Say that, for my upcoming birthday, someone gifts me a copy of the hit film Shrek 2 on DVD.

Say that, instead of being professionally pressed and shrink-wrapped, my new copy of Shrek 2 is a shiny DVD+R with "Shrek 2" written on it in permanent marker, and comes in one of those white paper sleeves. One might reasonably surmise that the copy was produced without the permission of the copyright holder.

Am I allowed to watch Shrek 2? If not, is that because I (as opposed to the manufacturer) lack a license from the copyright holder? By what legal mechanism would a Shrek 2 DVD whose manufacture was properly licensed confer that necessary license for Shrek 2 to its owner?

Unlike in this question about a similar situation involving a computer, we can assume that my DVD player does not operate by making additional copies.

  • 1
    That is not a duplicate - this is about a DVD where the recipient did not make a copy, the other question is about streaming, where the recipient did make a copy.
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


You are allowed to watch Shrek 2

Copyright is infringed when you or you authorise to:

  • reproduce the work in a material form; (s36)

  • publish the work; (s36)

  • perform the work in public; (s36)

  • communicate the work to the public; (s36)

  • make an adaptation of the work; (s36)

  • import the work for sale or hire or in the course of trade; (s37)

  • sell or lest for hire the work; (s38)

  • permit a place of public entertainment to display the work. (s39)

Simply possessing an infringing copy or watching it in private, is not infringement.

Of course, the person who gave it to you (or someone further up the chain), must have infringed.

  • pressing (e.g. making) or possessing?
    – Trish
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 22:27

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