Are Free Movie Streaming Sites Legal?

Posted by Aazean on 05-Jul-2017 21:16:06

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With the existence of the good ‘ol trusty Interwebs, watching a movie has become such an easy task online. With the help of video-on-demand services like Netflix and HBO Go, streaming sites and P2P torrenting, one does not even need to step into a cinema to catch a movie you love.

Personally, my weekend movie marathons are made possible thanks to a paid-for Netflix subscription.

However, not everyone would be as willing to fork out RM51 a month for a premium account even if it enabled them to binge-watch their ‘Stranger Things’ series in HD.

Many out there would probably opt for the experience to stream it free even if it was in grainy quality, or wait for it to be released on a P2P torrent site to download.

The problem with these free movie streaming sites however, there are plenty of them which are brimming with ads and pop-ups, and most of them are operating illegally. Which means you could well find yourself involved with piracy, illegal copyright infringement and all other bad juju from this side of the web.

But because of the nature of these free movie streaming sites without sign up which make them so easy to access, it is difficult to tell which are the legit streaming sites to watch movies and which are not.

 

ARE FREE MOVIE STREAMING SITES LEGAL?

It depends.

And it depends on a couple of factors to tell if the site you are streaming on is legally hosting those free movies online. Even so, this will not completely determine if the website is pirating content.

Here are a couple of ways you can check if the content you are streaming is legal:

(Note: BolehVPN does not condone to piracy, nor do we make any definite guarantees that you would not get into trouble after following this advice, but we do support anonymity, so if you plan to stay secure, the best way is to stay informed on tips on how to do so).

  • The site has partnership rights from the film studio to stream the movie or are paying the content company to show the films. (For instance, PopcornFlix gets free online movies from Screen Media Ventures, while Crackle gets copyrights from Sony Pictures)
  • The movies they show fall under public domain. (If they are offering newer films that are still in cinemas, it is probably illegally doing so)
  • Legal websites usually have an ‘About Us’ section on their page to let you know where their movies are sourced and inform watchers about the movie owners or production houses. If the site states that it does not actually host any material and lists a disclaimer that it only links movies to elsewhere on the internet, it ain’t legit.
  • Do they have an app? With the legit developer? Then, good news. The streaming site you are using is more likely to be credible and free from fear of you violating a copyright.

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Popcornflix’s app developed by Screen Media Venture

 

ARE THERE ANY FREE MOVIE STREAMING SITES LEGAL TO USE?

Yes, there are. There actually are a couple of sites we consider are legal where you can stream full-length movies or videos for free online.

Some of these include PopcornFlix, Crackle, The Internet Archive and a couple others.

 

For you movie buffs who love streaming movies and TV shows in your spare time, don’t forget to take the precautionary steps to protect your computer while streaming your next ‘Popcornflix & chill’ session.

Keep your anti-virus programs updated, surf with a TOR browser, and always use a VPN to have peace of mind while you stream your favourite movies.

Happy streaming, folks!

 

See also

What You Should Look For in a P2P/Torrent VPN

The 5 Things You Should Never Do Online Without a VPN

6 Types of VPN Users

 

 

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Topics: Streaming, P2P/Torrents