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Thread: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

  1. #1
    handscombmp
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    What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    I thought that with this being a hot topic at the moment it would be interesting to have a discussion about what you class as illegal. I'm not interesting in whether you do it but what you see as illegal.

    When i was talking to a friend the other day and he says that anything you can watch on TV shouldn't be illegal.

    So that would include things like Top Gear, Eastenders.

    But you then have the mindfield of do you include films and what about pay tv channels like Sky 1.

    When i can see if the gov starts introducing laws people being really difficult about it and having some court cases. (I'm sure the US has already had them)

    And perhaps that's something the gov should do when they start introducing these new laws. Actually send out info about what they see as illegal.

  2. #2
    Splash
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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Top Gear? Eastenders?

    iPlayer? Sky Player? 4OD? Why would you download something illegally when you can download it legally for the same price?

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    The government has already sent out information about what's illegal or not - it's called the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, and in most situations it's quite clear.

    So what I class as illegal is exactly what that act says is illegal.

    As for what I would change about that Act if I could.. well I think it needs to be re-written to better account for households with multi-media capabilities. I think it should be legal to transfer content from one media to another, providing you bought the content on the media you are transfering from, that it's for your own personal use and that you do not use more than one copy at a time.

    As for obtaining additional media versions of content that you own, but that aren't made from the copy of the media that you own, I'm less sure - there used to be an arguement that said you could pay less for poorer quality media and being able to obtain copies from elsewhere would stop market forces from working correctly as there would no longer be any incentive to purchase higher quality content. We need a more modern way to still provide market reasons to purchase higher quality content that is more expensive to produce - perhaps you could buy a license that allowed you to obtain media at a certain quality level (bit-rate or something) with some kind of pin that enabled you to download or whatever media at that quality, or if you wanted to pay less you could get a lesser license.

    Regarding broadcast material, I think it's important that the payment model takes account of how it's going to be used - at the end of the day people who make these programes etc. need to eat as well. The current arrangement of temporary recordings (time-shift) work well I think, especially now that it is easy to use such things with the likes of iPlayer and so on. If they were to offer a 'keep anything you like for ever' then it should be priced at a similar level to all-inclusive DVD library places where you can take as many discs out at once as you like, for as long as you want.

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    Welcome to stampytown! Salazaar's Avatar
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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    There's no question too it. It's all illegal to share without explicit permission, just because you think it ought to be that you can share free to view channels doesn't make it so.

    AFAIK when videos came in there were a lot of arguments about recording TV and it was finally agreed that the public would be allowed to record a programme for personal viewing and keep it for no more than 30 day. That's never changed that I know of.
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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Surprise, surprise - after dismissing systems like the French suggested of cutting people off the net for persistent file sharing, the powers that be have decided that actual we do want to cut off persistent file sharers.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8219652.stm

    So now we have something else to discuss: how do you define persistent?

    1 file, 100 files? 1GB, 100GB? Which is "worse", films or music? What if you only download and never upload, or seed, so in effect you're not actually sharing, per se?

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Illegal file sharing to me means making accessable any files which you do not have an explcit right to make a copy of. That said, I'm also sure that the vast majority of internet users they've either downloaded illegally shared files or made copies of various things for friends

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Splash View Post
    Top Gear? Eastenders?

    iPlayer? Sky Player? 4OD? Why would you download something illegally when you can download it legally for the same price?
    There are reasons.

    I occasionally have a sky crash and lose a recording that was series linked.....I also pay a premium to watch my programs in HD, which you do not get on those players....neither are the programs repeated in HD very often.

    HD versions are normally available for download and I do occasionally download programs I have missed for one reason or another.

    You also may find that some people do not want to watch the program sat at their PC and want it in a format that is displayable on their main TV.
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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?



    I'm not really making any particular point with this, I just saw it on digg
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    Senior[ish] Member Singh400's Avatar
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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Pretty sure we've had this discussion at least 3 times this week. There are several huge threads floating about.

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Singh400 View Post
    Pretty sure we've had this discussion at least 3 times this week. There are several huge threads floating about.
    Not about quite this subject. This is about what people see as illegal, or whether they obey or break the law. So there's other threads on copyright, yes, but I've not seen one with quite this spin, and if people stick to the subject, it might be quite interesting.

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Quote Originally Posted by handscombmp View Post
    I thought that with this being a hot topic at the moment it would be interesting to have a discussion about what you class as illegal. I'm not interesting in whether you do it but what you see as illegal.

    When i was talking to a friend the other day and he says that anything you can watch on TV shouldn't be illegal.
    Well, that second para isn't about quite what the first para asked.

    What people think is illegal, and what they feel should be, aren't quite the same.

    Personally, what I see as illegal is anything that :-

    - is covered by copyright, and

    - you don't have permission to copy, or
    - hasn't been explicitly placed in the public domain (which is kinda covered by the first point), or
    - copyright hasn't expired, or
    - or your activities (such as why you copied/downloaded it) are included in one of the statutory exemptions.

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    The government has already sent out information about what's illegal or not - it's called the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988, and [red]in most situations it's quite clear[/red].
    ......


    Crikey. I've read it cover to cover, I don't know how many times, and it still confuses the heck out of me. I must be fick.

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    TV is an interesting area of discussion. Movies and Music are usually at the forefront of the media's attention as people are clearly downloading something they can quite easily go to the shop and buy (once released in a suitable format). There are very few situations where a movie or a song you want won't be available to buy..

    TV however.. you might pay for Sky, pay your TV licence, and miss it on TV. You still have no right to download it from file sharers but you might not feel that you are really doing anything wrong.. I certainly feel far less strongly about that than movies or music.

    What if a TV show isn't even shown in your country? Perhaps it will at some point but if not, is there any harm downloading it? I've never had that one answered.

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post


    Crikey. I've read it cover to cover, I don't know how many times, and it still confuses the heck out of me. I must be fick.
    Okay, could be clearer still. Granted.

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    The laws are in that much of a muddle now people cannot get their heads around them.

    Look at the fiasco regarding mp3 players and what you can and can't do. I expect that over 60% of web users at some point do some illegal file sharing or downloading.

    for example - someone gets a cracking remix of a song and sends it on MSN as they think you'd like to listen to it. Now this is illegal.

    As for downloading TV shows from places other than iplayer, skyplayer etc - illegal.

    Until the ancient archaic laws are updated to cover the 21st century or made so that mere mortals can understand them, the average web user is going to carry on regardless.

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    Re: What do you class as illegal file sharing/downloading?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Okay, could be clearer still. Granted.
    The problem is, as with most laws, the law itself is phrased to provide the framework, and judges then fill in the framework with their decisions in court. Like "reasonable" force in self-defence .... how do you define "reasonable".

    With copyright, for instance, you're allowed (for private, domestic use) to "time-shift" broadcast recordings. When that phrase was used, broadcast mean TV or radio transmissions, because that's about all there was. But then came satellite, confusing things. I mean, if a satellite signal is uploaded in Switzerland and the satellite footprint cab be received all over Europe, whose copyright law prevails .... Switzerland as point of upload, or France, Germany UK etc, depending to where you are when you view.

    And, if you use a replay service like iPlayer, to receive a program that was broadcast a few hours earlier, cab you record the iPlayer output for "time-shifting"? On the surface, no you can't, because the iPlayer stream is personal to you, not a "broadcast" (i.e. transmitted one-to-many). But what if you use Sky+, which provides a real-time recording capability? What if I download from iPlayer, copy to a disc and lent it to a mate? What about if I want to record the whole series of, say, Heroes, from iPlayer to "time-shift" so that I can watch it all in one session after the last episode has been transmitted. If I keep it all for 3 months or so to do that, is that still "time-shifting", or does that extended period move it out of the reasonable period for "time-shifting"? And the 30-day period someone mentioned is a guide, but isn't in the copyright act anywhere. So while it might be what a court what apply, you won't find it by reading the CDPA.

    Or going further afield, exactly to what extent are you allowed to use copyright material for academic or study purposes? What about for news reporting? I mean, as a journalist, how far can I go in copying protected works for my trade?

    The CDPA provides the skeleton, but if you want meat on the bones of all the issues regarding copyright and downloading, and halfway definitive answers, you need to go a long way beyond purely the CDPA.

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