mp3, and not share, it would not be illegal?Would anyone be able to give me some specifics into the legality of this and help make things a bit clearer?I do understand that this can vary with the countries the person is living in,so I would be interested in hearing about the different laws aswell.


I think you're trying to split hairs and justify things in your mind.

You still share the blame if you download the movie. What you're describing is not much different than if your friend makes a copy of a DVD and then gives you the copy (and you accept it). You've still done something illegal. It's the same thing.

I've even had family give me copies of their music on CD's as a present. And, well, those are gone with the morning trash.

Nothing like unwrapping a present and finding a mix CD.

Simply put, possessing pirated material is just as illegal as if you made the copy yourself.

Tomorrow
Jan 27, 2009, 07:55 PM
It is against the law to copy (download) or provide for copying (share) copyrighted material. Copyright holders who sue people for violating this law seem to go after the uploaders more often than they do the downloaders, but there's no rule or law to that effect; it's just easier to see who's sharing it than it is to see who has already downloaded it.

MacSamurai
Jan 27, 2009, 08:19 PM
I think you're trying to split hairs and justify things in your mind.

You still share the blame if you download the movie. What you're describing is not much different than if your friend makes a copy of a DVD and then gives you the copy (and you accept it). You've still done something illegal. It's the same thing.

I've even had family give me copies of their music on CD's as a present. And, well, those are gone with the morning trash.

Nothing like unwrapping a present and finding a mix CD.

Simply put, possessing pirated material is just as illegal as if you made the copy yourself.

so you're claiming that if someone sells me an illegal copy which i believe to be legit I'm comitting a crime?

Dagless
Jan 27, 2009, 08:23 PM
Heh, how formal.

Mr. X "here darling, I wracked my mind day and night to come up with a perfect CD full of songs that speak the story of our endearing love"
Mrs. X "hold on Romeo, I don't have these songs by the specific same team of producers." *binned*

MacSamurai
Jan 27, 2009, 08:25 PM
It is against the law to copy (download) or provide for copying (share) copyrighted material. Copyright holders who sue people for violating this law seem to go after the uploaders more often than they do the downloaders, but there's no rule or law to that effect; it's just easier to see who's sharing it than it is to see who has already downloaded it.

how do i know this material i'm downloading has a copyright?

iToaster
Jan 27, 2009, 08:25 PM
so you're claiming that if someone sells me an illegal copy which i believe to be legit I'm comitting a crime?

I'd imagine in that case there would be charges against the seller along the lines of deception. Anyway, limewire and its use are not inherently illegal as long as the material desired is not protected under a copyright (i.e. a band distributing a free sample via limewire is not illegal).

flyinmac
Jan 27, 2009, 08:28 PM
so you're claiming that if someone sells me an illegal copy which i believe to be legit I'm comitting a crime?

Yes. The law does not distinguish between whether you knew you were breaking the law or not. Otherwise, everyone would simply say "I didn't know" and they'd go free.

Simply put, the common phrase is "ignorance is no excuse".

Hey, I didn't know that cigarette had marijuana in it.

What do you mean that's Cocaine??? I was just putting sugar on my cereal. Not my fault someone switched it.

Same with movies, software, etc... Ignorance gets you nothing. Otherwise everyone would deliberately be ignorant.

I used to deal quite a lot with software licenses, authentication of DVD's and CD's, etc.

And, even if I obtained what I thought was a totally legitimate CD or DVD and it was an expert reproduction, I would still be completely liable for having it. I actually went through that once. Ended up purchasing from a completely legitimate dealer, who had accidentally obtained some rather convincing counterfeit copies of software, and my butt was on the line.

MacSamurai
Jan 27, 2009, 08:31 PM
I'd imagine in that case there would be charges against the seller along the lines of deception. Anyway, limewire and its use are not inherently illegal as long as the material desired is not protected under a copyright (i.e. a band distributing a free sample via limewire is not illegal).

This is only because you agree to terms that lime wire sets(I'm not exactly sure as i don't know all their terms).I would also imagine that being a P2P you are uploading as well as downloading.So the act of uploading would be an other illegal action.

Tomorrow
Jan 27, 2009, 08:35 PM
so you're claiming that if someone sells me an illegal copy which i believe to be legit I'm comitting a crime?

Especially considering your first post - and the reason for your starting this thread in the first place - you're going to have a hard time convincing anybody that you're looking to download anything from Limewire while claiming you didn't know it's legit.

Here's a good tip - people with something they legitimately want to distribute, and own the rights to, don't generally look to something like Limewire for their first source of distribution. You already know this. You're asking about downloading things that you know are copyrighted, your first post makes that clear.

how do i know this material i'm downloading has a copyright?

OK, now I'm with flyinmac - it sounds to me like you're splitting hairs. If someone created it, then that person owns the copyright. There's nothing to file, no government paperwork, no legal fees - if someone creates it, then they own the copyright. Period.

You're looking for a backdoor, excuse, or plausible denial so that you can download and have a way out when you get caught, and you're not going to find it.

MacSamurai
Jan 27, 2009, 08:38 PM
Yes. The law does not distinguish between whether you knew you were breaking the law or not. Otherwise, everyone would simply say "I didn't know" and they'd go free.

Simply put, the common phrase is "ignorance is no excuse".

Hey, I didn't know that cigarette had marijuana in it.

What do you mean that's Cocaine??? I was just putting sugar on my cereal. Not my fault someone switched it.

Same with movies, software, etc... Ignorance gets you nothing. Otherwise everyone would deliberately be ignorant.

I used to deal quite a lot with software licenses, authentication of DVD's and CD's, etc.

And, even if I obtained what I thought was a totally legitimate CD or DVD and it was an expert reproduction, I would still be completely liable for having it. I actually went through that once. Ended up purchasing from a completely legitimate dealer, who had accidentally obtained some rather convincing counterfeit copies of software, and my butt was on the line.

This depends on the extent of the ignorance.A pirate dvd will be identical in every way besides the fact that it is a copy and not the "original". If discovered You will most likely not be charged for anything and be asked to dispose of this dvd.You were misled. With the coccaine if you could prove that it was switched you will not be charged...

MacSamurai
Jan 27, 2009, 08:43 PM
Especially considering your first post - and the reason for your starting this thread in the first place - you're going to have a hard time convincing anybody that you're looking to download anything from Limewire while claiming you didn't know it's legit.

You're looking for a backdoor, excuse, or plausible denial so that you can download and have a way out when you get caught, and you're not going to find it.

I don't really care about limewire.I just used it as a start to my question.I'm really just interested in the legality of it in general(regardless of instruments) I'm not trying to convince anyone and am sorry if that's the message that people are seeing.I'm more interested in the specifics of the laws.

flyinmac
Jan 27, 2009, 08:55 PM
This depends on the extent of the ignorance.A pirate dvd will be identical in every way besides the fact that it is a copy and not the "original". If discovered You will most likely not be charged for anything and be asked to dispose of this dvd.You were misled. With the coccaine if you could prove that it was switched you will not be charged...

Nope... Disposing of it is not enough. I dealt with this legality and managed to come off only a few thousand in the hole.

The counterfeit copies were surrendered at my expense (and without compensation) to the company which owned the copyright.

I had to repurchase legitimate copies at my additional expense (since I was already out the cost of the originals).

And, I had to handle all the legal issues, paperwork, fees, etc. to absolve myself of future prosecution.

The thing is, you cannot prove that you didn't know what you were buying. The company I purchased from was a small company, but were not knowingly purchasing illegal software. And, I was trusting that they were selling legal software.

But, in the end, both the company and myself were out some money. I ended up getting the company to cover my losses (after all, they wanted to keep my business - as I was moving thousands through them every month).

It was an honest mistake that turned into a costly lesson.

Fortunately, things came out a lot better than they would have if I had tried to get out of the responsibility. Since I worked with the company, it went smoother. If I had fought it, I would have been dealing with losses in the multiple of thousands range.

Simply put, doesn't matter how you came to posses it. You posses an illegal product and are liable for it.

Now, if I had not needed the product, then I would have only had to deal with one issue. But, since the product was essential to the business, I had to repurchase it. And, that caused the additional hurt. But, like I said, I did have the distributor reimburse me for almost all of my expenses. It was that, or they'd lose what was likely one of their larger accounts.

Tomorrow
Jan 27, 2009, 09:01 PM
I don't really care about limewire.I just used it as a start to my question.I'm really just interested in the legality of it in general(regardless of instruments) I'm not trying to convince anyone and am sorry if that's the message that people are seeing.I'm more interested in the specifics of the laws.

You could look at post #3 above, or just read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_copyright_law#Infringement

Infringement is defined in 17 U.S.C. 501. Infringement requires
* a protected work
* that the defendant copied the protected work
* that the defendant's copying of the protected work was an infringement

MacSamurai
Jan 27, 2009, 09:13 PM
You could look at post #3 above, or just read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_copyright_law#Infringement

Infringement is defined in 17 U.S.C. 501. Infringement requires
* a protected work
* that the defendant copied the protected work
* that the defendant's copying of the protected work was an infringement

Haha any nut can look at wikipedia.It's more the understanding of the underlying laws that I'm after.Any lawyers care to enlighten?

11800506
Jan 27, 2009, 09:25 PM
Haha any nut can look at wikipedia.It's more the understanding of the underlying laws that I'm after.Any lawyers care to enlighten?

It is illegal to download copyrighted material which is no legitimate. It doesn't take a lawyer to figure that out. It's as simple as that and there are no ways around the law.

Tomorrow
Jan 27, 2009, 09:31 PM
Haha any nut can look at wikipedia.It's more the understanding of the underlying laws that I'm after.Any lawyers care to enlighten?

You asked a forum of Mac users about the legalities of downloading, so you got an appropriate answer. I even provided you with a link to the law itself (it's in the Wikipedia link I gave you). You can read it or not - that's your call. If you want a lawyer, go get a lawyer. Don't come here asking for help then criticizing the help you get because it isn't the answer you were hoping for.

flyinmac even gave you a personal experience and that wasn't enough. But you asked for an understanding of the underlying laws, and we've given it to you in abundance.

Macky-Mac
Jan 27, 2009, 09:32 PM
basically, anything you probably want to download is covered by copyright laws that make it illegal for YOU to make a copy without the permission of the owner of the copyright. :D more or less anyway

mgguy
Jan 27, 2009, 10:16 PM
basically, anything you probably want to download is covered by copyright laws that make it illegal for YOU to make a copy without the permission of the owner of the copyright. :D more or less anyway

This isn't accurate. There are plenty of things that can be downloaded on Limewire and other P2P networks that are not copyrighted, such as speeches, educational materials, historical movies and documentaries, copies of public broadcasts, and yes even music, movies, and other forms of entertainment.

Macky-Mac
Jan 27, 2009, 10:43 PM
This isn't accurate. There are plenty of things that can be downloaded on Limewire and other P2P networks that are not copyrighted, such as speeches, educational materials, historical movies and documentaries, copies of public broadcasts, and yes even music, movies, and other forms of entertainment.

well, sure, that's the "gotcha" stuff.........but that's not really the stuff we're talking about here :D .....even tho such public domain stuff does exist, what people REALLY want to download, well, it's pretty much covered by copyrights

mgguy
Jan 27, 2009, 11:01 PM
well, sure, that's the "gotcha" stuff.........but that's not really the stuff we're talking about here :D .....even tho such public domain stuff does exist, what people REALLY want to download, well, it's pretty much covered by copyrights

I am much more interested in the things I listed, not popular music. I suspect that there are many others who like to do things other than just be entertained by popular music and video. In any event, I hate to see Limewire and other P2P networks continue to get slammed over possible illegal downloading by users and possibly be banned. I also have never really understood why many MR posters are much rabid supporter of copywrite enforcement and punishment of violators. I get that they don't support breaking the law (and neither do I), but there is a passion there that I just don't get.

flyinmac
Jan 27, 2009, 11:10 PM
I am much more interested in the things I listed, not popular music. I suspect that there are many others who like to do things other than just be entertained by popular music and video. In any event, I hate to see Limewire and other P2P networks continue to get slammed over possible illegal downloading by users and possibly be banned. I also have never really understood why many MR posters are much rabid supporter of copywrite enforcement and punishment of violators. I get that they don't support breaking the law (and neither do I), but there is a passion there that I just don't get.

I wouldn't call it a passion. Just explaining the way things work (as asked).

Personally, you can do whatever you want. Just don't come crying when you pay the price. If you ask, you get an answer. Don't like the answer? Sorry...

I'm not going to come find you. I'm not going to turn you in. Personally, I don't really care enough to bother with it.

But, if you ask a question, you'll get an answer. Don't want an answer? Then, don't ask the question.

Not like I went in here and posted a new thread and said "hey, everyone stop pirating right now. Here's the reasons, and if you don't stop I'm going to find you and turn you in."

Personally, I just don't care that much.

A question was asked. I answered with my experience of how the situation works.

A passion on the topic... Hardly...

There's only one thing I'm that passionate about (or enough to get worked up over). And sorry, doesn't involve technology, software, movies, or the law. But, it does walk on 2 legs, smell nice, and has some very interesting design characteristics :D :cool:

Macky-Mac
Jan 27, 2009, 11:38 PM
...... In any event, I hate to see Limewire and other P2P networks continue to get slammed over possible illegal downloading by users and possibly be banned.....

the reason they get slammed is because they're so widely used to download copyrighted material, and everybody knows that.....those of you that aren't doing such things are having to suffer the burden of the reaction to those that do.

mgguy
Jan 27, 2009, 11:47 PM
I wouldn't call it a passion. Just explaining the way things work (as asked).

Personally, you can do whatever you want. Just don't come crying when you pay the price. If you ask, you get an answer. Don't like the answer? Sorry...

I'm not going to come find you. I'm not going to turn you in. Personally, I don't really care enough to bother with it.

But, if you ask a question, you'll get an answer. Don't want an answer? Then, don't ask the question.

Not like I went in here and posted a new thread and said "hey, everyone stop pirating right now. Here's the reasons, and if you don't stop I'm going to find you and turn you in."

Personally, I just don't care that much.

A question was asked. I answered with my experience of how the situation works.

A passion on the topic... Hardly...

There's only one thing I'm that passionate enough to get worked up over. And sorry, doesn't involve technology, software, or the law. But, it does walk on 2 legs, smell nice, and has some very interesting design characteristics :D :cool:

I wasn't referring to you specifically, and I appreciate your answers to questions posted here. It just seems to me that a lot of posters have very low tolerance for illegal downloading and yet never really explain why it matters so much to them. My guess is that if you asked them about how they felt about smoking pot, violating minor traffic laws, or illegal immigration, they wouldn't be nearly as upset and may not care at all. Why is illegal downloading so intolerable? Again, Flyinmac, I am not speaking about you but others who have expressed very strong opinions on this issue.

Macky-Mac
Jan 27, 2009, 11:59 PM
I wasn't referring to you specifically, and I appreciate your answers to questions posted here. It just seems to me that a lot of posters have very low tolerance for illegal downloading and yet never really explain why it matters so much to them. My guess is that if you asked them about how they felt about smoking pot, violating minor traffic laws, or illegal immigration, they wouldn't be nearly as upset and may not care at all. Why is illegal downloading so intolerable? Again, Flyinmac, I am not speaking about you but others who have expressed very strong opinions on this issue.

perhaps it's because many people here work in fields that are directly effected by copyright laws? people who write and develop software, graphic designers, etc., perhaps they tend to think that copyright laws directly effect their income and so tend to take a dim view of such activity?

flyinmac
Jan 28, 2009, 12:03 AM
I wasn't referring to you specifically, and I appreciate your answers to questions posted here. It just seems to me that a lot of posters have very low tolerance for illegal downloading and yet never really explain why it matters so much to them. My guess is that if you asked them about how they felt about smoking pot, violating minor traffic laws, or illegal immigration, they wouldn't be nearly as upset and may not care at all. Why is illegal downloading so intolerable? Again, Flyinmac, I am not speaking about you but others who have expressed very strong opinions on this issue.

I can understand that... I like to challenge people on some issues as well.

If you believe something, I do think you should have a reason to believe it.

In terms of the law, it is pretty simple most of the time. If it's illegal, then it's "wrong" to do it. If you don't think it's wrong, then actually do something to change the law.

Often, people want to just say the law is wrong and do what they want and justify it in their mind and pretend it's OK.

Personally, if you really believe the law is wrong, then stand up and do something to change the law.

Hiding in your basement and trying not to get caught, does very little to institute change. Rather, it just serves to prove that the law is correct and that you are knowingly doing something wrong. Again, if someone genuinely feels that the law is wrong, then do something about it, don't just hide and justify it in your mind.

Personally, I do think the law oversteps some of our rights. And, sometimes I find that frustrating. But, the topic here was not whether I agree with the law, it was about whether something was illegal.

In terms of copyrights, I do believe that people have a right to get paid if you choose to utilize their product / time investment.

But, I also disagree with the concept that I should repurchase the same movie over and over again if I want to be able to play it on more than one kind of movie player (for example, if I own the DVD, but would like to watch it on my iPod - due to the law regarding circumvention of copy protection).

But, simple fact is that the law is pretty clear. If you choose to break the law, then be prepared for the consequences. If you feel strongly enough about the issue to break the law (particularly intentionally), then you should feel strongly enough to work to change the law.

Breaking the law simply because you find it an inconvenience to you, does nothing but confirm that the law is right (and make you technically a criminal - of sorts). But, working to change a law that you disagree with is far more productive, and will serve you much better.

I do agree with your concept in general. If you believe something, believe in it enough to publicly (and not anonymously) stand up and defend it. If the law is wrong, work to change it. Until you change the law, the law is the law. It will be illegal until you do what it takes to make it legal.

Tomorrow
Jan 28, 2009, 12:04 AM
This isn't accurate. There are plenty of things that can be downloaded on Limewire and other P2P networks that are not copyrighted, such as speeches, educational materials, historical movies and documentaries, copies of public broadcasts, and yes even music, movies, and other forms of entertainment.

Bad examples, because even those things are copyrighted - the person who made the recording owns the copyright.

Now, that doesn't necessarily imply that the copyright holder will restrict its distribution, but the copyright does indeed exist in those examples.

mgguy
Jan 28, 2009, 12:05 AM
perhaps it's because many people here work in fields that are directly effected by copyright laws? people who write and develop software, graphic designers, etc., perhaps they tend to think that copyright laws directly effect their income and so tend to take a dim view of such activity?
I think you are onto something here. I can see how they would have a problem with it if it affects them directly. Thanks for the insight.

mgguy
Jan 28, 2009, 12:11 AM
Bad examples, because even those things are copyrighted - the person who made the recording owns the copyright.

Now, that doesn't necessarily imply that the copyright holder will restrict its distribution, but the copyright does indeed exist in those examples.

The examples I gave (e.g., presidential addresses and historical speeches) are often not copyrighted, or were at one time but are not now.

Macky-Mac
Jan 28, 2009, 12:49 AM
The examples I gave (e.g., presidential addresses and historical speeches) are often not copyrighted, or were at one time but are not now.

actually, MOST of the stuff you listed is probably protected by copyrights. Published material? Covered for at least the life of the author and then an additional 70 years (copyright FAQ) (http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-duration.html) so something needs to be really old to have fallen out of protection. Pretty much any realized creative expression of an idea is covered by copyright laws, unless the owner has released it into the public domain, or until it's so old it isn't covered any more.

Of course for a lot of older material, nobody is trying to protect the copyright any more so nobody is going to come after you if you download it.

MacSamurai
Jan 28, 2009, 06:48 AM
You asked a forum of Mac users about the legalities of downloading, so you got an appropriate answer. I even provided you with a link to the law itself (it's in the Wikipedia link I gave you). You can read it or not - that's your call. If you want a lawyer, go get a lawyer. Don't come here asking for help then criticizing the help you get because it isn't the answer you were hoping for.

flyinmac even gave you a personal experience and that wasn't enough. But you asked for an understanding of the underlying laws, and we've given it to you in abundance.

I think you misunderstood me.I very much appreciate your(and others) efforts at an answer to my question.BUT it is not the only answer and not exactly the response I am looking for. Yes you gave me links, but there are lawyers who specialize in these kinds of things ie it's not so easy to read/understand/go through every single line of US legislation relating to this.Once again sorry for any misunderstandings.Oh and like I said in my first post,I'm not only interested in US legislation and would like to hear about this issue for other countries as well.

trule
Jan 28, 2009, 07:16 AM
I think you misunderstood me.I very much appreciate your(and others) efforts at an answer to my question.BUT it is not the only answer and not exactly the response I am looking for. Yes you gave me links, but there are lawyers who specialize in these kinds of things ie it's not so easy to read/understand/go through every single line of US legislation relating to this.Once again sorry for any misunderstandings.Oh and like I said in my first post,I'm not only interested in US legislation and would like to hear about this issue for other countries as well.

Why?

The articles in wikipedia are enough for laymen, its actually not a complex topic...so what exactly are you looking for that you can't figure out from Wiki?

trule
Jan 28, 2009, 07:20 AM
.So if i were to download(ie via a direct download) a mp3, and not share, it would not be illegal?

If the material has no copyright (public domain) OR it has copyright and the owner of that copyright gives permission for downloads then it would not be illegal. In any other case you are stealing!

The laws are consistent in most of the Western World, the only difference is the punishment :D

MacSamurai
Jan 28, 2009, 08:25 AM
If the material has no copyright (public domain) OR it has copyright and the owner of that copyright gives permission for downloads then it would not be illegal. In any other case you are stealing!

The laws are consistent in most of the Western World, the only difference is the punishment :D

good thing there is the rest of the Western World and even an Eastern World :)
and on you remark about wiki,i think i actually found this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use) to be a bit more useful. But like many laws it leaves things up in the air... like what about TiVo in respects of fair usage and copyright infringement...

Melrose
Jan 28, 2009, 08:44 AM
Who was it who sang "It's all been done before?"

If it under copyright protection and you copy it without permission from the copyright holder or from a third party who has permission from the holder to dispense it then it is illegal. Period.

Likely, in today's world, you won't get caught if you're just some lonely idiot sitting in barcalounger using Transmission (no offense to lonely idiots in barcaloungers), but that doesn't make it any less illegal. They go after the intermediary party because that's where the problem exists in large - suing John Doe in the caravan park won't prove anything because there are a million more ready to take his place. If they can shut down the distributor, they kill a million birds with one stone: Turn them away one man at a time or just shut the door altogether.

trule
Jan 28, 2009, 08:45 AM
good thing there is the rest of the Western World and even an Eastern World :)
and on you remark about wiki,i think i actually found this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use) to be a bit more useful. But like many laws it leaves things up in the air... like what about TiVo in respects of fair usage and copyright infringement...

Once again, why do you care? If you think YOU can bend the law I promise you that the people you are ripping off can bend it further :eek:

Anyway, the whole point of the legal system is to keep things up in the air...that way there is lots of work for judges, lawyers, lobbyists and politicians.

MacSamurai
Jan 28, 2009, 10:19 AM
Once again, why do you care? If you think YOU can bend the law I promise you that the people you are ripping off can bend it further :eek:

Anyway, the whole point of the legal system is to keep things up in the air...that way there is lots of work for judges, lawyers, lobbyists and politicians.

On a personal level I don't care.I'm not trying to bend the law.I just found a subject that I was interested in and thought I'd share this discusion with the community :) maybe finding some interesting points along the way