Are streaming sites illegal?
You ever wondered if you are breaking the law by watching copyrighted content through a streaming service that you have a subscription with? You are right to wonder because there are so many streaming services out there that exist illegally. The content they charge you money to stream is acquired illegally and they have no business or right doing so. However, don’t worry, the fault is not yours and your government is not concerned with. Besides, if the government started arresting everybody that streams content, do you have any idea how many of you they will have to arrest? As such, no government concerns itself with free citizens who use the services of streaming services to see movies online.
The concern of the government is the people who make the movies available to you. What free movie streaming services do is to offer people the choice of either watching movies and other kinds of content free of charge or spending money to watch them. And like you would guess, most people usually opt for the former and choose to go for free streaming services instead of buying movies. In order to understand the legality of streaming movies, you will first need to understand how streaming movies work.
The workings of streaming service is not rocket science
Something important you need to understand is that most movie streaming services you see online do everything they can to avoid the legal repercussions that are associated with distributing copyrighted materials that you do not have rights to. One of the ways they do this is by never hosting the contents they stream on their own servers. In fact, most of these sites only act as search engines and provide you links to streamed content. The content is hosted on another website that probably has the rights to stream it and is only embedded in the site. The hosting website is the secondary site while the one you stream from is the primary site.
The minute you start playing the content, it is requested from the second website from where it is streamed to your browser. Thus, even though you may think that you are watching from the first website, while in fact, the content is coming from the second website. You will never see the server from where the content is coming from.
So, are you breaking the law?
According to copyright laws in most countries and even internationally, you are only in copyright violation if you download copyrighted material in full or in part. Similarly, if you show copyrighted material to a huge number of people outside the family circle, it is also considered as violation of copyright laws. However, if you stream the material for yourself or your family without downloading, sharing, or exhibiting to the public, it is not considered as violation of copyright laws.
Thus, you are safe from the powerful hand of your government because there is no law that makes it illegal to stream movies and other content just for yourself.