Is it illegal to download old movies?

Beware of illegal downloads

Many Germans also quickly fall into the trap: In the evening, watch a film on their laptop that they discovered on some online platform. Just quickly download the new song of your favorite band onto your mobile phone for free. In most cases, however, this is illegal - and anyone who uses such sites can be prosecuted for copyright infringement. This also applies to refugees.

Where do I have to watch out?

There are many gray areas. As a rule of thumb, however, everything that would cost something in a department store is not free on the Internet either. So downloading a movie or song is almost always illegal. Films that are currently being shown in cinemas are generally not legally circulating on the Internet.

So anyone who discovers the latest Hollywood blockbuster online just three days after its premiere should be skeptical. Even when downloading music to your own cell phone, you can in most cases assume that it would actually have to cost something - after all, the musicians want to earn money from it.

File sharing networks that distribute data via so-called file-sharing programs such as BitTorrent or eMule are particularly tricky.

In addition to watching films or downloading music, you should also know what is allowed on social networks: The copyright provisions also apply on YouTube, Facebook and blogs. Photos or clips may only be shared there if they come from you. It is not permitted to simply redistribute content from other sites.

What if i get caught?

Illegal file sharing violates German law. There are law firms that specialize in sending out warnings. You can use the IP address to determine the network from which an exchange was used. Anyone caught like this can expect fines of several hundred euros. This is what happened to a Syrian refugee who is supposed to pay 815 euros for downloading a feature film via BitTorrent. This is reported by the computer magazine "c't". #link: http: //www.heise.de/ct/ausgabe/2016-6-Massenabmahner-haben-Fluechtlinge-ins-Visier-3122427.html: According to the article #, refugees were increasingly being targeted by the warning lawyers.

Listening to music legally - that's possible, for example on the Spotify portal

"It is important to warn refugees about these copyright violations," emphasizes Julia Rehberg, a lawyer at the Hamburg Consumer Center. There are already the first cases in which refugees were warned about illegal file sharing - and had to pay.

Who has to pay?

Even those who make their WLAN available to others - neighbors or roommates - must expect to be held accountable. In case of doubt, it is not just the fault of the person who swaps films or music online, but also the connection owner. Both are responsible. Since it is not a legal punishment, but a claim for damages, refugees should not fear losing their residence permit in case of doubt, according to lawyer Henning Werner from the consumer center.

Why is this being pursued so strictly?

Refugees cannot hope for indulgence either. Of course, it should be clear to the law firms that most of them have little money. But welfare recipients who download something illegally can also be asked to pay. So it is better to inform in advance, that is the advice.

German copyright law is strict. It is intended to protect the authors - artists, singers, authors - from others distributing their work without permission and without payment.

How and where can I legally get films or music on the net?

Pure streaming - i.e. watching or listening to it without saving - is usually not a problem. The consumer advice center Germany advises on its website: When streaming films and music you should use the big, well-known portals such as Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Myvideo or Spotify. On the #link: https: //www.verb├╝berszentrale.de/urheberrecht-fluechtlinge: website of the consumer center # there are further tips on how to navigate safely on the Internet. Even those who fear that they have used something illegally can get advice over the phone there.