Alright, so, I'm planning on downloading a whole bunch of videos from Viacom's server. The videos are episodes of the Nickelodeon TV Show "Robot And Monster". The episodes are RTMPE encoded, I will use the program URL Snooper to find the RTMP Link for each episode video, and once I have that I know how to make it into an HTTP Link so that I can download them. The big question is, will I get in trouble for this?! I mean, the episodes are provided for free on the website, but they are copyrighted so it could be considered piracy, right? But it's not like I'm going to sell them, post them, or redistribute them in any way, they'll be totally for my own personal viewing. I am planning on downloading the episodes to my DROID 3 Cell Phone using an app called Free Video Downloader. I'm also planning on using the Opera Web Browser, and setting its proxy settings to hide my IP address, is this a good idea? Are there any other/better ways of downloading the videos to my phone and/or hiding my IP? If there are, please let me know. So anyway, do you think that downloading all these episodes will get me in trouble for piracy? What is the worst that can happen to me for doing this? Please respond as soon as possible. Also, PLEASE let me know if any of you have any tips/tricks that could help me with this. THANKS so much, guys, I really appreciate your help!
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Thread: Is this legal?! Please help?!?!
Someone tell me: Is stealing Legal? Also, if it isn't, does it become legal if I pretend to be clever about it?
--dES"You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
nobody is going to care about you downloading and watching videos. streaming and downloading/watching later aren't all that different and if that's as far as it goes no one will ever know.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
R&MFan what is all this need to confess or be full of angst when there are hundreds of legal DVR's, PVR's all designed to record off air TV etc. Some are encrypted and some are not. The legalities varies from country to country on personal use but yes try and redistribute or sell then you are in big poo poo with the FBK's of Hollywood sending sniffer dogs out or worse.
However I doubt if any pirate in it for the money would bother with off air or cable stuff as most of the time the video is covered in graffiti advertising about the next program and often with some announcer shouting at you. In Australia most of the stations have a 'catchup' page where you can view and download albeit in miserable quality previous episodes. The US is much better served in this respect. So the rule is don't talk about it maintain a low profile and don't speak to men in trench coats... In other words the old DADT rule!!!
i don't see how this is in any way illegal or "stealing"; if viacom makes them available for free on their website and they have a streaming framework in place for you to view them, then i fail to see what anyone is doing wrong by saving the episodes permanently on a harddrive. when you stream a video the file is cached locally (i.e. on your harddrive) and then deleted by the streaming app, if someone places something on my harddrive then it's mine, it's my computer, you cache it locally on my pc and i'll keep a copy if i want to.
Thanks so much for the responses guys, I'm gonna do it! I'm probably being way over paranoid. This weekend, I'll do a test run: I'll just download a couple episodes and see if anything strange happens. If not, next weekend I'll go back for the rest! Thanks again, guys!
You're asking a bunch of non-lawyers to give you legal advice. My best friend is a lawyer and I ask him questions about the field and I'm also pretty smart so I'm going to give you the best advice on this you can probably get around here unless some lawyer wants to jump in.
Nobody knows if doing this is really "illegal" or not. It would take a court case to decide it and the odds are rather high that Viacom is NOT going to pursue such against one guy who is downloading stuff for personal use when if they lose the case, it would have repercussions that they don't want to face.
We've had no reports ever of studios going after people who do this kind of thing for personal use. But you do need to understand that if Viacom does NOT give you an option on their website to explicitly download these, that from a legal standpoint they may be able to argue that what you are doing IS indeed illegal.
Now do they have a way to find you and know that you are doing this? And would they even go after you if they could find you and had no reason to think you were trying to sell or make these available to others? Probably not. But no, I am not prepared to swear to you on your mother's grave that there is a 100% certainty that would not ever under any circumstances come after you. There's probably something like a 99.999999% chance that you'd be fine, but if you can't live with that, then don't do this.
@jman98 Thank you so much for your detailed and informative response, I really appreciate it. I now feel a whole lot better about doing this, it's nice to hear it from a friend of a lawyer. The only thing that still bugs me is that I posted this same message on another forum (AfterDawn), and on that one someone responded and said that if I'm caught, I'd be fined $250,000 per episode plus possible jail time. They said that doing this is just asking to be busted. Are they just trying to scare me? Could I really face these charges, even without a lawsuit? I don't really believe this person, but I'd like your opinion. Thanks again for being so helpful.
Some people talk just to hear themselves talk.
Nickelodeon hereby grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-assignable and non-transferable license to use and display, for noncommercial and personal use only, one copy of any material and/or software that you may download from this Site...
@hech54 And what do you mean by that, exactly?
You could consider emigrating to Australia - far more relaxed lifestyle and legal system than the USA. We need people and unemployment is about 5% and we didn't have a recession. of course it's Australia Day so it's puffed out chest time
Oh yes and 50% of the population was born overseas including the Prime Minister so you need to enjoy a multicultural society.....
But always keep in mind that in the USA anyone can sue anyone for anything, justified or not. The courts are often used for intimidation. The average person can't spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars defending themselves against a multi billion dollar corporation.
@netmask56 I've always wanted to visit Australia actually, it looks like a very interesting place. I don't know about living there, though. I do love America, after all, we have the most flavors of Goldfish Crackers, and new episodes of Nickelodeon shows always premiere here first. Happy Australia Day!
Hi guys, I need to ask your opinion on something. This weekend, I am planning on downloading a whole bunch of very large video files from Viacom's server. The videos are episodes of the show "Robot And Monster", and there are a LOT of them. I will also be downloading them in very high quality, so they will be very large files (about 250 MB each, for about 50 11 minute episodes). What I want to know is, will Viacom be able to know that I am downloading these videos? If they do figure out that their videos are open for downloading from the server, would they be able to put a stop to it? The very LAST thing I need right now is to go to download some more episodes, only to be greeted by a 403 Forbidden message, or even worse, a 404 Not Found, meaning they took down the videos entirely. Would they do this if they found out I was able to download the episodes? Would it be a better idea to get half the videos this weekend, and the other half next weekend, or all at once? I will be downloading them to my Android phone. Are there any apps or software for that platform that could possibly mask my downloading so that they can't tell I'm doing it? Please give me your thoughts and opinions on this. Thanks!
i agree if Viacom or any such site has a api framework to integrate with their site then its not illegal or stealing.
See Joel Tenenbaum and Jammie Thomas:
Since the sites T&C appear to give you permission to retain a copy you're probably alright on the copyright front. But you didn't mention that you are accessing these videos via stale or "hacked" links (which you mentioned in another thread). That might possibly fall under computer fraud and espionage law, not copyright law.
And lastly, if these are downloaded via encrypted transport, it might be considered a DMCA violation. The DMCA makes it illegal to circumvent encryption.
Is any of this likely? Probably not. But the laws are there. Written by the RIAA and MPAA members and signed by our government officials.
Last edited by jagabo; 27th Feb 2013 at 06:40.
We're kind of beating a dead horse in this thread.
In my opinion it's worth noting that the Tenenbaum and Thomas cases both featured defendants who had horrifically bad legal representation. Jammie Thomas in particular seems to suffer from megalomania and this has caused her to make a series of incredibly poor decisions regarding her own guilt and the strength of her own case. Neither defendant offered much more of a defense than "I didn't do it, judge" vs. mounds of evidence by the prosecutors showing that they did indeed do it. Both defendants were delusional in believing they could prevail. In one of Thomas' trials her legal representation consisted of law students who bragged to the press prior to the trail about how easy it was going to be to win this case. They got a legal bitch slapping in court and got showed that practicing law for real might just be a little harder than it seems in the classroom. Thomas and Tenebaum are the last people you would want fighting for their innocence in a downloading case.
Finally, keep in mind that ALL court cases to date have involved people who shared their downloads with others via Bit Torrent, Lime Wire, etc. I'm not aware of any cases prosecuted for just downloading. Some have argued that downloading only cannot legally be prosecuted.
The new ISP piracy warning system that just went into effect this week should result in just getting a warning about such activities, but what I've read seems to indicate that the media companies are only looking at Bit Torrent and similar methods of file sharing, not downloading from streaming media sites.
Really, if they put them on their server, with no password, in a publicly available location, then no legal authority is going to take any complaints seriously, unless you burnt copies onto discs and started selling them on a street corner.
A few months ago, Adobe put up freely downloadable version of the complete Creative Suite (an older version). Millions of people have downloaded it. Adobe hasn't lifted a finger to stop them, let alone prosecute anyone. Of course, they won't come out and say that you're allowed to do it.
Guessing a link isn't illegal, yet.
Lots of times I've found old, or sometimes upcoming, content by doing that.
I don't feel I've done anything even slightly underhand, let alone illegal.
If they leave the files on their web server, it's an implicit invitation to download them.
If you don't want to make them available, don't put them on a web server that gives them to anyone who asks for them.
Again, the likelihood of any downloads resulting in legal action is rather low, but in the US it's not clear at all that doing this would be legal. Your argument makes logical sense, but the law in the USA is not always logical.
The "unauthorised" part for a file placed on a web server with no security would be pretty hard to claim with a straight face.
And in reality, the risk of legal action is zero. I pointed out the Adobe CS files earlier. No one threatened or prosecuted for downloading gigabytes of files they left on an open server and spreading them all over the web.
If you're the kind of person who needs a lawyer to sign off on everything you do, then don't do it. No matter how innocent your actions, if some asshole lawyer wants to threaten you he will find a way. Look at what they did to Aaron Swartz. But he was an activist and painted a big target on his back.
Hi guys, sorry I haven't replied in a while, I've been really busy lately.
@deepangel Yeah, that's what I think!
@jagabo I'm actually not downloading these videos through "stale" or "hacked" links. Sure, most of the full episodes have been taken off the official Nick website, but they still fully exist on the server, and it was very easy to find them. Absolutely no hacking was required, as these videos are left open for anyone who knows the link to watch them, even though they aren't on the "official" Nick site anymore. As for downloading them, I did not have to do any hacking to figure out the exact URL of the raw video file on Nick's media server. All the episode files, including the ones that aren't featured on the website anymore, are open for viewing and downloading by anyone who knows the URL, with no protection at all. So yeah, that's basically an invitation to download anything you want as long as it's available and you can figure out how to find it on the server.
@jman98 Well, I definitely won't be uploading posting, sharing, or redistributing the downloaded episodes at all, so I think I'll be okay.
@AlanHK Well, I will be burning them to DVD's, but I'm not going to sell them or anything. Like I said, these episode videos will be entirely for personal use, I will not be sharing them at all.
@jagabo As I've already explained, sure, most of the full episodes aren't still featured on the official Nickelodeon website. But it was easy to figure out where the older ones are stored on the server, and they are still publicly available to anyone who knows the URL. The raw video files themselves are also available on the media server with no password protection or any kind of protection from public viewing and downloading. So I don't see how downloading these types of videos is illegal.
@AlanHK Exactly!!!! Thank you!
@jman98 Well, I'm definitely not doing any sort of hacking here, and I wouldn't call the episode files "unauthorized" as they are available to anyone who knows their URL's. But you're right about the USA's laws being illogical sometimes.
@Cornucopia You said it!
@AlanHK That's exactly how I see it! Thanks again!
Anyway, thanks again for all the responses guys. I've already downloaded all the episodes that are currently on the Nick server, there's only a few left that I need but they haven't aired on TV yet, they should be uploaded to the server once they air. I really think nothing bad is going to happen to me as nothing has yet, and the video files all still remain fully available to anyone on the server. I really appreciate all the responses, guys! Thanks again!
I am still trying to figure out why this thread even exists!!!
Oy Vey.....Originally a member since 2001, LONG LIVE TARAN's!!!