Internet Video Streaming – Understanding Its Legal Aspect

What are the legal implications of movie and Internet video streaming? With the sustained popularity of movie and video content that are delivered online, this prevailing condition has opened a lot of opportunities to replace video and movie downloading.

On the other hand, stakeholders in the entertainment industry are raising their concern over the proliferation of illegal or unauthorized Internet video streaming. After adopting various measures to keep video sharing through BitTorrent and Napster at bay, key industry players may now have to take the necessary measures to minimize copyright infringement through Internet video streaming.

Legal Implications of Watching Internet Video Streaming

Internet Video Streaming - Understanding its Legal AspectIs movie and Internet video streaming legal or not? There is no definitive answer to this question. In determining the legal implication of watching video content online, one would have to take note of the fact that a full-length copy of a video material or a new movie can be temporarily created on your computer and the data can be automatically deleted by the video streaming platform as you watch the video material or movie.

There were various instances where the courts have ruled that even temporary video or a copy of the latest movie releases constitute gross violation of pertinent laws. In a related development, the Copyright Office has declared that a video reproduction is delivered and ‘streamed’ in a fleeting manner and, thus, prevents the viewer from downloading a copy of video content or movie.

While the pertinent laws that apply to online delivery of audio and video files to various digital media devices are somewhat ambiguous, it is important to note that owners of copyrighted video and audio files do not usually adopt legal measures against those who watch them online.

Uploading Streaming Movies and Video Content

The rule of thumb is that you are probably violating pertinent laws when you are uploading streaming movies and other copyrighted video materials on your PS3, Kindle Fire, Xbox, iPad, etc. without the permission of the owner of such movies and video files. This means that you are possibly breaking the law when you host Internet video streaming that is not authorized by the owner. You may also face damage suits when such unauthorized acts are committed for profit.

Internet Video Streaming - Understanding Its Legal AspectAdditionally, you may also be slapped with a misdemeanor charge, which comes with a hefty fine and a jail term of up to one year, when you do a public demo of copyrighted video materials and movies without getting the consent and permission of the owner. However, we should consider the fact that this is unlikely the case when you are hosting a large video and movie streaming site. The reason for this is that prosecutors don’t usually go after every single and separate incidents of unauthorized Internet video streaming.

So far, stakeholders and key players in the video industry have not been successful in putting a complete stop to unauthorized uploading and streaming of movies and other video content online. There is a pending legislative measure that proposes to elevate and classify the unauthorized demo of copyrighted video content and movies as felony. However, the proposed legislative measure that is aimed to address issues affecting Internet video streaming remains pending following the recent backlash against SOPA.





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