Watching movies online in Germany

83 posts in this topic

Posted

I was wondering if watching movies online (from various sites that most probably host the material illegally) constitutes a crime in Germany. I know that streaming a movie is basically the same thing as downloading it, but can they take any legal action against you? Does anyone have any experience with this?

 

Thanks for your replies!

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Posted

No problem as far as I know

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Posted

Watching, downloading or direct streaming is not a problem, re-distributing (uploading or using P2P/torrent software to "download") is.

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Posted

my understanding is that Germany takes piracy (streaming or downloading) very seriously. just to be safe and avoid problems, i don't download ANYTHING. i use VPN to watch netflix and other legitimate services.

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Posted

From what I read around, the big problem is distributing (torrents). The whole scheme of things is built on surveillance of torrents. I guess that streaming or downloading from filelockers or P2P will not cause problems. But again, not sure :)

 

I guess the main rule is avoid like hell publick torrent trackers.

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Posted

 

i don't download ANYTHING. i use VPN to watch netflix and other legitimate services.

 

Yes you do (download) - you are just hiding the fact that you do it, and if your VPN provider received a court demand to provide your details to the authorities you're equally f***ed.

 

However, you are pretty safe, with or without a VPN as it's not the downloaders they are after, it's the uploaders, most of whom don't even know they are doing it until they get the pretty letter

 

I was at a friends home at the weekend where his teenage son proudly showed me the Android app he used to to "download" music and listen to on his phone. Both were pretty shocked to be told he was actually using a P2P app, and was illegally uploading as much music as he was downloading. It bites you in the bum when you least expect it.

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Posted

If you want to be on the safe side, get a "videothek" (video store) membership card. It's really not that expensive and almost all movies still have the orignal soundtrack. (English, in most cases).

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Posted

Absolutely, what Derek and clever ol' YL6 said. Also imho there is no neeed to download movies off Torrent sites in Germany, as you can obtain films via British satellite - which also shows loads of American films btw. The British channel "E4" is chock full of US series as far as I am aware.

 

The idea of sitting gazing at a tiny laptop screen doesn't quite seem very appealing to me at least.

 

imho most foreigners in Germany can quite easily obtain a sat dish. If we in south DE need a dish of 85cm then it must be even easier further north to get an even better signal with a smaller dish.

 

There is another side to the web where you can freely download stuff. Google "Creative Commons" and you will find a wholly free side of the internet with stuff you can not only view but "mash" up and play with.

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Posted

Few things ... where's my "clever ol'" ? :)

 

Not all screens are tiny laptop screens. My computer has HDMI output which is plugged into my big TV. Also, I can copy downloads onto a USB device and plug that into my big TV.

 

There are a lot of cases where a dish isn't gonna work (north facing flat for example). We almost bought a house last week where I wouldn't have been able (allowed by my other half) to put up my 1.2m dish without it being a hideous eyesore. Luckily we didn't get it.

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Posted

Ah, Derek - I stand corrected! When you do have a north balcony - yep I forgot about that!

 

Regards locating your dish - get yerself a Bavsat chap - known as a Geoff - to locate your dish on the back of the house, as we did. That preserves the beauty of the front of the house which imho is what makes Bavarian houses look so nice.

 

Oh, and alright you can have clever ol' Derek!

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Posted

According to Chip.de, watching illegal streams is still illegal.

http://www.chip.de/news/Kino.to-Urteil-Ansehen-illegaler-Streams-ist-strafbar_53541632.html

 

Whether or not you’ll get caught and prosecuted is another matter and it seems the authorities are usually going for the uploaders (of which you are one if you’re using P2P). A previous thread mentions one TT’ers run in with law: http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=145048

 

In anycase, if you want to remain hidden whilst on the dataspace, you might consider a vpn service.

 

~S

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Posted

 

it seems the authorities are usually going for the uploaders (of which you are one if you’re using P2P)

 

But nobody's going to class you as an uploader (seeder) as long as you're still showing you've got less than 100% of the file (leecher). You can't be accused of sharing "a film" if you don't have all parts of that film. I certainly think in these terms when I'm downloading TV shows (I remove the torrent as soon as it's finished) but I don't know if my projecting of this logic onto anyone determining such a distinction is correct.

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Posted

Let me give you my first hand experience. I used Vuze for three years not a problem till last year I get a letter from a lawyer representing Sony saying I uploaded and downloaded The Tree of Life. I had watched it and they had the trans times I watched kindly supplied by vodafone under court order. I presumed it was either a hoax or I could ignore it as they were looking for about 1200 in damages. This speculative suing in Germany is now huge due to the change in law which allows a lawyer get a court order to force your Internet provider give your name and address. Over 250000 people get the letter I got each year. One whole court in Bavaria is dedicated to hearing these cases. My advice is that you will probably get caught. If you do you can get a lawyer to write to them for about 300 to get them to drop it. Still expensive for a movie.

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Posted

I still would like to know if anyone got caught downloading from filelockers or streaming. Torrent is a big no no :)

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Posted

 

When you're downloading via torrent, as long as you're not at 100% downloaded (a "seeder"), you'll be thought of as a downloader (a "leech") - you can't be accused of sharing a movie if you don't have all of it. So the trick is, as soon as you've got all of it, stop sharing (remove it from your torrent client). The torrenting community won't like you for doing that of course, it's the sharing that keeps it going, but legally you'll be much safer if you do that.

 

 

 

But nobody's going to class you as an uploader (seeder) as long as you're still showing you've got less than 100% of the file (leecher). You can't be accused of sharing "a film" if you don't have all parts of that film. I certainly think in these terms when I'm downloading TV shows (I remove the torrent as soon as it's finished) but I don't know if my projecting of this logic onto anyone determining such a distinction is correct.

 

I think you don't have the correct terminology and idea there. These peer to peer protocols including torrent allow everyone that has chunks of the file to contribute to everyone else by uploading it - that is why it is effective in sharing across the "swarm", often the complete download only exists in the swarm by sourcing if from several seeders, none of which has the entire thing. So you are also uploading/seeding even if your software doesn't explicitly refer to you as a seeder of that file unless you have 100% (in fact there are often multiple files in a torrent etc.). When you have 100% you are effectively only a seeder as you have stopped leeching, but I'm pretty sure you could get into trouble with these law firms even if you didn't download the entirety of the file.

 

What you should be able to do is set the peer to peer client / software you are using to not upload, so only leeching (and therefore exclusively a leecher) but even then you will be a part of the swarm and I would guess you can still get in trouble and have a hard time arguing that you were just downloading if you get chased by one of these law firms.

 

Ivo.

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Posted

 

I think you don't have the correct terminology and idea there. These peer to peer protocols including torrent allow everyone that has chunks of the file to contribute to everyone else by uploading it - that is why it is effective in sharing across the "swarm", often the complete download only exists in the swarm by sourcing if from several seeders, none of which has the entire thing. So you are also uploading/seeding even if your software doesn't explicitly refer to you as a seeder of that file unless you have 100% (in fact there are often multiple files in a torrent etc.). When you have 100% you are effectively only a seeder as you have stopped leeching, but I'm pretty sure you could get into trouble with these law firms even if you didn't download the entirety of the file.

 

What you should be able to do is set the peer to peer client / software you are using to not upload, so only leeching (and therefore exclusively a leecher) but even then you will be a part of the swarm and I would guess you can still get in trouble and have a hard time arguing that you were just downloading if you get chased by one of these law firms.

 

Ivo.

 

Agree with all that except for the final point. I don't think any of the popular torrent clients allow you to leech only. I've tried Vuze (aka Azureus) and BitTorrent in the past, and currently use uTorrent (an old version of it). None of them let you set an upload speed of 0KB, and even if they did, you might find that you don't receive anything because of that. There are some clients that share to people based upon how much the leech has shared already (or in other words, if you're a pure leecher, you'll be shunned).

 

Just to be clear though, I don't participate in or recommend anyone else download (and more importantly upload) music or movies via torrents. I don't do it.

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Posted

I use a VPN to download torrents, mine deletes the logs every day, so am pretty safe.

 

But my VPN is mostly used at the moment to watch the BBC Olympic coverage. Such a sweet player they have.

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