Viewers are always concerned about safety and legitimacy when using IPTV services. Is IPTV illegal or legal? Is IPTV safe to use? This article of MOIPTV intends to answer all your questions.
The reason IPTV politics have become so prevalent and become a burning topic of discussion is their startling cheap prices. IPTV is also expected to replace traditional television in the future. One thing is clear that IPTV subscription fees are a lot cheaper than the monthly subscriptions of satellite TV, cable TV, or the fees of streaming platforms like Netflix.
Traditional cable or satellite services are relatively expensive and require the installation of additional receivers and transmitters. Online streaming services are growing in popularity due to the variety and regularly updated content library, besides, you don’t need to install any additional devices, and the price is much more appealing.
Although the popularity of IPTV is on the rise, some people remain cautious and feel that IPTV has to be in muddy water and concerned about its legitimacy. Let’s clarify whether IPTV is legal or not with this article.
- 1. What is IPTV?
- 2. What types of IPTV?
- 3. Is IPTV safe to use?
- 4. How do I know if the IPTV service is legal?
- 5. IPTV is illegal? Can you be prosecuted for being IPTV users?
- 6. Can you get IPTV for free?
- 7. Does VPN make IPTV more secure?
1. What is IPTV?
For traditional cable TV service or satellite TV service, you need a cable or an antenna to connect and stream programs on your TV device, with IPTV you need Internet Protocol, or in other words an Internet connection to access and stream. IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) includes the biggest streaming platforms, huge content libraries, also leading content providers like HBO or Netflix.
2. What types of IPTV?
There are many forms of IPTV, those following are of the most commonly used IPTV services:
- The providers that offer only online TV services like DirectTV or SlingTV.
- Applications from content providers such as FOX Now, BBC iPlayer … these applications allow users to watch and stream online and provide on-demand videos.
- Providers only offer online TV channels, no pay-per-view programs, no on-demand videos.
- Platforms allow users to watch live TV channels for free.
- Plugins, Add-ons of other platforms like Emby, Plex, and most frequently-used Kodi.
- Subscriptions of IPTV services from third-party providers.
Even programs that are not live-streaming or live-broadcast, on-demand videos on channels like Amazon Prime or Netflix fall under sub-categories of IPTV.
Because IPTV is a broad term that comprises many types of companies, service providers, streaming devices, streaming services, and packages, so it’s very difficult to differentiate between what is legitimate and what’s not. I will list below the most common forms of IPTV and specify in each form what is valid and what is illegal.
2.1 VoDs – Videos on demand
One of the highlights of IPTV is that they provide videos based on the demand of users, videos on-demand, or VODs for short. Service providers have separate packages for VODs, or you can buy a Basic package that comes with VODs with an extra surcharge. So what are VODs? These are vast content libraries from mainstream providers, VODs allow you to watch anytime you want without having to depend on the broadcast schedule. Youtube and Netflix are two significant and huge platforms of VODs.
2.2 Live streaming/live broadcaster
It used to be challenging for IPTV providers to offer live broadcasting service, broadcasting is also not as popular as video-on-demand anyways. However lately, live broadcasting is growing rapidly in popularity, especially in sports, and IPTV has to jump in to compete with traditional platforms. Think of it as you watch live streaming on a social networking platform, live broadcasting works similarly. Live broadcasting programs are currently employed by several IPTV providers as a competitive advantage, especially online streaming of sports matches and major events, and they are making a fortune due to large subscriptions from these users.
2.3 IP Casting (time-shifted media)
An integral part of IPTV is IP Casting. IP Casting comprises licensed videos and programs from mainstream online broadcasters, which allow their original content to be streamed on various streaming media devices and applications. For example, BBC iPlayer, which content sources are licensed by the BBC, can be legally streamed, accessed across devices, or other third-party apps.
2.4 IPTV Websites
There are websites that offer IPTV services that are completely free and legal. I can name here two best options, TVPlayer if you’re in the UK, and USTVNow if you’re in the US. Both channels are free and have popular local online TV channels, you can purchase more premium plans if you want more variety of channels.
However, there are also many channels that offer streaming services without the legal rights to do so. If you are a sports fan, then perhaps you’re no stranger to those sites.
2.5 IPTV Plugins
Many plugins also get you to access to the IPTV service. Some companies use plugins to provide IPTV services, which is legitimate. However, there are some illegal ones like Exodus or the popular plugin, Kodi.
If you are a user of these applications, will you be legally responsible? In the US, companies like Exodus have been accused of disseminating and distributing uncensored content, however, users are not mentioned in this violation.
3. Is IPTV safe to use?
By now, you should already understand that even content giants like Netflix and even HBO are part of IPTV, so what is illegal? The story is not quite that simple?
IPTV would be legal if it complied with copyright laws. To put it simply, when you download songs online or download documents online if you subscribe and purchase subscription packages of iTunes or Spotify and then you download music to the device, it is completely legal. However, some sites allow you to listen and download for free, or there are certain tools to help you download that are illegal. The same goes for IPTV. The issue we are discussing is too broad to say whether IPTV is legal or not. We need to go into each subtype of the service. Here I will give several specific criteria to help you discover which suppliers are doing shady business.
4. How do I know if the IPTV service is legal?
Obviously, when you use Netflix, HBO, Youtube you are not in violation of any law. Similarly, if you use IPTV service and comply with copyright regulations, you also have nothing to worry about. But when you don’t follow the law, it is illegal. Let’s look at the following two types of IPTV services.
4.1 Type 1 – Legal IPTV providers
IPTV service providers which buy broadcasting and publishing rights to distribute TV channels to viewers. For example, Youtube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, DirectTV Now … These providers pay for copyright from content producers, broadcasters, or share parts of their profit with content owners. Therefore, they have the right to broadcast those channels on their platforms and sell subscription packages to the audience. The service fees will be slightly higher than that of local cable TV providers, but the variety of content quality comes from careful selection and updated preferences, those IPTV providers are making a lot of legal money.
4.2 Type 2 – illegal IPTV providers
IPTV is illegal for providers to hide their identity, to broadcast TV programs without the permission of the content creators. IPTV services are illegal because they do not pay royalties, or do not share parts of profits for content producers, so they can offer really cheap subscription fees. Sometimes, they even broadcast free channels as bait for users to subscribe to the service. Some illegal service providers are Area 51, Mobdro, Kodi …
5. IPTV is illegal? Can you be prosecuted for being IPTV users?
Both legal and illegal IPTV services have both positive and negative aspects. If you choose the legal option, you need to be willing to pay a higher fee, but when using illegal services you may be monitored by your ISP, then you may have to use a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your IP access. You should also watch out for the laws regarding illegal streaming in your country.
Types of legal IPTV services
- They are content producers like Netflix, Youtube TV. Usually, these platforms allow users to try out the services in a free-trial period, then you need to pay for the subscription packages
- On-demand videos providers, notably, we have Hulu
- Live content providers are often legitimate ones, including
- Direct TV, DSTV Now, and live broadcasting channels.
Types of illegal IPTV services:
- Illegal IPTV service providers can use Kodi Box or Android Box to stream. When users have these devices, they can use IPTV services by subscribing and buying packages from illegal providers.
- IPTV service is provided through decoders and streaming equipment
- Others very common form of illegal IPTV are streaming through a smart TV, Roku stick, or Amazon Stick
If you are a viewer of illegal streaming in the USA
There is a lot of controversy surrounding broadcasting copyright, some people believe that if you watch online, there is no infringement, you only commit infringement when downloading copyrighted content.
However, technically when you use illegal IPTV services, you are in breach of the law. The content producer has the right to sue you and ask you to pay compensation for illegal access to their content. However, even if you are viewing content illegally, the content producer is very unlikely to sue you, since there are millions of users like you out there, so how can they sue all of the viewers. Although there is no precedent, maybe one day they want to sue to deter the public and among the millions of friends who they choose to sue you.
If you are a viewer of illegal streaming in Euro
Since 2017, streaming copyrighted content without permission has been a violation of the law, according to the European Court of Justice. Lawsuits happen quite often when content owners discover the IP address of an unauthorized stream. From this IP they will retrieve the personal information of the user, content owners will contact the viewer and arrange compensation, in the worst case, you can be sued. So if you are an illegal IPTV user in Europe, you must use a virtual private network, register to use a virtual private network to hide your IP address before you want to do anything with illegal IPTV services.
6. Can you get IPTV for free?
Illegal streaming has become something very popular, if you want to give it a try I have some information about the stable free IPTV service you can look into. They are all free.
- Sports TV, Mobdro, and others, you won’t find these on Google Play store, so please use your browser to search and download.
- Some platforms allow using URLs to stream content, such as VLC, which is very convenient and stable.
- The most popular type is some websites providing online illegal streaming services.
7. Does VPN make IPTV more secure?
If you haven’t had a virtual private network, I recommend that you register now. VPN is a protocol that helps hide your IP address when you use a web browser, download documents, or stream online content. Some VPN providers allow you to try it out for up to 30 days. Some parties offer this service for free, but my recommendation is in favor of the ones that have fees but provide stable service in the long run, plus the monthly fee is also very affordable.
VPN is an important service when it comes to IPTV, although you don’t intend to break any laws, the IPTV field is a very complicated area. Therefore, VPN is a shield to protect you in case you accidentally violate copyright laws, DMCA laws without knowing it.
See how to install a VPN virtual private network here.
The safest way is still to stick with legitimate mainstream channels like Netflix and YoutubeTV, but if you want to join the world of low-cost IPTV streaming you will want to use a VPN.
IPTV has emerged as the preferred alternative to stream time-shift content, video on demand, and live broadcasting programs. So is the IPTV service legal, I think with the expertise in- detailed information above, the article has shed light on this issue and you have what you need to make the right decision.