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Streaming live TV...legal or illegal?

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    Hey. Some questions about streaming live tv on the internet...

    Is streaming live tv via p2p programs legal?

    There are also legitimate websites (e.g. fox, nbc) where you can stream live tv or watch reruns of tv shows, etc. for free, but are 'unavailable in my country'. Is it legal to use a proxy kinda thing to bypass those restrictions?
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    I don't think they're legal otherwise you wudnt need to use proxies or P2P, you would be able to use the official site like iPlayer
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    It's illegal to host the live stream as your providing for others to watch except from 'licensed' hosts like BBC iPlayer and 4oD
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    (Original post by yllihp)
    Hey. Some questions about streaming live tv on the internet...

    Is streaming live tv via p2p programs legal?

    There are also legitimate websites (e.g. fox, nbc) where you can stream live tv or watch reruns of tv shows, etc. for free, but are 'unavailable in my country'. Is it legal to use a proxy kinda thing to bypass those restrictions?
    I think it is illegal, yes.
    If it is unavailable in the UK then their licensing of the program is restricted to the US... so as far as I know, by watching it streamed, you are breaking the terms of that licensing condition and therefore breaking the law.
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    (Original post by spikeymike)
    It's illegal to host the live stream as your providing for others to watch except from 'licensed' hosts like BBC iPlayer and 4oD
    what if you're not the one who's hosting it, and are just the one who's watching it?
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    Then I guess it's like downloading copyrighted music from limewire. You're not hosting it but to download it is still illegal
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    (Original post by yllihp)
    what if you're not the one who's hosting it, and are just the one who's watching it?
    I don't know but i watch the football/cricket on stream sometimes
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    Watching a live broadcast of a UK television program isn't illegal if you hold a valid TV license, regardless of who's providing it. American stations generally don't have the license to be broadcast to the UK though so it's probably* not legal to view them live without permission.

    *But the likelyhood of being prosecuted for it is incredibly slim; I'd say you're more likely to win the lottery first (even if you don't play).
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    You'd never be prosecuted for watching a live broadcast hosted by the actual content provider (say, a US TV station). The responsibility to show their content only to US customers is entirely on their shoulders; without the restrictions they put in place, anyone would be able to view it since it's on the Internet, which will never obey country boundaries no matter how hard people try to make it do. If you can get past their measures (which you might not be able to, if they're doing their jobs properly), go ahead.
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    what about watching copyrighted videos on sites like youtube, youku, dailymotion, etc.?
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    (Original post by yllihp)
    what about watching copyrighted videos on sites like youtube, youku, dailymotion, etc.?
    Once again, it's YouTube's problem, not yours - you're watching content that has been posted publicly for all to see, and it's YouTube's job to take down the stuff that shouldn't be there.
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    Zattoo streams most of the stuff that you will find legal in UK. There will be a few more channels that aren't on there and are legal though i suppose.
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    Here is the direct download for Zattoo
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    I think it is illegal. Say you are watching Sky Sports online using Sopcast or something like that. You are NOT paying Sky for that service so it is illegal, since you are supposed to pay to see that channel. It is illegal to watch any channel online you have to pay for otherwise, even with a TV license.
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    (Original post by ish90an)
    I think it is illegal. Say you are watching Sky Sports online using Sopcast or something like that. You are NOT paying Sky for that service so it is illegal, since you are supposed to pay to see that channel. It is illegal to watch any channel online you have to pay for otherwise, even with a TV license.
    Yes, but some things are offered for free, but not to you personally (US TV programs, for instance), and the issue is whether it is illegal for you to use a proxy to view something that is technically freely available were it not for IP-blocking measures put in place.
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    I would think that the copyright owner has total control over how they want to distribute their content, and if they only want to make it available in the US, you're infringing their copyright if you're circumventing their measures to prevent you from watching it in the UK.

    Not that you're at all likely to get sued for it as an individual I guess, but I would think that it's illegal.
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    (Original post by yllihp)
    Hey. Some questions about streaming live tv on the internet...

    Is streaming live tv via p2p programs legal?

    There are also legitimate websites (e.g. fox, nbc) where you can stream live tv or watch reruns of tv shows, etc. for free, but are 'unavailable in my country'. Is it legal to use a proxy kinda thing to bypass those restrictions?
    Generally if you are using a p2p program you are downloading rather than streaming and the legality depends on what the content you are downloading.

    If it is copyrighted content like movies then chances of being caught depend on the type of program you are using (Limewire, Bit Torrent, Newsgroup) and in the last of the latter 2, what tracker sites you use.

    If you get caught generally the company who has caught you informs your isp or uni, if the uni is out of bandwidth on there network then they will look for people downloading copyrighted content.

    Using a proxy to access american content is fine, anyone in this country will not care and it would be very expensive to chase you up so they are more likely to block the proxy from there network (time to get a new one).
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    (Original post by yllihp)
    Hey. Some questions about streaming live tv on the internet...

    Is streaming live tv via p2p programs legal?

    There are also legitimate websites (e.g. fox, nbc) where you can stream live tv or watch reruns of tv shows, etc. for free, but are 'unavailable in my country'. Is it legal to use a proxy kinda thing to bypass those restrictions?
    The vast majority of people posting here are incorrect, I'm not a lawyer but I have studied IP law. What your describing is a grey area, one of the reasons this is because there are exceptions in copyright law to do with domestic importing.

    Historically those exceptions were created to deal with scenarios where you buy something like a CD abroad legitimately and you bring it back, but the copyright holder in the UK is different to the copyright holder abroad, hence making your previously legitimate copy illegitimate as it hasn't been licensed in the UK.

    To deal with this an exemption was added which essentially said that if it's legal in the country you obtained it in, then you're allowed to bring it back into the UK for domestic use legally (but not resell it).

    Whether the courts would accept such an argument for the case you describe is up in the air, and we won't know until it actually goes to court.
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    (Original post by RightSaidJames)
    Once again, it's YouTube's problem, not yours - you're watching content that has been posted publicly for all to see, and it's YouTube's job to take down the stuff that shouldn't be there.
    That's incorrect. It's both a copyright violation for youtube and for the downloader. You could argue that you didn't know it was against the law to lessen the severity of the offence, but it's still a civil offence.
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    (Original post by ttx)
    That's incorrect. It's both a copyright violation for youtube and for the downloader. You could argue that you didn't know it was against the law to lessen the severity of the offence, but it's still a civil offence.
    Yes, but in real world terms no one's going to prosecute you for watching something on YouTube.

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