Watch Out! Free Online Movies May Be Illegal – 2174期

Instead of cinemas and DVD players, more and more people turn to the internet for movies. Comparing with the traditional ways to enjoy a movie, watching that on the internet indeed has tons of privileges. It is easier to search the specific movies though massive database, which significantly improve the efficiency. Furthermore, people can spend less money and have the chance to browse the movies of different countries without worrying if the movie is still on. As a result, lots of websites and apps for movies are mushrooming, including free ones and rechargeable ones, and both have its own extensive clientele. Despite its good development prospect, some problems need to take into consideration. As the rules of the internet movie market are no longer adequate, the phenomenon of intellectual property infringement is widespread.

There are more and more online video sites or APP, which allows us to enjoy online movies or dramas easily. Compared with the past, TV was the only choice, but there are more channels nowadays. Most important of all, everyone can watch any kinds of dramas for free all the time. For example, the popular online video site KUBO(酷播).

A student from Shih Hsin University(世新大學), Chen Qiao-ru(陳巧儒) told us that she thought the biggest advantage of using internet website to watch shows is that you do not have to waste time on advertisements while enjoying them. Moreover, everyone can watch drama without being disrupted. Because of this, Chen often waits until the ads end and it takes her a night watching it. She also mentioned that the sources of free websites are usually not fixed sources and many films are pirated which means the resolution will be relatively low.

“The copyright issue is very important. Directors will be more motivated to shoot the next movie if they feel protected,” said Chen.

Bella Liu(劉尚瑄)is a senior student at Chinese Culture University (中國文化大學)who loves to watch American TV series, she often watches them on her laptop or smart phone via online streaming sites, and because there are not much of American TV shows that she loves are available on TV in Taiwan, so she uses different free online streaming websites such as Youku Tudou(優酷土豆網)or MovieSun(美劇線上看)to catch up on the popular TV shows, but she is also subscribed to monthly-paid online streaming media, Netflix, to fully enjoy the freedom of watching whatever movies she wants in no time!

When it comes to the pros and cons of watching TV shows and movies on free online streaming sites and monthly subscription media, she pointed out straight away that the TV shows on free sites usually have unstable connection and bad resolution, and the subtitles are often incorrect and are shown in simplified Chinese, but the most annoying thing to her is that the pop-up ads are everywhere over the site, and it also appear when you start to load the video, the advertisements are mostly phone games or erotic images, “But I guess these are the little things you have to endure if you want to get the free pass to TV shows you like, after all, the free sites still need money to keep running, so cooperating with advertisement companies is how they make money.” 

Oppose to the free online streaming sites, Netflix has a relatively cleaner and clearer displaying interface with no annoying pop-up ads to distract you, and it has HD streaming quality with various subtitles to choose from. “You get what you paid for, it’s a fair game,” Bella added, but aside from the advantages of paid streaming media, there are also disadvantages to it. “Because there are intellectual property and copyright restrictions on this kind of legit online streaming media, there are also a lot of movies and TV shows I can’t watch on Netflix in Taiwan region, then I know it’s time to get back to the free online streaming sites.”

Have you ever watch free movies on line? You just need to click your mouse and you can watch every kind of movie what you want. But have you ever thought about that when you watch free movies online, you may already break the law?

Ye Yun-Ching, (葉雲卿)professor of Shih Hsin University(世新大學)said, online free movies may break the law called Intellectual Property Rights(智慧財產權). Intellectual Property Rights refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary, artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. When it comes to the movies are legitimately authorized or not, or whether there’s any profit-making behavior, legal issue becomes complicated. Although many free online movie web sites claim they just offer free movie to public without charging, but they truly earned a lot of money from the lucrative advertising profits. In fact, advertising is a commercial activity. Intellectual Property Rights not allowed this kind of profiting behavior. Especially the unauthorized movies they offered.

As a free online movie website user, it is not easy to distinguish which free online movies are legitimately authorized or not. We should just watch movies online and do not download them, otherwise it will violate Reproduction Right(重製權).Moreover, we should not spread movies. If you spread the film, it will become a problem of copyright infringement. In conclusion, we should support genuine and eliminate piracy.