|Originally posted by CCarncross|
Record it yourself off the legally received signal coming into your house, fine. But downloading it is not.
First, the Supreme Court's betamax decision specifically distinguishes between "timeshifting" as a recording made for one future viewing followed by deletion, and "librarying" as the retaining of content for one's personal media library. It explicitly legalizes "timeshifting" while neither explicitly legalizing nor disallowing "librarying"--though the text of the decision makes very clear distinctions. So, it is an unsettled matter whether it is legal to keep a recording after viewing it once, although it is now so common that it's unlikely the Court would still even draw the distinction it did 20 years ago. It is however a common misconception that this is a completely settled issue--it has never explicitly been addressed by the Court.
Likewise, while it is explicitly illegal to *upload* copyrighted material, *downloading* it is another legally unclear area which has never been fully explored by the Court in the U.S. *All* of the 4,280+ copyright infringement lawsuits filed by the RIAA, for example, have been against uploaders. Not a single copyright infringement suit has been brought for merely downloading. Uploading is settled as clear distribution, with many legal precedents. Downloading is not explicitly illegal (yet), with no clear caselaw. It is legally undecided, and not yet clearly illicit or permitted by current copyright law and judicial interpretation. Again, it's a common misconception that this is explicitly settled, when it isn't. To quote a recent *New York Times* piece,
|the fine print of those lawsuits makes clear that fans are being sued not for downloading but for unauthorized distribution: leaving music in a shared folder for other peer-to-peer users to take.|
At any rate, I do agree that if a TV show is available on DVD or another authorized medium that it should be purchased. TV on DVD still needs all the help it can get. I do not in any way support or condone any behavior which deprives media creators of the income needed to keep them creating. Some commercially failed shows will *never* see the light of day again, however, and I don't think it's morally grungy to download those, nor is it clearly and explicitly illegal. Preserving our cultural heritage is important.
|The MPAA has no control over television shows does it? I understand if it was movies on tv, but not programming actually made for tv.|
They are major backers of the Broadcast Flag, TV content encryption, and many legislative attempts to make commercial-advance capabilities illegal. They have much control over television and want more.