More people than ever before are cutting their cable cord and realizing the power of alternate programming. The rise of streaming services such as Netflix has ushered in a new era of digitised online content.
IPTV services are one of the many options people have for alternative ways to watch TV.
Unlike Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming services, IPTV remains relatively unknown. Not many people are aware that it exists. The legality of IPTV is another issue to be considered.
Even if people know it exists, they still ask the question of is IPTV legal or not.
Is IPTV Legal?
You might assume the answer to this question would be obvious.
If Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube are legal, then why wouldn’t IPTV be legal?
Unfortunately, the world isn’t all that black and white. IPTV is legal, so long as the provider in question follows copyright infringement laws.
Asking if it is legal to use IPTV is like asking about the legality of downloading data from the internet. The problem is that the question is too broad for a straightforward answer.
The good news is that most IPTV providers do follow the rules. The word “IPTV” is just a fancy way to refer to streaming services.
Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube could all be considered IPTV providers, and they are all legal to use.
These services pay a licensing fee to content creators or create their own content for streaming. This license gives them the right to stream through their services.
The subscription fee goes towards paying these license fees and the production cost of homegrown shows and movies like Netflix Originals.
One problem with determining how legal a stream is is that it’s easy to point at a legal stream but more challenging to tell when one is illegal.
IPTV is illegal when the providers don’t own the rights or licensing to stream the content. This means they are infringing on copyright and therefore breaking the law.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for customers to tell when a provider is streaming content illegally. It’s not like the company exposes itself like this.
No company would willingly advertise they provide an illegal service.
How to Tell if an IPTV Service is Legal or Not
The most common sign of an illegal service is a lack of subscription fees. Many illicit services are offered for free or with a one-time purchase.
This is ac common sign that the platform in question doesn’t abide by DMCA laws. If you use Netflix or Hulu, you know that the service charges a monthly fee.
This doesn’t mean that every free platform is automatically illegal, but it is the first sign to look for.
Another way to tell the difference is to watch for IPTV boxes. These IPTV boxes come under a range of different brand names and are built to work with legal and illegal subscriptions alike.
It might seem like a challenge to tell the legal and illicit IPTV boxes apart, but more often than not, boxes advertised as being “fully loaded” are illegal.
This is a sign that they are preconfigured to run illegal plans and illicit streams.
Should You Use alternative IPTV Services?
Americans should take note that the laws concerning IPTV are a little different there. In America, viewing content that breaks DMCA laws is not technically illegal.
Distributing the content is illegal, but not watching it. Think of it as watching copyright-infringing content on YouTube. You don’t get in trouble for watching the video, but the person who uploads it could.
It is illegal to redistribute content and broadcast it to an audience. Viewing content on an illegal IPTV service wouldn’t technically break the law.
However, downloading the content and sending it to other people or posting it online would violate the DMCA.
We would never advocate that people break the law, but there is no doubt that IPTV services are convenient. Here are some things to keep in mind when using IPTV services;
VPNs Offer Better Security
Investing in a VPN is one of the best things you can do for your online security.
VPNs, or virtual private networks, are protocols that hide your IP address when using the internet. There are plenty of different services out there, most of which have free trial versions.
There are some free VPN options, but the best ones are the ones you pay for. Don’t worry, as these services are all highly affordable.
It is worth getting a VPN if you plan on using IPTV services. Even if you don’t intend to break the law, the fact remains that IPTV can be something of a legal grey area.
Most people want access to media at a fair price. A VPN offers a great security blanket that protects you in case you accidentally break the law without realising it.
With that said, the absolute best thing you could do if you are worried about IPTV’s legality is not to engage with the practice.
Stick to Netflix and other verified apps. These options are inexpensive and have plenty of choice on offer.
When it comes to the legality of IPTV services, it’s worth knowing if the service you use is legal or not. There is nothing inherently illegal about using IPTV services.
There are many completely legal services out there. With that said, some providers flaunt the law and do stream content that breaches DMCA copyright laws.
Even then, viewing the content is not strictly illegal. Only streaming it is.
Suppose you are still concerned about the security and legality of IPTV providers. In that case, we recommend you get a VPN for some added protection or avoid IPTVs altogether while you do more research.
If you don’t know, then don’t go.