Is free online streaming of paid content now officially illegal in Germany?

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I have recently came across this article on internet https://frankfurt-expat.com/2017/11/20/streaming-movies-becomes-illegal-in-germany/ which states that free online streaming of movies or other paid content is not officially illegal and before it was a "grey area".

Is this actually true? If so how is it even possible?

I mean I often watch my favorite series on websites which also host free content, so how are authorities going to know that when I visited that site I actually viewed paid content for free or just free content. The videos hosted there have external links and the URL often doesn't give away the name of the content in it. So the latest episode of Game of Thrones might me hosted on something like www[dot]oload[dot]co/asdfgRS52f.

 

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Authorities stopped caring about this a long time ago. They do not monitor the Internet traffic for this. Only time people get caught is when using peer2peer technology (like BitTorrent - sometimes also "streaming" services use these) because then the content creator's lawyers can just join the peer2peer swarms and store every IP address they see. Then they make a civil claim for damages because you distributed/offered it worldwide to countless users (as is the p2p principle).

 

Now, this doesn't make streaming on pirate sites legal, it's just that:

- since it isn't p2p the lawyers cannot record it

- the authorities don't monitor the Internet exchanges for this

- if you were caught the content creator cannot really claim much damage because he only lost 1 sale (as you are not distributing)

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The old "my TV aerial wasn't working so I just watched FTA programs via a website" defence? :P

 

For some reason, your question also got me thinking - if F1 is FTA on RTL, but someone in Germany watches a hokey Sky (UK) F1 channel feed, they are watching an event that is on a FTA channel in Germany but with commentary in a difference language. Which is similar in principle to the scenario you are describing. 

 

I know that in the UK streaming has become seen by the authorities as one of the most abominable of crimes, and the press are always pushing stories of people who have been locked up for selling pre-configured Kodi devices with a warning from the UK's copyright protection agency (called FACT) that the buyers/users could be swept up in their investigations and that strong examples will need to be set. 

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Hello. 
First i would like to apologize for reviving this thread/topic. I know its been asked a lot on the forum but i cant find recent information about it so here i go.
I moved recently back to Germany and a friend told me that internet copyright laws had become even more strict. 
Back in 2015-2016 i used to watch streams (movies/series), view stuff like comics, mangas or read novels online and had 0 problems since it was "Gray area".
But now my friend told me all of it is on the same level as torrenting meaning that they can and do trace it. He even said he heard about someone who got traced thru VPN.
After our talk i got a tad "paranoid" and now im afraid to even download a game that i know im getting from the main source (publisher/owner).
So can anyone clarify or share recent experience regarding Streaming, Image viewing (comics/manga not from publisher source), Text viewing (Books,Novels not from publisher source) and general stuff like "i like this picture il download it for screenserver".

 

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8 hours ago, Berv said:

Hello. 
First i would like to apologize for reviving this thread/topic. I know its been asked a lot on the forum but i cant find recent information about it so here i go.
I moved recently back to Germany and a friend told me that internet copyright laws had become even more strict. 
Back in 2015-2016 i used to watch streams (movies/series), view stuff like comics, mangas or read novels online and had 0 problems since it was "Gray area".
But now my friend told me all of it is on the same level as torrenting meaning that they can and do trace it. He even said he heard about someone who got traced thru VPN.
After our talk i got a tad "paranoid" and now im afraid to even download a game that i know im getting from the main source (publisher/owner).
So can anyone clarify or share recent experience regarding Streaming, Image viewing (comics/manga not from publisher source), Text viewing (Books,Novels not from publisher source) and general stuff like "i like this picture il download it for screenserver".

 

As long as you avoid bit torrent you shouldn't have an issues. Companies have mostly stopped going after the small guy perferring ot focus on those who share the content. Which makes sense, why go over 50000 small guys when you can take out a whole service!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Rushrush said:

As long as you avoid bit torrent you shouldn't have an issues. Companies have mostly stopped going after the small guy perferring ot focus on those who share the content. Which makes sense, why go over 50000 small guys when you can take out a whole service!

 

 

As far as i know the people sending out the 900ish euro "fines" are not from big companies but small lawyer firms that go for the "small guys" that dont know better.

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