You probably remember the warnings on your VHS movies from when you were a kid, stating that it is illegal to distribute the material. Nowadays, people are far more likely to share their movie files online than illegally distribute a DVD or VHS. Downloading and streaming movies and tv shows are a common way for today’s generation to view the newest things. It’s convenient, quick (as long as you have good internet access) and often, it’s free. Even if you don’t have internet fast enough for streaming, many people will download films to watch later.
The difference between downloading and streaming is that when downloading, you save the files to your device and if you want to remove them, you will have to delete them from your storage later. You also cannot watch the file until it is fully downloaded.
Where do people download movies and TV?
Many people use “torrents” – a peer to peer file sharing system, where users can download files from across the world. Sites like The Pirate Bay often rank as some of the top websites in the world, giving you an indication of how popular it is for people to download files rather than buy them through traditional channels.
Legally, the lines are a little bit blurred. One thing is for sure though. Even if downloading isn’t technically a problem, it appears that distributing the files could land you in hot water. On top of that, it’s important to remember that by downloading a movie instead of watching the DVD or seeing it at the movies, you rob everybody involved in that film of a little bit of profit. Not just the big Hollywood actors either, but the smaller cast members and production crew who worked really hard to produce something you enjoyed watching.