You will find many people list watching movies as one of their hobbies. The film industry has snowballed over the years to meet the insatiable need for films and shows. Dissemination of entertainment in movies and TV shows has gotten faster and better with the advent of the internet. You don’t have to be visiting theatres at night to watch a video. You can stream the latest movies and series from the comfort of your home. There has been mushrooming of streaming sites to cater to all the needs. Everyone seems to enjoy it without any concerns of legality. Can streaming movies land you in a legally murky area?
Please think of the latest movie around; it is all available on the internet immediately after release. You can watch Game of Thrones or Avengers infinity war by merely keying in the titles in your search engines. You can avoid the anxious wait for the DVDs to ship like it used to be before. Introduction of high-speed internet has catapulted the online streaming industry to highs that it enjoys at the moment. Online streaming is the most popular internet consumption activity at present. Nearly 50% of internet users in the US will spend a large portion of their time online watching movies and TV series. The trend is projected to hit highs of 236 million daily viewers in the United States by 2020.
People prefer online streaming for various reasons. It is convenient in that you can have the movie that you want in a flash, watch it without necessarily storing the data. You got instant playback which accords you full control of the binge-watching experience. If you wish, you got the option of downloading or sharing the content with your peers. Besides, online streaming is cheaper compared to other sources of movies. Sometimes you may even think that it is free, but it is prudent to look at the bigger picture.
International copyright law
The film industry is a lucrative one with high revenue generation in countries like China, India and the US. It is estimated that the global film industry will be worth $50 billion in the year 2020. To ensure the realization of the projections and goals, we have to continually create new shows and movies that will excite the world. Creativity has to be maintained, and this will keep you entertained in the long run.
People who work in the film industry have to be protected to earn from their creativity. Like any other intellectual property, the film industry should be rewarding for us continually get entertained with new movies. As such, international copyright law among other regulations seeks to safeguard literary and artistic works involved in the production of the film. Inasmuch as there is a global law in place regarding the use of creative work, there are several countries to country variations. Additionally establishing what is legal or illegal is not a white and black thing. There is lots of confusion and overlap; thus online streaming can sometimes predispose you to unknown consequences.
In the first place, should it bother you as an end-user whether the content that you are watching is illegal? Partly yes, even though the state and the producers hold the responsibility of protecting their merchandise, there are situations in which you can be directly liable. It is therefore essential to ascertain that the content you are watching online is legal without any doubts. The only sure way of getting to learn that the material is licensed is to check if it is copyright protected. You can also interrogate the legitimacy of the website that is providing the materials.
Several sites provide online streaming either for free or paid. Streaming gets complicated especially for the free site since there has to be a reason behind it and the source of funding. There are legal movies to watch online for free without getting into the murky legal arena. Streaming almost every movie should be legal globally provided you subscribe to the provider site. For free streaming, there are often sponsorship adverts which may be annoying at times, but that’s the cost. Besides, free legal streaming provides limited content. Fortunately, there is often a window allowing you to upgrade. In every situation where streaming is authorized, you are at liberty to download the content without getting violating any rules.
Accessing copyrighted content without due payment or permission from the authors forms copyright infringement and is unlawful globally. The sites themselves may not be banned since they are quick to put a disclaimer. However, the content that they offer is illegal, and you can be brought to books for possessing such data. Depending on your location, you can get into trouble for copyright violation. Some countries seriously regard this and will not take chances. Typical forms of illegal streaming include Bittorrents and TV streaming site. The culprit can be the uploaders or the end-user depending on the country. It is therefore essential that you ensure you are streaming legal content only.
Illegal streaming not only hurt the film industry but may also pose a danger to the end-user. Often, unlawful content will be accompanied by many annoying adverts; if not then the link gets deleted after a while for they keep changing to evade charges. Online streaming from illegal sites is a security risk that you should avoid like plaque. Sometimes, these websites are funded by malware which performs malicious activities on accounts of visitors. Also, they are always associated with sick quality videos. Is the risk worth it? You can safely watch movies from legitimate sites without any worries.
To sum it up
There exist a lot of grey areas in legality of online streaming. It takes instincts and logical reasoning to determine that which is legal. You have to be careful about the content that you are watching to be a law-abiding citizen. This is not a piece of legal advice regarding online streaming; hence you can seek further guidance on the issue with a specific focus on your country laws.