Legal Dos and Don’t With the Streaming Channels

If a private person views a video through an on-demand platform, they will not spread it. Attorney SaschaGreier is an expert in copyright law and specializes in file-sharing cases. He explains: “From a copyright perspective, there is no public disclosure within the meaning of Section 19a of the Copyright Act, so that the mere viewing of films or series is not a copyright infringement.”

  • But be careful: If you download movies or TV series from the Internet and save them on your computer that is illegal. When you are watching Demand Africa then also you must keep this in mind.
  • By downloading the film you make a copy of what is prohibited by clause 16 of the Copyright Act (“Reproduction”). In fact, when streaming, so simply watching a video, this is also downloaded – but only temporarily. The movie is cached in the computer’s cache so that the user can pause or rewind the movie, for example.
  • Criminal liability begins where files are permanently downloaded or offered by themselves.

But paragraph 44a of the Copyright Act excludes copies of the ban that are only “fleeting and concomitant.” This also applies to streamed movies, says Greier, “because the data is only temporarily in the cache, they are ‘fleeting’.” In addition, only cached to view the film, which is a lawful use dar. It does not matter whether the film was unlawfully published.

Ultimately, however, there is still no clear supreme court decision, so that the legal situation has actually not yet been clarified. Greier believes, nevertheless, “it is currently assumed that the watching of films by stream is not illegal.”

How can I prevent downloading a movie or a series?

To prevent it from being saved in the cache, it can be deactivated in the browser. But then the movie cannot be stopped or fast-forwarded.

What do my clicks do?

It is illegal to distribute files on the Internet without the permission of the copyright owners. Operators of platforms offering free movies and TV shows are illegal in most cases. Anyone viewing videos on these platforms supports the operators of these pages with every click; because they finance themselves through advertising. The more clicks, the more money. In addition, the film industry earned by streaming, of course, less.

What happens to me in the worst case?

First of all, there is a risk of pulling viruses onto the computer via the platforms, for example viruses.


Anyone watching films or series on the Internet must also expect to receive a warning. There are law firms that specialize in sending such letters to representatives of the film industry. These require depending on the case for the 1,000 euros in damages. If you decide to ignore, you can breathe again after three years: then the claims for injunctive relief and payment under article 195 of the Civil Code are time- barred.

And if I still do not want to stream?

An alternative is the media libraries of public and private television stations. For example, at ARD and ZDF, the entire program is offered for free online for a week, with ProSieben, Sat1 and RTL there is a large part of the program online – but here with regular commercial breaks and individual paid content. Streaming tips are available every Friday from Mediasteak at bento.

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