Are you among those who are always in a fix about the legality of streaming and downloading online content? Especially these days when many of us have our list of quarantine movies and shows to stream and keep themselves distracted. However, you may not realize that the medium that you are using to watch these is illegal.
Here’s your comprehensive guide on pirated content.
Pseudo Streaming does not Count
Many people argue that progressive download or pseudo streaming is a form of pirated content as well. However, this is not the case. The progressive download aims at creating copies of the stream to facilitate uninterrupted streaming.
According to the law, consuming anything as soon as you make a copy of it does not count as pirated. However, the debate continues. But according to the majority streaming does not count as piracy under any circumstance. As long as you are involving yourself in real-time streaming, you are safe. If there ever is a situation where someone has to worry about streaming, then the liable parties would be sites like YouTube and the original uploader of the content.
The case regarding real-time streaming seems settled. However, peer-to-peer streaming using torrents remains a question. According to the law, if you are viewing a torrent, it means that someone from amongst you uploaded the content. Hence, making him both the uploader and the viewer of the content. And this violates the law. Thus, falling under the piracy category.
The reason behind this is that the person uploading the content does not have the authorization to do so. Hence, making it an illegal practice. The fact that these torrents are common in some parts of the world than others also leaves this as an open-ended concern.
Downloading Unlicensed Content
Downloading unlicensed content is where the trouble begins. Many individuals would do so to watch the best TV shows. However, little do they realize that it is a crime. Anything and everything that you download without the copyright holder’s permission is piracy.
Copyright entitles the creator of the content to make as many copies of it as he wishes. However, someone else does so (downloading is copying), and then no matter if you are doing in your home, it is still illegal. Having said so, there was a time when copyright holders would take strict action against the downloaders of their content illegally. However, since the past decade, there has been a relaxation.
This does not imply that it is okay for you to download in such a way but yes the chances of you getting sued are low.
BitTorrent User is an Exception
If you are facing common cable problems, you are very likely to resort to torrents like BitTorrent. And the users of this service are very likely to get sued. Downloading through the use of torrents is wrong. Although the chances remain thin the probability is higher than it is with other downloading sources.
Hosting Unauthorized Stream
If you happen to host an unauthorized stream that is an illegal practice as well. You may escape if you are watching an unauthorized stream. However, if you host one, the chances that there will be legal action against you are high. This practice draws more attention to the copyright holders than others. It’s like committing a crime as big as charging the subscribers with Cox hidden fees (in case the company ever does so).
The maximum penalty that you can face in return for this illegal practice is a year in jail along with a $100k fine.
Copyright Enforcement is Civil
In case you get caught while streaming or downloading illegally, the government is very unlikely to take any action against you. That’s the job of the copyright holders. And they are the people that you should fear in case you get caught as well.
What About the Viruses?
You may be able to escape legal proceedings but what about the viruses? Who is going to tackle them on your behalf? Come to think about it. If a site does not fear the law and is hosting illegal content, how can you guarantee that it will refrain from sending viruses your way?
Therefore, be careful when you decide to watch free content on the streaming services. You do not want to affect your device only to realize that there is nothing much that you can do about it. The best way is to stick to your trusted cable services like Cox Contour TV and watch whatever the channels play. This will keep you safe from both piracy and viruses.
Happy TV watching!