It seems like every year streaming services, like Hulu and Netflix, are adding more ads and raising their subscription costs. It is no wonder people are resorting to piracy and torrenting to make watching their favorite shows and movies a little easier. The problem with piracy is that, like in the days of old, it is dangerous and highly illegal. If piracy is so easy then why is it illegal? Here’s what you should know:
The Copyright Act of 1976 protects digital content
People don’t burn CDs like they used to anymore. Today, many websites involve the upload and download of anything and everything digital. You can find anything free from movies, shows, comics, books, music, games and even computer software with just a few clicks. Just because you can find it online for free, however, doesn't make it legal. Any form of art, music, writing or anything man-made is copyright protected under the Copyright Act of 1976. Copyright protections protect a work of art from reproduction and republishing without the consent of the original creator. Unless an artist has said otherwise, anything you find free to download online is most likely illegal, putting you at risk of copyright infringement.
The risks of digital piracy can be severe
It’s not likely you’ll see any immediate jail time because you downloaded something online, but you could be facing hefty fines for your downloads. Downloading even one song or show could net you a big fine. People don’t stop at just one download when they could easily get an entire music album or TV series. Even just a handful of downloads could raise a fine from a couple hundred to several thousand. If an artist or company believes you have taken advantage of piracy and infringed on their copyright then you may need legal help. You shouldn’t have to face fines when you didn’t realize you did anything wrong.