13thAssassin

Is it legal to downloading something you already own (music/film) so you can put it on your smartphone or tablet?

Is it legal to downloading something you already own (music/film) so you can put it on your smartphone or tablet? Sometimes it's easier (in theory :p) to just grab it from the internet instead of converting files etc.

Most Useful Answer CTPAHHIK  Jan. 16, 2013 at 18:34

It was always legal to download something that you do not own. Downloading is legal, sharing is not.

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CTPAHHIK  Jan. 16, 2013 at 18:34

It was always legal to download something that you do not own. Downloading is legal, sharing is not.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 17, 2013 at 07:41

It is called "format shifting" and is illegal. Buying a DVD does not entitle you to an illegally shared AVI copy.
The problem is: in this whole saga ethics and law collide. Will you go to jail if you can prove you have a scratched DVD of Star Trek and just wanted to replace it? Probably not.
Is it legal? Nope. Nobody claimed DVDs were indestructible.
I'm sure matt will chime in later...
But even the Electronic Frontiers Foundation will tell you it's illegal.

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 17, 2013 at 08:42

Matt's here...

Yes, it's illegal, no two ways about it. You probably wouldn't go to jail because the CPS wouldn't find it to be in the public interest to bring a criminal case against you. You're far more likely to get sued by the whoever made the film, if that's some big Hollywood company they'll have better lawyers than you, you'll lose the case and then you'll be fined an inordinate amount of money. Well, that's if you get caught...

Install PeerBlock on your computer to stop the film companies snooping around seeing whose IP uses torrents. It can help stop you being accused of wrongdoing when you're totally innocent.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:20

Matt, do you know of any legal cases pertaining to downloading copyrighted content? I'm only familiar with distribution.
No P2P client is legal for downloading copyrighted material as you automatically sharing downloaded content. Downloading from, say Dropbox, is a different matter. You are not distributing anything.

PeerBlock helps, but doesn't really work. I recommend avoiding all P2P networks unless there is explicit permission from copyright owner to use P2P.

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:15

Matt, do you know of any legal cases pertaining to downloading copyrighted content? I'm only familiar with distribution.
No P2P client is legal for downloading copyrighted material as you automatically sharing downloaded content. Downloading from, say Dropbox, is a different matter. You are not distributing anything.

PeerBlock helps, but doesn't really work. I recommend avoiding all P2P networks unless there is explicit permission from copyright owner to use P2P.

I can look, I don't really pay much attention to such things. As you mentioned, I think most copyright breach cases are related to the sharing of copyrighted material, not the mere acquisition of it (not that this makes illegal downloading any less illegal).

I think most downloading cases are settled out of court, people get a letter and they pay up because they know they're guilty, also they don't fancy facing (read: being ripped to shreds by) some billion dollar corporation's lawyers in court.

P2P downloading of copyrighted material is illegal, that's a fact. I was merely suggesting PeerBlock as...erm...a way of...erm...preventing miscarriages of justice...kinda.

Pondlife  Jan. 17, 2013 at 13:17

It is called "format shifting" and is illegal. Buying a DVD does not entitle you to an illegally shared AVI copy.
The problem is: in this whole saga ethics and law collide. Will you go to jail if you can prove you have a scratched DVD of Star Trek and just wanted to replace it? Probably not.
Is it legal? Nope. Nobody claimed DVDs were indestructible.
I'm sure matt will chime in later...
But even the Electronic Frontiers Foundation will tell you it's illegal.


Well that's not entirely accurate any more, format shifting is now permissible in the UK.
Even converting CDs to mp3 for your own mp3 player was illegal in UK until recently but that and DVD conversion for personal use is now permitted. Possibly why Amazon has apparently started providing mp3 copies of albums bought from them years ago as I read last week.

The downloading part is a bigger step though for now at least although it seems Amazon have some leeway.

http://news.bis.gov.uk/Presys-Releases/Consumers-given-more-copyright-freedom-68542.aspx
http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20802043

Due to the wording of it though it appears that using the vinyl to mp3 converter I bought from m&s is still technically illegal...

richto  Jan. 22, 2013 at 20:01

Matt, do you know of any legal cases pertaining to downloading copyrighted content? I'm only familiar with distribution.
No P2P client is legal for downloading copyrighted material as you automatically sharing downloaded content. Downloading from, say Dropbox, is a different matter. You are not distributing anything.

PeerBlock helps, but doesn't really work. I recommend avoiding all P2P networks unless there is explicit permission from copyright owner to use P2P.

I can look, I don't really pay much attention to such things. As you mentioned, I think most copyright breach cases are related to the sharing of copyrighted material, not the mere acquisition of it (not that this makes illegal downloading any less illegal).

I think most downloading cases are settled out of court, people get a letter and they pay up because they know they're guilty, also they don't fancy facing (read: being ripped to shreds by) some billion dollar corporation's lawyers in court.

P2P downloading of copyrighted material is illegal, that's a fact. I was merely suggesting PeerBlock as...erm...a way of...erm...preventing miscarriages of justice...kinda.


Of course it makes 'downloading only' not illegal as there is no law against it. P2P downloading is perfectly legal if you block uploads and set your upload bandwidth at zero.

And I challenge you to find a single case of anyone settling for anything that they just downloaded and did not distribute....

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 22, 2013 at 20:25

Matt, do you know of any legal cases pertaining to downloading copyrighted content? I'm only familiar with distribution.
No P2P client is legal for downloading copyrighted material as you automatically sharing downloaded content. Downloading from, say Dropbox, is a different matter. You are not distributing anything.

PeerBlock helps, but doesn't really work. I recommend avoiding all P2P networks unless there is explicit permission from copyright owner to use P2P.

I can look, I don't really pay much attention to such things. As you mentioned, I think most copyright breach cases are related to the sharing of copyrighted material, not the mere acquisition of it (not that this makes illegal downloading any less illegal).

I think most downloading cases are settled out of court, people get a letter and they pay up because they know they're guilty, also they don't fancy facing (read: being ripped to shreds by) some billion dollar corporation's lawyers in court.

P2P downloading of copyrighted material is illegal, that's a fact. I was merely suggesting PeerBlock as...erm...a way of...erm...preventing miscarriages of justice...kinda.


Of course it makes 'downloading only' not illegal as there is no law against it. P2P downloading is perfectly legal if you block uploads and set your upload bandwidth at zero.

And I challenge you to find a single case of anyone settling for anything that they just downloaded and did not distribute....

P2P downloading and uploading are both perfectly legal in the UK, actually. It's copyright infringement that's illegal.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 23, 2013 at 08:47

Matt, do you know of any legal cases pertaining to downloading copyrighted content? I'm only familiar with distribution.
No P2P client is legal for downloading copyrighted material as you automatically sharing downloaded content. Downloading from, say Dropbox, is a different matter. You are not distributing anything.

PeerBlock helps, but doesn't really work. I recommend avoiding all P2P networks unless there is explicit permission from copyright owner to use P2P.

I can look, I don't really pay much attention to such things. As you mentioned, I think most copyright breach cases are related to the sharing of copyrighted material, not the mere acquisition of it (not that this makes illegal downloading any less illegal).

I think most downloading cases are settled out of court, people get a letter and they pay up because they know they're guilty, also they don't fancy facing (read: being ripped to shreds by) some billion dollar corporation's lawyers in court.

P2P downloading of copyrighted material is illegal, that's a fact. I was merely suggesting PeerBlock as...erm...a way of...erm...preventing miscarriages of justice...kinda.


Of course it makes 'downloading only' not illegal as there is no law against it. P2P downloading is perfectly legal if you block uploads and set your upload bandwidth at zero.

And I challenge you to find a single case of anyone settling for anything that they just downloaded and did not distribute....


P2P by itself is legal, but you need explicit consent from copyright owner to distribute/share any content on P2P.

It does not matter if you have upload at zero or unlimited. There is "conspiracy" charge that applies, where you clearly advertized content for sharing even though you didn't actually share it. Under law it's clear that you intended to share in this case, which as bad as sharing.

A good analogy would be taking a gun and trying to kill someone, but changing your mind at the last moment. There is intent/conspiracy to commit murder.

yujdfns  Jan. 23, 2013 at 15:07

It was always legal to download something that you do not own. Downloading is legal, sharing is not.

Not true.

Pondlife  Jan. 23, 2013 at 16:26

It does not matter if you have upload at zero or unlimited. There is "conspiracy" charge that applies, where you clearly advertized content for sharing even though you didn't actually share it. Under law it's clear that you intended to share in this case, which as bad as sharing.

A good analogy would be taking a gun and trying to kill someone, but changing your mind at the last moment. There is intent/conspiracy to commit murder.

That's just nonsense.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 23, 2013 at 17:58

It does not matter if you have upload at zero or unlimited. There is "conspiracy" charge that applies, where you clearly advertized content for sharing even though you didn't actually share it. Under law it's clear that you intended to share in this case, which as bad as sharing.

A good analogy would be taking a gun and trying to kill someone, but changing your mind at the last moment. There is intent/conspiracy to commit murder.

That's just nonsense.


I guess you never got any letters from your provider.

Pondlife  Jan. 23, 2013 at 23:16

Those aren't even vaguely analogous, it's just nonsense.

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