Is this legal? IDK.
Yes, it really depends on perspective. From my point of view I am clean. The authors get their cent from me through qobuz. Domestic authors do not, but qobuz is little short with this, so I am listening them by tidal which is present here and whose subscriber I am as well.
It’s either legal (where you live) or it’s not. It has nothing to do with point of view. That would be a moral judgement, not a legal one.
I pay my obligations to everyone I listen to through my subscriptions … the fact that Qobuz is not agile enough to come to my region is not my problem … I pay local authors via Tidal … don’t I have the right to use imagination to make everyone happy?
I asked a simple question. Is that legal or is it not? I don’t know.
It is legal, it’s just usually against their terms of service. It’s very rare that companies enforce it though because the end result would be a subscription loss (better to be taking some money from a sub that none at all).
I don’t really have a dog in this hunt, but…
New law is made every day every time a contract is signed. User terms of service agreements are contracts.
Whether they are enforced or not is up to the parties. Whether they are enforceable is up to the courts.
Whether enforcement gets to court depends on the perceived damage or injury, and the will and depth of the pockets of the aggrieved party.
If it ever even gets to court, the outcome could largely depend on the politics, mood or sobriety of any given judge on any given day.
I guess you can take that tack. I can’t imagine these companies taking people to court over a $10 sub especially as it appears to be legal (https://www.tomsguide.com/features/are-netflix-vpns-legal).
I have a feeling this is an instance where technology has moved faster than the legal system and that in the future laws will come in to force that address this problem specifically.
I guess you can take THAT tack.
But for streamers, it could be a lot bigger than the $10 per month subscriber. They have contracts with content providers. Those contracts might have territorial/regional market restrictions/provisions.
If the streamer violates those terms, they could lose their franchise. Enforcing those terms, even against one $10/mo subscriber, would be evidence of due diligence and good faith in defense of a breach of contract claim.
Contract law is messy, but pretty well established. Technology just makes research for preparing briefs easier.
I’m not saying it doesn’t damage the business and I’m also not saying it’s morally right.
I’m just saying I’ve not seen or heard a single case of any company taking an individual to court over using a VPN to access different pricing. Looking online it appears to be legal to use a VPN in this way, you will violate the terms of service and if they choose to enforce it they can terminate your subscription. That’s all I’ve found.
Ultimately I’m not a lawyer, just a guy on the internet. I would defer to anyone else on this topic, including yourself.
I am not a lawyer either. I’ve just been on both sides of IP/contract disputes as a cost of doing business in which lawyers were involved.
I tend to agree that it’s unlikely a case against a vpn cheat around regional restrictions would be brought.
But I seem to recall labels going after individuals back in the early napster days, and winning.
They did indeed, made quite the example out of the few they went after. A drop in the ocean of course, but very severe for the unlucky few that were taken to court.
Piracy was illegal at the time though wasn’t it ? Using a VPN to access different pricing (as far as I can see) isn’t explicitly illegal.
I’ve also not seen massive ad campaigns and industry figures discussing this as a major issue which to me feels very different. I vividly remember anti piracy adverts and huge amounts of coverage in the media about the music industry being killed by piracy. Which again, surprises me given that people are essentially getting a product on sale, all of the time.
Yes, same principle, but different scale and different, tougher, more black letter law with regard to copyrights v contracts.
Anyway, interesting discussion. Thanks for that.
Definitely, I’ll be very curious to see how they tackle this in the future because I have to imagine this will only get more prevalent as people figure out you can get the same product for less with virtually no effort.
Napster involved people not paying at all where getting around regional restrictions, still means that the streaming company, the record company and the artists are being paid.
I remember in the early days if downloads etc, it was virtually impossible purchase legally CD quality digital files in Australia, even though they were available elsewhere. Is it any wonder that some people may have resorted to practices to get around these absurdities.