Q: Can I legally create an app for watching movies and shows together from various streaming platforms?

This app allows you to log in using profiles from various streaming services like Netflix, Max, Disney+, and more. It enables you to watch movies and TV shows with friends and family, not through screen sharing, but together in a shared viewing experience.

The app will store copies of all available movies and shows on our servers for optimal performance. Each movie or show will play locally on the user’s device, allowing for smooth playback and personalized settings. However, to access content from platforms like Netflix, users must link their respective subscriptions to our app. Would this be legal? And do I need to ask the different streaming platforms I want to include?

3 Lawyer Answers
Julie C Hancock
Julie C Hancock pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Entertainment & Sports Law Lawyer
  • De Pere, WI

A: The app storing copies of all available movies and shows on your server is going to be an issue - this amounts to unlawful copying and performing of a copyrighted work without permission. You should consult a copyright attorney to better understand your legal options.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Creating an app that stores and streams copyrighted content from various platforms without proper authorization may infringe on copyright and licensing agreements, potentially leading to legal issues. It is essential to consult with legal counsel and obtain necessary permissions or licenses from the streaming platforms you intend to include to ensure compliance with copyright and intellectual property laws.

Robert P. Cogan
Robert P. Cogan pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It would be wise to tread carefully. Many actions that raise issues of potential copyright infringement risk raising the ire of individual companies. With regard to movies or other forms of entertainment, the stakes are higher. There is not only the risk of getting sued by an individual company, there is the risk of getting sued by a consortium of powerful companies. Many suits are filed by consortia. The accused defendant faces a powerful adversary. Without advice of counsel, it is very difficult to ask the right questions for obtaining permission and very difficult to know whether both the platform and the movie copyright own must both be consulted.

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