The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 23, 2024

By the seventh inning in game two of Texas A&M baseball’s Men’s College World Series championship series against Tenneseee, it looked...

Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Streaming websites present free, ethical dilemmas


When popularized shows such as “Breaking Bad” or “The Walking Dead” are not airing, crowds are still finding ways to watch. When music isn’t blaring on the radio, people listen elsewhere.
Live streaming is creeping onto computers all across the world, pumping out TV and tunes for the hungry consumer by legal and illegal means alike.
The original issue was piracy – downloading videos for free onto one’s personal computer, which constitutes as copyright infringement. But now, the trend of free streaming has come under scrutiny – if downloading a copy of others work is illegal and, to some, unethical, what’s the case for
free streaming?
Streaming has become one of the simplest ways for people to watch television and movies because it is literally at the click of a button. Sites such as Netflix and Hulu offer thousands of options for instant streaming, but do not always offer the most current seasons or the more obscure shows, leaving impatient viewers to search in other places.
Matthew Velasquez, sophomore education major at Blinn, said he regularly streams videos online.
“I stream stuff all the time,” Velasquez said. “There are plenty of the safe, available sites to stream movies and TV shows from, but they have a small variety to
select from.”
By streaming content without paying, a person is skirting the copyright rules applied to illegal downloads. In early August, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force started looking into prosecuting streaming as a felony instead of a misdemeanor, saying it is equivalent to criminal reproduction and distribution.
Though Velasquez said streaming is more unethical than not, it does not stop him from
engaging in it.
“I currently stream everything that interests me because I have no TV,” Velasquez said. “But when streaming is at its highest with me, it is because there is a TV show I’m obsessed over and want to watch it as soon as it premiers.”
Austin Ash, senior environmental design major, said he approves of legitimate and secure sites, but finds the use of what he called “sketchier” websites often unethical.
“It depends on the website you use from,” Ash said. “When I studied abroad in Italy, we would stream the Aggie football games and that is a live stream.”
Mitch Roberts, senior anthropology major, frequents sites on the Internet to stream TV shows and films periodically, and said the current copyright legislation does not allow consumers enough liberty inside the law.
“I feel that the hold that entertainment places on their copyrights does not give the consumer enough freedom to access things without an extra charge,” Roberts said. “Netflix and other sites don’t allow full access to archives unless you pay more, and in some instances they will cut parts from shows to give incentive to pay more. In order to see the more obscure titles, I’d have to stream them or hope the library or school media center carries them.”
Jacob Dees, senior kinesiology major, said he found the idea of punishing individuals for streaming music and television “ridiculous,” as musician’s tours or television commercials would provide adequate monetary compensation for media.
Roberts said the moral standing of streaming is unclear. Though he said the “swollen pockets” of the entertainment industry won’t be impacted by the streaming of individual users, he still said it is unethical to access someone else’s work without compensation.
Regardless of any ethical dilemma, Roberts said almost everyone seems to be streaming shows and music.
“If the content is already out there for people to have, someone is already bound to be doing it,” he said. “While that plays to the clich? of ‘everybody’s doing it,’ it happens to be a real factor.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *