Suppose you live in a region where the government has banned the purchase of some media (e.g., songs, movies, or software). So you cannot legally purchase licenses from the owners; the only way to obtain them is on the black market where copies are pirated.

If you take a pirated copy to a region where it is not illegal to purchase it, is it then legal to possess and use the media?

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    This version is almost good enough to reopen, but still needs clarification. A song that has been banned in one region is not therefore illegal in another region; but an illicit copy may still be illegal under copyright laws. – Tim Lymington Mar 12 '18 at 11:16
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    Yes, I can almost see the question, but it's still not clear: Can you clarify what you mean by "banned region?" Do you mean a region where the copyright owner has chosen not to sell the media? Or do you mean a region where the government has forbidden the sale of the media? – feetwet Mar 12 '18 at 13:18
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    @feetwet Banned region is where the government has forbidden the sale of the media + Sometimes other regions forbidden this region from access too. It is kind of political things and for sanctions. – 0_o Mar 12 '18 at 13:37

No, you cannot ever legally use copyrighted property without a valid license from the copyright owner.

It is understandable that when government restrictions prevent people from licensing intellectual property, people will turn to piracy and black markets to obtain them.

However, whenever you find yourself in a region where you can legally license the property, you are (presumably) also in a region where intellectual property rights are respected, and it is illegal to use the property without a proper license from the owner.

I.e., the fact that you paid a pirate for a copy – even where that was the only option to obtain one – does not give you a license. You have to obtain a license from the owner.

  • Thank you for the edit, And its so hard to live like this. – 0_o Mar 12 '18 at 14:25
  • However, if for some reason playing or possessing a certain song is illegal in your country (say because of very controversial lyrics), you may be able to download it from a store in a different country where the song is legal. Your possession of the song would be illegal, but not copyright infringement. In that case, moving to a different country might make everything legal. – gnasher729 Oct 19 '19 at 23:46

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