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When is Streaming Illegal? Here is what we call Pirated Content

when is streaming illegal

There are a ton of streaming websites on the internet. But do you know that most of them are illegal? Yes, that’s correct! There are many illegal streaming sites on the web. Sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious that a site is illegal as the developers don’t really put any effort into concealing it. But most of the time, it’s not. And so, it can be quite a hassle to separate illegal streaming services from legal ones. But don’t worry! This article is going to list some easy ways that will help know whether a streaming site is illegal.

What Is Illegal Streaming?

Before explaining how to spot an illegal streaming site, let’s answer the question: what is illegal streaming? Well, it is an act of streaming pirated content. It is a crime. In fact, one can face a prison sentence if caught streaming illegally. There are a lot of shows that have been pirated. You will be surprised to know over 71 million people watched the premiere of the last season of the popular show Game of Thrones within 24 hours of airing. And guess what? Over 75% of them did so via pirated or illegal streams.

How to Spot Illegal Streaming Services

When you are browsing the web to search for shows or movies to watch online, be cautious. This is because not all streaming sites are legal. And you can very easily get into trouble if you opt for illegal TV streaming. With that said, here are some of the ways that will let you know if a streaming site you have landed on is illegal.

1. Hosts Original Content of Others

Legal streaming sites will never host the original shows of another service. For instance, Disney+ has WandaVision, Amazon has The Man, and Netflix has The Witcher. These shows are exclusive to these streaming platforms, and you will never find one host the content of another service. If you visit a website that hosts exclusive shows of all the platforms, it is an illegal service, and you should leave the page immediately. Instead, you can consider going through Cox Contour TV and tune into the one which you like.

2. Objectionable Advertisements

Seeing advertisements on a streaming site isn’t a warning sign. In fact, many such websites including the live tv streaming ones are actually supported by these adverts. However, the persistency and content of the advertisements are strong indicators. If you have just visited the site and are already getting bombarded with ads, it is definitely a cause for concern. Also, keep your guard up if you find adverts to have adult or objectionable content. This is because illegal streaming services often have such ads on their sites.

3. Downloadable Content

It’s not common for a streaming service to provide you with the freedom of recording or downloading the content. While there are specific platforms that do offer offline viewing features, you will not get a raw file. If you find a site where you can not just download the content but also replicate it, you are entering into the dirty waters of piracy which is illegal. And downloading any pirated content is equivalent to stealing. Hence, it’s better to keep yourself subscribed to your favorite provider and keep taking care of the Cox TV billing process.

4. Asks to Use a VPN

Whenever a streaming website urges you to download VPN as protection, it is a bad sign. Also, if you are encouraged to download proxies or VPNs just to hide your IP address, it screams trouble. And so, you should leave the site as quickly as possible.

5. Warning Signs

If you find warning signs on the landing page of a streaming website, you should close the page without having second thoughts about it. This is because no legal site should warn you about the consequences of being on it. The same goes if you see a disclaimer. Remember that no legal site should share a disclaimer that the content it is hosting is licensed. If you see one, get out of there. And opt for one of the three Cox TV plans instead.

6. No Contact Information.

Another sign you should look for is the contact details. If you can’t find pages like Contact Us or About Us, the chances are that the site you are on is illegal. You should remember that legal sites will always have these pages. The information on these pages will help you verify who you are dealing with.

7. Doesn’t Have an App

Many of the popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Xumo TV  Cox and Comcast joint venture have their own app which you can download to enjoy content on the go. But many services don’t offer it. And though it doesn’t really mean that the site is illegal, an application certainly adds credence to the legality of the streaming service.


Watching content on different streaming services is always fun. In fact, some people prefer using such sites to take care of their entertainment needs. This sometimes starts the debate about cable TV vs streaming services. It doesn’t matter what you choose, but if you are in favor of streaming, make sure to stay away from illegal streaming services as they will only put you in trouble.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Can you get in trouble for illegal streaming?

Yes, you can be sentenced to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Why viewing copyrighted material illegal?

Viewing copyrighted material is only illegal if you are violating the copyright law.

How to beware of illegal streaming services?

There are some certain signs like objectionable adverts and no contact information that helps you know if the site you are on hosts illegal streaming.