How can you tell if the video you’re streaming is illegal?
Fact says that any site that “makes available or facilitates the availability” of rights-owners’ content without their permission is unlawful.
Although some streaming websites can look very professional and legitimate, even carrying advertising from recognised brands, the rule of thumb is that if they are offering content free of charge they are probably illegal, Fact says.
If I’ve been streaming movies on illegal sites could I be caught and prosecuted?
Ultimately, anyone accessing content from a pirate site is involving themselves in unlawful behaviour, often putting money into the hands of criminals.
In the past, listeners were fined for illegally downloading and streaming music from websites, but the owners of the rights to the music later abandoned this strategy. Instead they worked with legitimate sites such as Spotify where listeners pay to stream.
As far as TV or movies are concerned, Fact says no one in Britain has ever been fined or prosecuted for illegally streaming content.
Fact explained: “When it comes to catching those involved in piracy, it is not our strategy to prosecute the end user [people streaming films at home]. Our interest lies in identifying, disrupting and if necessary prosecuting the individuals who defraud the creative industries by knowingly stealing content – and who then make that content available through illegitimate means for their own financial benefit or kudos.”