What Happens If You Stream Movies Illegally Online?

Streaming movies online using torrents is illegal. If caught, they can sue for copyright infringement, leading to serious legal jeopardy. However, the risk depends on the site that you are using to stream movies illegally.

For example, tracking traffic on apps like Popcorn Time is easier compared to tube sites.

Is It Illegal to Watch Copyrighted Content?

As you can image, copyright holders are very protective of their IP. They have significant leeway in the law to take drastic action against anyone who infringes on their copyright. Copyright laws in many countries around the world are very strict too. The process of acquiring these rights as well from the IP owner is very cumbersome and costs a lot of money.

Any attempt to monetize copyright-protected content without the consent of the owner may lead to serious lawsuits and massive settlements. Even some of the major streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others have to get exclusive rights from copyright owners to showcase their content.

It is also important to note that the copyright owner reserves the right to reject any licensing requests. They can also withdraw a licensing agreement if they determine that some terms of the agreement have been breached.

Does BitTorrent Infringe Upon the Rights of Copyright Holders?


Yes, using BitTorrent to stream movies illegally online is a copyright infringement. This is because some of the BitTorrent content violates the right of the copyright owner to distribute his or her content.

Streaming the movies online without downloading may also be seen as an infringement. Even if the content has been uploaded online by someone else, the simple act of viewing could land you in trouble.

Over the last few years, movie lobbyists have used bribes and other arm-twisting approaches to push for tougher legislation on copyright infringement. In essence, the only option you have to enjoy any copyrighted content is to buy it. Anything short of that may be illegal.

It’s not hard to see why copyright owners are investing so much time and effort towards tough infringement laws though. It’s all about greed. These companies want to make as much money as possible from their content. But we all know that paying for such content is not cheap.

Attention: Read before you continue

Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble.

Currently, the following information is visible: 

  • Your IP:
  • Your Country:
  • Your City:
  • Your ISP:

If this is your real information, you need to use a VPN to protect your identity.

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Here are the reasons why you must use a VPN all the time.

But Everybody is Streaming Online

Despite tough copyright infringement laws, a lot of people don’t seem bothered. After all, there are literally millions of people who stream movies illegally or download copyrighted content online. But just because a lot are doing it doesn’t mean it’s legal.

As a matter of fact, copyright owners are even finding new ways to sue the individual viewer directly. We are talking about people like you and me whose only sin is to go online and watch content that was uploaded by someone else.  

As copyright owners step up enforcement of infringement claims, people are getting smarter as well. The idea of using a VPN, for instance, has gained momentum. A VPN will protect your privacy as you stream movies online or use the Internet in general.

While you can use a wide range of VPN providers, IPVanish has in the last few years demonstrated outstanding competence.

Although there are ways to protect yourself, you should always purchase the content legally. Then you don’t have to feel guilty.

Can They Catch You Streaming Movies Online? Will They Sue You?

stream online movies

Back in the day, people used to stream and download movies online without any issue. This is because no one cared to track activity on BitTorrent or other platforms. This made it easier for people to share files easily without any risks.

Even though movie companies are now actively tracking traffic on BitTorrent and other streaming sites, enforcement is not too easy. It takes some work to identify specific individuals who stream movies illegally online.

In addition to this, we have also seen the rise of online privacy tools that make it harder for these companies to track your BitTorrent traffic. VPN services like IPVanish can be a great asset to stream content on the Internet without any risks. So, instead of going after individuals, most of these copyright owners are focusing more on the sites that host these movies.

After all, it’s easier to go for an organization than a single person. But even that is proving to be a very hard task. For instance, no one really knows who owns these sites. Secondly, most of them tend to be outside of the United States. Tracking them and bringing them in front of a courtroom is, therefore, a complicated affair.

What is the Role of the Government?

movie piracy

Even though catching you as you stream movies illegally online is not that easy, it doesn’t mean that relevant interested parties are not trying every day to get you. Governments, in particular, have been taking a lead role in fighting illegal online streaming.

They use the guise of fighting terror, human trafficking, and child pornography to force hosting websites to keep track of people who stream content online. The logic behind this is actually very simple. If the government can track everyone’s online activity, then they will know exactly what you are doing online.

Keep in mind that your right to online privacy is guaranteed under US law. Most countries as well have legislation that protects privacy. If you were to give the state access to your online activity, then your privacy will be lost.

The sad part is that not many people and companies are pushing back against this government-led assault on civil rights. If we’re not careful, Internet privacy as we know it may be a thing of the past for some of us who aren’t careful enough and not use a secure VPN like IPVanish.


We have already established above that it’s illegal to stream copyrighted materials online. If you are caught, there will be legal consequences.

There are companies like IPVanish that protect the right to privacy.

Although you can secure the right to privacy with a VPN, we strongly advise our readers to avoid piracy at all costs!

We appeal to your conscience that you value the hard work of the filmmakers and buy their work legally.

In case you need to know more about streaming copyrighted content online, you can leave a comment down below!

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Cal Talbot
Cal Talbot
1 year ago

I believe that people should be allowed to watch movies ‘free’ if they are from 2017 and back. New releases, from 2017- to – 2020 should be subject to charges because they are ‘New Releases’. Older material ‘should’ be free because they have played to death on Cable Stations/Channels anyway so they are old hat so to speak. TV programs should apply as well to the same issues above here.

1 year ago
Reply to  Cal Talbot

Agree wholeheartedly!

1 year ago

I totally understand that piracy is illegal. But an app like Cinema APK…is that illegal?

1 year ago
Reply to  Cristine

thanks for the feedback. we will investigate cinema and do an article about it.

1 year ago

Hi, I have the same question that Cristine posted, is it illegal to watch movies and TV shows streamed with Cinema HD or Cyberflix. Thank you.

1 year ago
Reply to  Pat

I’m not a lawyer, and it depends on which country you live in. But if you watch copyright protected material without permission it should be illegal yes.




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