queston on the legalities of downloading

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MacSamurai, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

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    Jul 5, 2006
    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    flyinmac

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    #2

    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.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    Tomorrow

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    #3
    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.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

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    #4
    so you're claiming that if someone sells me an illegal copy which i believe to be legit I'm comitting a crime?
     
  5. macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #5
    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*
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

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    #6
    how do i know this material i'm downloading has a copyright?
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    iToaster

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    #7
    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).
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    flyinmac

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    #8
    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.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

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    Jul 5, 2006
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Tomorrow

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    #10
    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.

    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.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

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    #11
    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...
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    flyinmac

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Tomorrow

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    #14
    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

     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    MacSamurai

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    #15
    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?
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    11800506

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 603

    Tomorrow

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #18
    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
     
  19. macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2006
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #20
    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
     
  21. macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2006
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    flyinmac

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    #22
    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:
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #25
    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?
     

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