Today we're going to talk about Iwaku's policy on PIRACY. Many of you probably know that we have a rule against sharing pirated material or discussing how to obtain digital media illegally on Iwaku. We do this in order to respect copyright holders and help keep our site from getting shut down by angry corporate lawyers. Most of you, when you think of piracy, are probably imagining torrent clients and sites like Pirate Bay or IsoHunt. Thing is, that's not the only kind of piracy we're concerned with. We also don't allow illegal streams or any kind of file sharing that is not authorized by the copyright holder. I've seen several instances lately of people unknowingly breaking our piracy rules, so here are some clarifications on what is NOT cool to share/give pointers on obtaining. SHARING "FREEBIES"NOT ALLOWED: Publicly (on the forums, on the Discord server, etc.) discussing or actually sending files (books, videos, music) to other members that would cost money for them to obtain legally. Even if you got a PDF or MP3 for free through legitimate sources, if it is not available for free anymore it is still pirating. Sometimes artists/authors distribute a limited number of free digital copies, but those are supposed to be one per person. If you check the front of an ebook, for instance, it will tell you right there that you aren't authorized to distribute it to other people even if you paid for it. Especially for ebooks, as a writing site, we want to encourage legitimate purchase of PDFs and epubs, etc. We know that you're not made of money, but if it were your book, wouldn't you want someone to actually pay for it? I know I would. This INCLUDES the PDFs for tabletop RPG sourcebooks (D&D, Pathfinder, and other such games). If you guys want to share that stuff with each other in private go nuts, but don't do that on Iwaku and don't tell us you're doing it. We do encourage you to promote legitimately free books (there are a lot of freebies on Amazon or from indie authors). If the price says $0.00 or the author is giving shit away on their site, spread the word. Seriously, let us know. I like having more books to read. ONLINE STREAMINGNOT ALLOWED: Linking or embedding full movies or episodes from streaming sites where the video is not uploaded by the copyright holder directly, or recommending using those sites to watch the same. Sites like KissCartoon or CartoonsOnline or Putlocker or Sidereel are not authorized to distribute copyrighted material. Unless the video is uploaded by an authorized source, don't share it. Legitimate streams may include: Free videos uploaded directly by the copyright holder to video streaming sites such as YouTube or to their own websites. Anime in particular can often be found free and legally on YouTube and Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll Premium allows more content and removes ads, much like YouTube Red. Major network websites such as NBC.com, History.com, Disney.com, etc. Some networks do provide select episodes for free, often for a limited time. Depending on the network, you may have to have a cable subscription with their channel. Specific network-based streaming services, which require a paid subscription, such as HBO Now, ABC Go, and Starz. Generic streaming services, also by paid subscription, such as Amazon Video, Netflix, and Hulu. All Amazon Prime members have access to Amazon Video. Sites that provide permanent purchase or rental of digital copies of movies and shows that are not part of their streaming selection. YouTube, Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, and more all have this service. Any stream of material that lies in the public domain, regardless of where it's hosted. Public domain does vary depending on country, but we're mainly concerned about the US because that's where our server is located. Make sure any public domain material complies to US restrictions. If you are from outside the US and viewing something that isn't public domain in your country, congratulations on lucking out! Everything else is at best suspect and not allowed to be shared or discussed on Iwaku (by which we mean, don't tell someone that the newest My Hero Academia is on this cool free cartoon site you found or ask where to find a free way to watch Supernatural episodes. Seriously, the CW will hunt your ass down for trying to pirate SPN). SAILING MURKY WATERSThere are a few grey area exceptions: 1. Music and other clips uploaded to YouTube. Not only would enforcing removal of YT videos be a massive headache, there's no need for us to get involved. YouTube is a large, trusted site that has its ass covered well when it comes to copyright enforcement and will enforce removal of videos if requested. Music uploads in particular also help promote artists, and many license holders choose not to go after unauthorized uploads of songs to YT because of the free advertisement it gives them and because of how YT manages ad revenue from these videos. We do encourage users to use official channels when they link videos, but this one we definitely let slide unless in the very unlikely event that a copyright holder directly contacts us. DO NOT link full movies or episodes of copyrighted shows, however, unless they are uploaded by the copyright holder directly. 2. Using Rabbit or other screen sharing services for small, closed movie nights. Services like Rabbit are a legal grey area due to it being new territory in the eyes of the legal system, but as long as you are not hosting open-to-all movie events where just anyone can join, it's fine. We're leaving following ToS and movie sharing laws to you when it comes to these. 3. Embedded audio in posts. Try to use a legitimate source but we're not going to squint at the code every time you shove music in your roleplay OOC. Also, see above statements regarding music on YouTube. CREDITINGIn general, just respect artists and copyright holders. Don't pirate, don't plagiarize, give credit if you copy something word for word (or with just names changed), don't use art from deviantArt or other art sites if the artist doesn't allow it. Don't claim that you made something you didn't make. Crediting artists is always nice to do. We're not going to enforce things like crediting image sources or reposting art without permission unless an artist complains, but knowingly plagiarizing text or committing art theft (actually claiming to have drawn something) is a big no-no and can get you banned. We'll also call you out if you copy and paste from Wikipedia or other sites without credit and ask you to change it. Our golden rule: Don't be a dick.