Here at cdfreaks there is a longstanding policy of not helping people with illegally downloaded movies. Laws on this subject vary according to which country you live in, but moderation here generally shuts down discussions that openly admit downloading copyrighted material. I don’t have much problem with this, but it may be time to review implementation of this policy.
Downloading services, legal ones, are beginning to show up on the internet. Two have been in existence for almost two years now. Movielink and Cinemanow offer full movies for download, some can even be burned to dvd. Most are still in .wmv format with Microsoft’s drm applied.
Since we help with breaking encryption and converting formats for personal use, I don’t see a conflict helping with these types of downloads. The problem will be keeping up with the types of video available for download, the various sites that are actually legal to obtain these videos and differentiating between purchased video and rentals.
Perhaps we should simply ask that people posting in the forum specify exactly what type of video they have and their source? Right now it is “don’t ask don’t tell” for most of the video discussions around here. But on something that is obviously copyrighted, is it possible to ask for a source before automatically shutting down the thread?
I believe we are just at the beginning of downloading video over the net. The situation is going to get more complicated.