wTVPC is devoted to streaming and accessing television around the world. We frequently write articles about the use of VPNs and Kodi–among other topics.
At this time, there are numerous legal issues connected to streaming. For example, is streaming copyrighted material illegal? What about using a VPN to get around geo-blocks? Is Kodi legal? These are just a few of the questions which have yet to be answered with any useful specificity.
First off, there are jurisdictional issues, as each country has its own laws with regards to VPNs, copyrights, and privacy. Canada may be more lenient on streaming issues than the UK. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and China–among others–are known to take a very hard-line against the use of VPNs to get around censored content.
Secondly, within the specific countries themselves, there is often a lack of consensus amongst courts, lawmakers, and legal experts as to what constitutes an illegal streaming act and what doesn’t. In the US, for example, there is precedent in the 9th Circuit that any part of copyrighted material temporarily stored on a computer cache without permission might constitute an infringement. But this case (MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer Inc., 991 F.2d 511) was decided in 1993–and it dealt with software as opposed to a TV show. Since TV and movie streams have a buffer that is temporarily stored in your computer cache, could this be illegal without obtaining permission? In the 9th Circuit it appears that it might very well be illegal.
In the Second Circuit, however, it ruled that there is no infringement for a buffered stream that is stored briefly on one’s computer. That case was Cartoon Network LP, LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., 2008 BL 162181, and it was decided in 2008. “Briefly” in that case was 1.2 seconds. What about a 10 second storage?
And these legal issues do not just involve copyright issues, either. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) also may come into play for streamers. That Act, by the way, deals primarily with hacking.
The point to all this is to highlight that the legal issues in connection with streaming, copyrights, and VPNs are far from settled.
But this doesn’t mean you are free to wantonly and recklessly download streams and pirate copyrighted material without consequence. You should do your own research before embarking down a streaming path that includes Kodi (or anything like it), a VPN, or any type of downloading. Just because governments and Big Media companies aren’t aggressively pursuing aggressive streamers now doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. Yes, your actions today might come back and bite you tomorrow.
Keep in mind: Just because you think you will prevail in a legal action against you, it doesn’t mean you won’t pay a price. Legal defense is both expensive and stressful.
We’re not trying to scare you away from Kodi, or getting around geo-blocks. We’re telling you to be smart about it, and understand the risks. If its illegal where you live, don’t do it.
Think of it this way—Just because we write about the streaming options for watching Dancing With the Stars, it doesn’t mean we’re recommending that you actually sit down and watch Dancing With the Stars. The same goes for Kodi and torrents.
Beyond the legal issues, many consider aggressive streaming on Kodi, or using a VPN to get around geographical content restrictions, to be unethical. They feel that this kind of streaming is playing fast and loose with open loopholes to get unfair access to copyrighted material. Check your conscience because ignorance is not an excuse to break your moral or ethical code. Just think for yourself and do your own research.
For what it’s worth, we think that until Governments and Big Media provide specific, clear, and generally accepted laws on streaming copyrighted material or skirting geo-blocks then one is free to use his conscience as his guide. This is why we don’t judge those who push streaming to its limits.
Also, we think providing laws and guidelines–while necessary–are not sufficient to control how people stream. Governments need to consistently enforce those laws. A law without enforcement is not a law–it’s merely lip service. The fact that Big Media can’t keep up with the technology is Big Media’s problem, not ours.
Finally, we think that all methods of getting access to streams should be discussed and clearly outlined. The technology is fascinating and the ingenuity of the streamers is quite impressive. And even if you disagree with using Kodi, VPNs, or torrenting, the methods should be out in the open because you’ll never stop them otherwise.
Now, some necessary statements:
We are not responsible for the content you stream, and we do not condone piracy or violating the ‘Terms of Service’ of any company, product, service, etc.. It is up to you, the user, to ensure that you or the sites access for streaming have the proper copyright agreements in place and that you are entitled to view their content.
We do not host, or upload any video, films, media file, live streams (avi, mov, flv, mpg, mpeg, divx, dvd rip, mp3, mp4, torrent, ipod, psp). This site is not responsible for the accuracy, compliance, copyright, legality, decency, or any other aspect of the content you may stream or download. If you have any legal issues please contact the appropriate media file owners or host sites.
We do not have any control over the links on any site that we provide a link to. If you see any form of infringements, please contact appropriate media file owners or host sites immediately.