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I've noticed a disturbing trend today, with a series of new and/or unregistered users asking questions with links to suspect sites, including file download sites for MP3 files, or album sites, which it is suggested are necessary to help identify a movie.

Are such questions, with such links welcome here?

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NO - such questions are not welcome here.

  • The material (if genuine) is likely to be copyrighted.
  • Downloading material from unknown and untrusted websites is a dangerous practice and should not be encouraged.
  • Such questions are borderline with regards to being on-topic anyway.

Such questions appear to be close to, or in violation of the terms of service of the site, which can result in accounts being permanently deleted.

I WILL immediately delete such questions, and if the user(s) persist in doing I WILL escalate this and suspend or even delete the user accounts responsible.

For others, please do bring such questions to my attention.

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  • @MarcinHabuszewski - thats a complex question. By and large it is ok, as YouTube is a mainstream legal service and has a process for taking down copyrighted material. However if its is egregiously illegal - e.g. copies of whole movies this is discouraged. – iandotkelly Jul 2 '14 at 23:10
  • @MarcinHabuszewski - see meta.movies.stackexchange.com/questions/302/… – iandotkelly Jul 2 '14 at 23:10
  • This question is specifically trying to discourage 'file downloads' not streamed content. – iandotkelly Jul 2 '14 at 23:11
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    Mod getting downvote....funny.....i can't see reason for downvote,+1. – Ankit Sharma Jul 3 '14 at 18:11
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    @AnkitSharma - well perhaps if they added a comment I would understand. Perhaps they think I'm being harsh. – iandotkelly Jul 3 '14 at 18:17
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    I'm in full agreement. Any posts asking people to download something should be removed immediately, and users that continually do this should be removed. This isn't just about copyright infringement, but also a matter of security for users at large. – MattD Jul 4 '14 at 19:23
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I think through comments we've got a third solution:

Marcin Habuszewski: Is linking to YouTube allowed?

iandotkelly: By and large it is ok, as YouTube is a mainstream legal service and has a process for taking down copyrighted material. However if its is egregiously illegal - e.g. copies of whole movies this is discouraged.

iandotkelly: This question is specifically trying to discourage 'file downloads' not streamed content

iandotkelly: I'm not talking about copyrighted material in general, or linking in general - I'm specifically talking about binary file downloads. Practically "I'm trying to identify the TV show with this theme music - please follow this link and download this file to hear it

With all this in mind, we should tell the user to upload their audio/video clip to YouTube and link to it in their question, if it's illegal YouTube will remove it (and probably tell the user what they've "stolen" which will answer their question for them).

If they don't, we can close the question and remove the link.

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    I agree, but would say that your proposal is in no way in contradiction to my answer strongly discouraging linking to file download sites, and our general policy towards file streaming is already well known. In all honesty - today's behavior from several new users is suspicious and I wanted to specifically to use this question to propose banning that practice. – iandotkelly Jul 2 '14 at 23:45

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