The legality of using VPN to watch legal streamed series from other countries?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Saiyan Lusitano, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Saiyan Lusitano
    OP

    Saiyan Lusitano GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,596
    3,161
    Oct 29, 2015
    Sweden
    How does this work, is it still fully legal to watch other countries' whom restrict IP per country or becomes grey area/illegal?
     
  2. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

    Member
    7,571
    7,656
    Dec 1, 2014
    United States
    Under a rock
    Fairly certain it's 100% legal, but I'm not a lawyer
     
  3. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Member
    4,845
    2,430
    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
  4. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Member
    22,711
    10,989
    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    Subtle Demise likes this.
  5. Memoir

    Memoir A Hero to Zero

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    Memoir is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    5,397
    5,213
    Jun 24, 2007
    United States
    Wyoming
    Definitely a violation of the EULA/TOS. Shouldn't be illegal, as that wouldn't make sense.
     
  6. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

    Member
    680
    288
    Apr 21, 2010
    United States
    Milwaukee WI
    Very much grey area. Because technically, the shows and movies are not licensed to show in other countries or they are licensed to other platforms.
     
  7. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Member
    4,845
    2,430
    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    True but still the consequences can be a PIA for TOS violations depending on the service.
     
  8. nooby89

    nooby89 A normal member with a stupid alias

    Member
    1,615
    223
    Aug 18, 2015
    Canada
    Personally, I watch TV series streamed from other countries without VPN. Is it risky?

     
  9. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

    Member
    680
    288
    Apr 21, 2010
    United States
    Milwaukee WI
    No but it is illegal if you're not paying for a subscription and using those shitty streaming sites.
     
    nooby89 likes this.
  10. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Member
    22,711
    10,989
    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    No idea what a PIA is, but there's no need for people to be worried about it all the same.
     
    Saiyan Lusitano likes this.
  11. Saiyan Lusitano
    OP

    Saiyan Lusitano GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,596
    3,161
    Oct 29, 2015
    Sweden
    CBC offers free streams of their TV series so those who want to watch it and are situated outside Canada have to use a VPN. So it's legal but it really isn't.
     
  12. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

    Member
    4,845
    2,430
    Aug 24, 2014
    United States
    Fort Gay, West Virginia
    pain in the ass.

    Also I remember one big example is in the Netherlands the American NFL streams games online for free (IIRC)
     
  13. Tomy Sakazaki

    Tomy Sakazaki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    789
    216
    Oct 23, 2006
    Brazil
    Not illegal, worst case scenario the subscription service may terminate your contract unilaterally after sending you warnings about the use of VPN with their services breaking the TOS/EULA.
    The ones who may get sued or pay to content owners/local distributors extra because users are using VPN are the streaming services themselves.

    EDIT: Except in some countries where using VPN or other ways to access internet content from outside government controlled networks is actually illegal and a crime per se.
     
    Last edited by Tomy Sakazaki, Apr 17, 2017
  14. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,865
    9,780
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    On the face of it the only one at fault would be the distribution service for stepping outside the bounds of their distribution agreements (be it from another or because they sold off other regions to others), though I would be surprised if they did not have some kind of contractual immunity from any troubles there as long as they blocked your basic proxy and made token efforts otherwise.

    That said there is a fair bit of law with regards to using services via deception and without permission and it is an active step you have taken to bypass restrictions, something which would likely not help your case if you ended up in front of a judge. Whether a EULA could transfer it onto you further ("by using this service you state you are within the borders of [country] and if not you are then accessing the content without permission" sort of thing) I am not sure about. To that end there is probably a means for a clever lawyer to argue something.

    As others said it would likely be grounds to boot you from the service and I don't see you really having a leg to stand on there, give or take a quirk of law like some statute somewhere saying technically for these purposes it is one country (you see it sometimes in commonwealth countries for certain things, despite most countries within it having complete or near complete independence from each other and a central authority).

    What might be worth looking into is whatever happened to the old Russian MP3 sites (mp3search.ru, allofmp3 and such like). Their contention was as they paid ROMS (the then Russian equivalent of the RIAA, and yes there was much amusement over the name in places like this) royalties they could legally sell a very wide selection of music (the sorts of things itunes shouts from the rooftops when it gets (things like the Beatles music) they had for years prior) to all and sundry, and often for a lot less and even in better quality (some had flac years before itunes even offered unencrypted music). I never saw any court cases for end users getting pinched, and the music companies in the west did the usual way of try to stop any payments from going there.

    That said people don't seem to care so much about people sharing netlix/amazon/hbo/spotify/whatever passwords, and that probably represents a real and tangible loss of some form.
     
  15. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

    Member
    22,711
    10,989
    Apr 29, 2011
    United States
    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    I thought it was "PITA" but I digress. I don't think they're gonna get sued for circumventing stupid regional restrictions.
     
  16. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

    Member
    3,622
    1,604
    Aug 28, 2003
    United Kingdom
    Meh. Just digital importing. Just the digital version of importing a blu-ray/game whatever from another region.