Smart TVs have created a massive impact on everyone’s day-to-day entertainment. Alongside, the growth of IPTV services is marginally higher, leading them to provide TV channels and VOD content. However, people are confused about free and premium IPTV services. It is similar to a satellite or cable but uses an internet protocol to deliver the content. Even though it is safe, there are some limitations for IPTV to avoid legal actions.
Table of Contents
- Is IPTV Legal?
- Laws Implemented
- Difference Between Legal and Illegal IPTV
- Types of Illegal IPTV Services
- Tips to Identify Legal IPTV Service Providers
- Trusted or Legal IPTV Service Providers
- Illegal IPTV Service Providers
- Risks Involved in Using Illegal IPTV Services
- Why Do Users Prefer Illegal IPTV over Legal
- How to Use IPTV Safely
Is IPTV Legal?
Besides knowing What is an IPTV, it is quintessential to know if not the IPTV is legal if it has a license to telecast the content. The IPTV provider must get digital streaming rights from the copyright owner to broadcast TV shows, movies, and other entertainment content. The best examples of legal services include Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and more.
Other than that, there are also thousands of illegal IPTV providers who stream live channels without permission. It is not safe to use such services, although it is available for free. Watching copyrighted content through illegal platforms is a punishable offense.
The US Government introduced the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998 to stop copyrighted content from rolling the internet. According to this act, both users and IPTV providers will have to pay a fine of $150,000 if copyrighted content is illegally streamed.
Similarly, the Digital Economy Act was passed in 2017 in the United Kingdom. According to this section, illegal service providers and users must be imprisoned for up to 10 years if filed under copyright infringement.
The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 took a new initiative to stop illegal IPTV services. As per the act, the US Government can levy penalties on any individual irrespective of their position or sentence them to jail. This act is now under regulation in Canada with a different name, Copyright Act.
Difference Between Legal and Illegal IPTV
You should know the following points when choosing an IPTV provider.
|Legal IPTV||Illegal IPTV|
|Approved by the copyright owners||Broadcasting content without a permission|
|Dedicated standalone app||Allows users to watch online or download content via unauthorized platforms|
|Offers a subscription-based plan to get rid of ads||It contains more ads as most services are free|
|You can also subscribe to other services, such as broadband and telecommunication from the provider||They will ask users to use cryptocurrency to upgrade to a premium plan.|
Types of Illegal IPTV Services
You can quickly identify illegal providers using red flags, shaded websites, or when it offers services at a meager cost or free. However, you must be aware of such providers as they may put you at risk.
The following are the three types of illegal IPTV service providers.
There are IPTV providers that offer both TV channels and unlimited VOD content. Before choosing a provider, you must check whether it has a helpful website with subscription plans. Additionally, it should have a license for the services to avoid legal suits.
Some IPTV services will work only on set-top boxes. To cater to this need, you need to use special plugins. Besides, there are also illegal plugins to extract and play copyrighted premium content. Therefore, you should use trusted plugins that carry a valid license.
Third-Party Subscription Services
You should never subscribe to any IPTV provider from unknown third-party websites. Sometimes you may see commercials regarding the lowest subscription plan you have ever heard of. Avoid such fake ads, as they may get you into trouble.
Tips to Identify Legal IPTV Service Providers
While identifying between the legal and illegal IPTVs isn’t simple, one might still figure out the same with a few underlying conditions.
- Legal IPTVs would probably be popular and might hold a larger user base.
- They won’t collect user data and thereby ensures absolute privacy.
- The subscription plans and pricing will be available at a fair or high cost.
- The app or website stays stable and is not taken down due to infringement or copyright issues.
- Legal IPTV providers support multiple popular payment methods, not just cryptocurrencies or Bitcoin.
- It will impose geo-restrictions for the region-specific content.
- They ensure to offer high-quality streams without the loss in audio and video.
- Legal providers will not annoy you with pop-up ads or non-functional or misleading buttons.
- Clicking on an external link won’t direct you to an untrusted source or website.
Trusted or Legal IPTV Service Providers
Here is a list of the IPTV providers that hold a license for the content they offer.
- Hulu Live TV
- Plex Live TV
- Smart IPTV
- YouTube TV
- Pluto TV
Illegal IPTV Service Providers
It is quite difficult to identify the illegal ones from thousands of IPTV services. Some of the illegal IPTV services are listed as follows.
Risks Involved in Using Illegal IPTV Services
There are lots of issues one might come across on using an illegal IPTV. So, such IPTVs wouldn’t give you benefits or advantages, unlike legal IPTV service providers. Some of the most common disadvantages one might face upon using illegal IPTVs are listed down.
Get Ready for the Virus & Malware Attack
Illegal websites will target users with fake buttons or download links. Upon clicking them, it will open lots of ads rather than directing the user to be reputed or trustworthy websites. Meaning they might hold data-stealing malware and viruses. Sometimes, clicking on a single ad will get the user into a loop of ads. Such illegal IPTVs will not work or let you load the content when you try using the ad-blocker on your device.
Possibility of Scamming Attacks
Most of the illegal IPTVs will scam you over time, or they might be an unreliable source of entertainment. In other words, they will accept the payment and will no more be available to you. With this, you cannot trust such IPTVs would protect you from scammers as well.
Offers the Worst User Experience
Getting a poor user experience is the worst of all things that could happen upon using an illegal IPTV service. Although they might have mentioned providing you with the best quality videos, you might still face video buffering issues. Sometimes, the content will take too long to load, and you might not be able to watch it all. Overall, illegal IPTVs won’t provide you with a smooth streaming experience.
ISP Could Disable/Downgrade the Internet
If you happen to stream pirated content for a longer period, you are risking your internet connection. i.e., the ISP in some countries monitors your browsing activity, and it might downgrade your internet connectivity at first. Upon streaming it continuously, it gives the option for the ISP to disable the connection permanently.
Although many states that streaming, illegal IPTVs are allowed because the user streams and doesn’t download anything. It means the source provider is the culprit and doesn’t affect the end user. However, it isn’t the case, as the end users might also get into legal or prosecution issues and face legal problems, including jailed, paying penalties, etc. However, it varies based on the country and laws.
There is a high risk involved if your IPTV is available for free at a very low price compared to popular IPTV providers. Additionally, you should cut yourself off from choosing a longer period plan or the impressive discount upon signing up. Illegal services will disappear anytime, and you might lose your money and account.
Besides, if you happen to provide your card details with your IPTV, the illegal service can sell the data to hackers or scammers. You cannot control the IPTV service against selling your details. Furthermore, it’s better to avoid those services offering untraceable payment methods.
Why Do Users Prefer Illegal IPTV over Legal
Most often, entertainment freaks fall into the hands of illegal IPTV service providers for the following reasons.
- They provide comparatively low-cost subscription plans
- Better replacement to the cable TV
- Such IPTVs offer geo-restricted titles
- They cannot afford to pay an additional price for a few contents
- They think streaming premium titles over illegal providers involves no risk
How to Use IPTV Safely
You can simply use a VPN and stay secure if you doubt your IPTV service. No matter what, VPN establishes a secure connection and lets you stream IPTV content safely. In other words, it will create a virtual IP address and prevents ISP from tracking your online activities. Moreover, you can watch international channels from any location, even though it is geo-locked. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are the most recommended VPNs that ensure maximum protection against viruses and cyber threats.
We don’t mention that all IPTVs are illegal or that streaming titles over them bring in issues. Rather, on considering the risks involved, we believe that anyone should spare some time while choosing the right IPTV. It does not just eliminate the risks and legal issues, but you will get an uninterrupted streaming experience on any of your devices. However, even if you happen to use an IPTV, it is a lot better to access it with a VPN enabled.
Yes. IPTV might shut down at times due to copyright infringement issues.