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Kimmy Sweetwater

Is film streaming illegal?

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Hi 

I just purchased a television from the Marketplace and at the moment it is on my private plot of land where it can only be viewed by myself and a couple of friends.

I was planning on moving it to my sim. It is open to the public and so the stream would be viewabe by anyone who visits. Question is, it is illegal to have such devices in SL? Is it illegal for myself/friends.....or potentially, general public to be viewing? 

If it is illegal then what are the consequense? Plus, surely all such devices should be banned from SL?

I sound like such a noob LOL but never really thought about it until a friend questioned me. 

 

Thanks in advance 

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You're asking two questions. And to clarify ahead of time, illegal and not allowable in SL are not the same thing. Activities in Second Life are more constrained than those legally allowable.

 

  1. Streaming video (on its own) is not illegal and is allowed in SL.
  2. Infringing copyright is illegal.

Therefore...

Violating copyright by streaming restricted-license videos is illegal.

It's your responsibility to determine the legality of your actions and to check usage rights and restrictions on the media you stream. You've probably seen those big messages at the start of Holywood films that start with FBI WARNING or

 - those are usage rights.

Also worth noting that Second Life itself [largely] doesn't face liability for the actions of its users, legal or otherwise. There's some incentive to limit acceptable behaviour in SL, but there's little reason for SL to police the way its users use media streaming - this is left to regular law enforcement, and the legal teams of copyright holders.

When you break the law in SL, you break the law on the Internet - more and more, local and federal police agencies are monitoring Internet behaviour. Risks exist.

Copyright is a complicated subject, not one that I can summarise in a forum post. If you have doubts about your streaming activities, consult more authoritative sources.

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in addition to Freya's perfect answer...

In GB people got fined for 71000 pounds ....

IN USA between 1000 and nearly a million...

for sharing content where they didn't own rights for...

 

Your choice, your risk... but.... 99.9% of all DJs in sl also spread their music illegal, so what's the real risk...

using vpn is legal ... :)

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Alwin Alcott wrote:

in addition to Freya's perfect answer...

 

D'aw, you're sweet. :)


Alwin Alcott wrote:

In GB people got fined for 71000 pounds ....

I also know a case - a friend from the UK - who got shipped over to the US and ordered to pay over £300,000 for merely linking to streams. He was looking at prison in a foreign country initially, and only interjection from an activism campaign (and then UK government officials) stepped down the rhetoric.

Certain locales are more entrenched in the Copyright wars than others, some actions open you up to far more risk than others.


Alwin Alcott wrote:

 
using vpn is legal ...
:)

For now! Many governments are cracking down on these simply because they can be used nefariously and because their promises to the copyright lobbies are more important than the existing freedom for citizens and companies to control their own web traffic.

This is, however, the same move the OP seems to ask about - the removal of a tech based on potential to break the law, rather than actual activity that does. It's dangerous to keep things moving in this direction. Keep an eye on your freedoms, take action to defend your rights.

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When you look at your SL TV, the video content is being streamed from the original provider directly to your computer, where the SL scene rendering engine fits it to the TV's face. When someone else views that same TV, they're getting an independent stream to their computer from the same source.

You might be imagining a situation in which you have registered access to a streaming site, like YouTube Red. In such cases, if you set your SL TV to display content from that service, others will see nothing, or perhaps a log-in page. If they're able to log-in, they'll see the video.

As far as I know (I'm an engineer, not a lawyer) the legalities of watching a video stream on a TV in SL are no different than watching it in a browser outside of SL.

ETA: There is a situation that might fall into the grey. Imagine you have a private link to a YouTube video produced by a friend. Absent that link, others cannot view the video. If you e-mailed that link to someone else, you may have (I don't know) violated the copyright restrictions on that video, or at least potentially peeved your friend. The same would happen if you pasted that link onto a MOAP prim face.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

 

ETA: There is a situation that might fall into the grey. Imagine you have a private link to a YouTube video produced by a friend. Absent that link, others cannot view the video. If you e-mailed that link to someone else, you may have (I don't know) violated the copyright restrictions on that video, or at least potentially peeved your friend. The same would happen if you pasted that link onto a MOAP prim face.

My (neither engineer nor lawyer) understanding is that the uploader gives permission to YouTube to host and replay uploaded content entirely freely (in the same way that SL 'demands' rights over uploaded material for serving/CDN purposes). Under this model, the link becoming publicly known is a social infraction ('oops, sorry') and not a legal one, since you're not gaining access to a system without permission or exploiting a copy-protect mechanism.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

 

ETA: There is a situation that might fall into the grey. Imagine you have a private link to a YouTube video produced by a friend. Absent that link, others cannot view the video. If you e-mailed that link to someone else, you may have (I don't know) violated the copyright restrictions on that video, or at least potentially peeved your friend. The same would happen if you pasted that link onto a MOAP prim face.

My (neither engineer nor lawyer) understanding is that the uploader gives permission to YouTube to host and replay uploaded content entirely freely (in the same way that SL 'demands' rights over uploaded material for serving/CDN purposes). Under this model, the link becoming publicly known is a social infraction ('oops, sorry') and not a legal one, since you're not gaining access to a system without permission or exploiting a copy-protect mechanism.

That sounds right to me.

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If you can take reasonable precautions you will not have a problem.  You can stream a NetFlix movie at home to watch with your friends.  If your neighbors have tapped into your network and are restreaming the movie to other people, that's not your liability. 

 

OK, so in SL, if you have legal access to the movie (rented, bought the DVD, paid for the stream, whatever) and you can take normal precautions to limit who sees it such as keeping it inside a home, your fine.  Don't advertise it and do not have it on land that cost for access. 

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:

If you can take reasonable precautions you will not have a problem.  You can stream a NetFlix movie at home to watch with your friends.  If your neighbors have tapped into your network and are restreaming the movie to other people, that's not your liability. 

Are ya sure? Public Network Responsibilities - Are We Liable?

Given the possible risks (fines, disconnection, imprisonment), I would be pretty careful about this. It seems like your hypothetical relies on an investigative body doing a lot of work, rather than simply logging your IP address as infringing copyright and beginning proceedings against you.

Sure, if someone bypasses the security of Netflix, that would be their problem. If someone bypasses your security, that could be your problem (and the could is the issue).

I definitely would advise against streaming a personal DVD in-world or anywhere else online. Yikes. Sorry Rhonda, but none of your advice looks very safe.

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:

OK, so in SL, if you have legal access to the movie (rented, bought the DVD, paid for the stream, whatever) and you can take normal precautions to limit who sees it such as keeping it inside a home, your fine.  Don't advertise it and do not have it on land that cost for access. 

Renting and buying a DVD does only give the right to watch it in your own home, in a family setting, absolutely no broadcasting in any way. Streaming is making it public. Even on a limited access stream by VPN, you take it out of the home and family setting.

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Alwin Alcott wrote:

Renting and buying a DVD does only give the right to watch it in your own home, in a family setting, absolutely no broadcasting in any way. Streaming is making it public. Even on a limited access stream by VPN, you take it out of the home and family setting.


 

Agree entirely. I probably linked to a legit broadcast warning somewhere already in this thread, but in case it was satirical here's another few.

Public performance strictly prohibited

Unauthorised reproduction or distribution

Public showing or broadcasting

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I think we need Kimmy to return to the thread to describe the sort of streaming she's considering. If she's actually going to serve up a video stream from her own library, it would be hard to imagine not running afoul of copyright law unless she was streaming stuff she shot herself, in which any visibie/audible copyrighted material was incidental to the shoot.

But if she's going to do what most residents do, stream YouTube videos, there's no issue. Each resident is viewing a physically and legally different stream.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I think we need Kimmy to return to the thread to describe the sort of streaming she's considering.

For sure, yeah. Usage rights vary a lot, and Kimmy was never clear.

I think the issue at the moment is the word 'film'. Youtube doesn't host many legally-uploaded and access-free films.

 

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Kimmy Sweetwater wrote:

Hi 

I just purchased a television from the Marketplace and at the moment it is on my private plot of land where it can only be viewed by myself and a couple of friends.

I was planning on moving it to my sim. It is open to the public and so the stream would be viewable by anyone who visits. Question is, it is illegal to have such devices in SL? Is it illegal for myself/friends.....or potentially, general public to be viewing? 

If it is illegal then what are the consequences? Plus, surely all such devices should be banned from SL?

I sound like such a noob LOL but never really thought about it until a friend questioned me. 

 

Thanks in advance 

It sounds like you are using one of those generic TVs that stream stuff from the Internet, not and actual Film TV. Such as the ones that sell "copies" of various movies on a "dvd" for you to use in SL. I am fairly certain those type place are highly illegal. Seeing as you are only paying at most $2USD per movie to have forever in their player.

I have often wondered why no one cracks down on them.

There was a movie theater in SL i stumbled across that sold passes to the land at showtime. Upwards of 5K depending on the movie. They were shut down by someone. I would guess If youdon't profit from the showing it makes it less likely for someone to report you.

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There are many TV creators in SL that are hosting copyrighted videos on their own servers.

If anybody would like me to show them proof, I can provide this as I have reverse engineered several of them. 

I have already reported this to the MPAA but they do not reply to me. Does anybody know any further course of action that might yield results? Maybe I should just call them.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Kimmy Sweetwater wrote:

Hi 

I just purchased a television from the Marketplace and at the moment it is on my private plot of land where it can only be viewed by myself and a couple of friends.

I was planning on moving it to my sim. It is open to the public and so the stream would be viewable by anyone who visits. Question is, it is illegal to have such devices in SL? Is it illegal for myself/friends.....or potentially, general public to be viewing? 

If it is illegal then what are the consequences? Plus, surely all such devices should be banned from SL?

I sound like such a noob LOL but never really thought about it until a friend questioned me. 

 

Thanks in advance 

It sounds like you are using one of those generic TVs that stream stuff from the Internet, not and actual Film TV. Such as the ones that sell "copies" of various movies on a "dvd" for you to use in SL. I am fairly certain those type place are highly illegal. Seeing as you are only paying at most $2USD per movie to have forever in their player.

I have often wondered why no one cracks down on them.

There was a movie theater in SL i stumbled across that sold passes to the land at showtime. Upwards of 5K depending on the movie. They were shut down by someone. I would guess If youdon't profit from the showing it makes it less likely for someone to report you.

Why would it be such a surprise to find out they did have licences? With regards to costs... it is not like you get HD on these movies they stream in low resolution..

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Aethelwine wrote:


Drake1 Nightfire wrote:


Kimmy Sweetwater wrote:

Hi 

I just purchased a television from the Marketplace and at the moment it is on my private plot of land where it can only be viewed by myself and a couple of friends.

I was planning on moving it to my sim. It is open to the public and so the stream would be viewable by anyone who visits. Question is, it is illegal to have such devices in SL? Is it illegal for myself/friends.....or potentially, general public to be viewing? 

If it is illegal then what are the consequences? Plus, surely all such devices should be banned from SL?

I sound like such a noob LOL but never really thought about it until a friend questioned me. 

 

Thanks in advance 

It sounds like you are using one of those generic TVs that stream stuff from the Internet, not and actual Film TV. Such as the ones that sell "copies" of various movies on a "dvd" for you to use in SL. I am fairly certain those type place are highly illegal. Seeing as you are only paying at most $2USD per movie to have forever in their player.

I have often wondered why no one cracks down on them.

There was a movie theater in SL i stumbled across that sold passes to the land at showtime. Upwards of 5K depending on the movie. They were shut down by someone. I would guess If youdon't profit from the showing it makes it less likely for someone to report you.

Why would it be such a surprise to find out they did have licences? With regards to costs... it is not like you get HD on these movies they stream in low resolution..

Because it costs between $250-$600 USD per title to get a licence. PER TITLE. I talked to the PTO at my daughters school, they had to pay $500 USD in order to be able to play Osmosis Jones for the 3 different grades after they finished Parcc testing. So, if a school has to pay that much, how much do you think a SL business would have to pay? PER TITLE.

It doesn't matter the resolution of the stream. The cost is the same no matter what format you get. If you really think they are shelling out that much for over a thousand movie titles... I have some swampland in Florida for sale.

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Hi

Sorry for the late response.

The content is not from my own personal library. 

`It is just one of those devices I purchased from MP where they update the titles on a weekly basis I think.....their source is unknown to me :/ Some of the films have Japanese subtitles if that helps in any way? Sorry, I am the most 'untechinal' person I know LOL.

IF I was going to rez onto my sim (which I haven't done as yet as wanted to steer clear of trouble) there is not going to be a charge nor advertised anywhere. 

 

 

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So if I understand the thread correctly. I can show any Youtube movie or video to a group of friends. Don't have a tip jar or any form of payment to see the viewing.

Youtube does have some pay per use movies, bnot sure if that could be lnked to the sl TV or not.  If so, then would that be a violation considering that I am paying for it?

 

 

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andreajonesms wrote:

Youtube does have some pay per use movies, bnot sure if that could be lnked to the sl TV or not.  If so, then would that be a violation considering that I am paying for it?

Check Youtube's rules.

My expectation would be that, yes, re-streaming pay-per-view movies to an online audience would be outside of the licence terms.

Also, this thread is non-authoritive, it's not a replacement for your own research.

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Whether you profit or not from showing a movie or advertise it is immaterial.  Those TV's that have movies available on them are generally illegal to start with.  They violate the copyright holder's rights as most of them buy a movie for home use and just load it on the server.  Even if every title they offer is legal in the sense they have purchased a license to distribute it on their TV product, intended to be used in your private SL home, you STILL don't have the right to show it to the general public.

Bottom line: If you go ahead with your plan the risk of getting caught is low, but it's still there.  If you are caught you'll have RL legal troubles and it won't be cheap to higher a lawyer.  So you have to decide if the risk is worth it to you.

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