In this post, we discuss whether IPTV is legal or not.
IPTV, which stands for Internet Protocol Television, uses the Internet to deliver content. Internet Protocol TV is fast, efficient, and costs way less than you’d have to pay for traditional cable.
You can watch live TV channels over the internet with an IPTV service. Also, you can stream on your laptop, phone, tablet, and more without any restrictions. Some IPTV services also let you stream videos, TV shows, music, and other content.
But is Internet Protocol Television that good? Are there any legal or safety issues that you might face? Keep reading to learn more.
IPTV, by definition, refers to the delivery of television content to you via Internet Protocol (IP) networks. IPTV works differently than traditional cable and satellite TVs. Instead of cables transmitting data, it uses an Internet Protocol on the web. You can also stream the source media continuously rather than just watching downloaded content.
These perks make IPTV a modern-day alternative to traditional cable TV. Internet Provider Television, or IPTV, is a service that offers tons of video content and TV programming features.
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Is IPTV Legal or Illegal?
The legality of IPTV is often questioned. Is the affordable and efficient competitor to traditional TV legal? Fortunately, IPTV by itself is entirely legal. But that’s not all. Every IPTV service is not necessarily legal. Let me explain.
If an IPTV provider is not licensed to broadcast the content (TV channels, shows, music videos, and movies), their service is illegal. Streaming copyrighted content is prohibited and can land you in serious legal trouble. But how can you know whether an IPTV provider holds a license?
It’s simple. If a provider is on Google Play, Amazon Store, Apple Store, or any other official store, is entirely legal.
Most legal providers also charge a subscription fee, but those that don’t aren’t necessarily illegal. Also, a service provider’s reputation and content quality are other ways to gauge its legal status.
Understanding the Laws of IPTV
Despite IPTV being legal in most countries, its regulation laws are rather complex and may differ from one country to another. Here are the IPTV laws in the three major regions:
IPTV Laws in the US
The US passed the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in 1998 to prevent IPTVs from showing copyrighted content. This law aimed to discourage illegal internet content sharing. But a few loopholes made the 1998 Copyright Act less efficient. First, the law charged the service providers for unlicensed content but didn’t impose many penalties on the people. Second, the act focused on preventing downloads but didn’t say much about streaming or live watching.
Therefore, in 2020, the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act was introduced. The law charges illegal service providers with felonies and a maximum jail sentence of over ten years. It also imposes criminal penalties on people who stream illegal or copyrighted content.
Laws of IPTV in the UK
The IPTV laws in the UK are rather strict. The country follows the Digital Economy Act of 2017. The law states a maximum penalty of 10 years for both viewers and distributors of copyrighted content. The law primarily targets the service provider, but police have warned several people suspected of using illegal IPTV.
It is important to note that no service provider has received capital punishment as of yet. But police have issued mass warnings and threats to the suspects.
IPTV Laws in Canada
Canada introduced its primary IPTV law in 2015. According to it, a copyright holder could send notices to you about the illegal IPTV offered by the Internet Service Provider. These notices mainly embodied cash settlements and payments to prevent further legal action.
Unfortunately, the law did not last long. People started complaining that they were getting threat calls and that their security was at stake. Many also complained that they were wrongly accused and forced to pay charges. Following various criticisms, Canada revised the law in 2019. Copyright holders can’t ask you for cash settlements or personal information anymore.
How to Identify Illegal IPTV Services
Here are some signs of an IPTV that’s probably illegal:
Fishy Payment Modes
Is an IPTV provider asking for payments through Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies? There is a high chance their services are illegal. Tracking cryptocurrencies is more complex than tracking traditional money. That’s the reason illegal providers use them.
Questionable Streaming Quality
If you are streaming on an illegal IPTV, you’ll likely have to deal with low-quality audio and video. It is because these service providers extract the content from sources that compromise the quality of the file.
Irrelevant Ads and Popups
Getting ads and popups constantly while streaming IPTV means the source is fishy.
If an IPTV provider offers blocked or unavailable content in your region, they are breaking the law. Geo-blocking is imminent in many countries, and surpassing it means the service provider is doing something illegal.
Low or No Subscription Fee
Usually, legal IPTV providers charge a subscription fee for their services. Most illegal IPTV providers are free because they don’t pay for licensing or content. A meager subscription fee is another telltale sign that the provider is probably illegal.
You’re clicking on a playback button, but it’s taking you to another site rather than stopping the video. It means that the button is fake and the service provider is illegal.
Verified & Unverified IPTV Service Providers
Let’s quickly learn about verified and unverified IPTV service providers.
Verified IPTV service providers are the ones that are officially available on the Google Play, Apple, or Amazon app stores. You can directly install the applications on the supported devices and start streaming. Verified IPTV providers have all the required permissions to show app content.
Some verified IPTV service providers are:
Unverified IPTV service providers are the ones that aren’t available on any trusted app stores; these need to be sideloaded. Such services offer tons of streaming content at lower prices than verified services. Unfortunately, because of their status, unverified IPTV providers can become a legal issue (though this does not mean that none of them are safe).
However, you can use a good VPN, like ExpressVPN. A VPN hides your internet traffic and routes it via a remote server, making it difficult for anyone, including your internet service provider (ISP), government agencies, and potential hackers, to intercept and view your online activities.
Some unverified IPTV service providers are:
Why You Must Not Use Illegal IPTV Services
Illegal IPTV services may land you in legal trouble, especially if your country has strict copyright laws. Here are some reasons why you must avoid using any illegal service for watching IPTV:
Again, using an illegal IPTV service may cause legal issues. Many countries have strict and inflexible copyright laws that punish users and service providers. In the worst case, you will have to face jail time of around ten years and pay a lot of penalties and fines.
Risk of Scam
If you enter your credit card details on an illegal IPTV site, you can risk losing your account or getting scammed. These services don’t follow strict security protocols. Also, they may sell your details to hackers and scammers, which can land you in serious financial trouble. Additionally, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll receive the service you paid for.
Safety and Privacy Risks
Accessing illegal IPTV services may compromise your device, creating privacy risks. These services track and store your device data, and you can’t know who they sell it to. They are also loaded with viruses, damaging your device and compromising its contents. If you mistakenly tap any links or pop-ups, they may download malware onto your computer.
Trouble Involving Your ISP
Using illegal IPTV goes against the Terms and Conditions of your Internet Service Provider. Your ISP will alert you whenever they suspect you’re using illegal IPTV. If you continue, they may completely cut off your internet, disconnecting you from the virtual world.
Can I Launch an IPTV Service?
Although anyone can launch an IPTV service, doing so is unlike walking in the park. There are various legal and safety criteria to pass.
Let’s say you want to launch an IPTV service in your country; Here are some basic pointers to remember.
- First, ensure that your service is free from malware and viruses.
- Set up verified and traceable payment methods. It will ensure user security and build trust.
- Buy all the content licenses under the copyright laws of your country for added security.
- Keep the interface of your site clean and easy to use. Don’t stuff ads or use fake buttons.
Lastly, launching an IPTV service is quite expensive. Therefore, only invest if you have a solid plan and all legal aspects are covered.
Streaming TV content across various devices is not a hassle anymore. Gone are the days you’d be stuck watching your favorite game in the TV lounge. This blog covered all the basics of IPTV legalities and services.
With a trusted IPTV service, you can access live channels and, most likely, on-demand content anywhere, anytime, without restrictions. Legal IPTV service providers continue to change market dynamics, allowing easy and fast TV streaming at the tip of your finger.
I hope this post answers your question if IPTV is legal. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.