There are many reasons why viewing pirated TV, movies and sports content is a bad idea. Here are four at the top of the list:
Harms Content Creators
Thinking about viewing free or unusually cheap movies, TV or sports content? You should know that the content is probably pirated and shared without permission. But that’s not the only reason you should think twice about viewing it. Pirated streams and downloads often come with hidden dangers.
The most serious dangers come from giving untrustworthy people access to your personal information.
When you download or stream pirated content, what you’re doing is ushering pirates past your computer, mobile device and network defenses. You’re telling your firewall and security tools that pirates are ok, and to accept what they’re sending. So, if a pirate wants to, it’s easy for them to infect your devices and network with malware.
Some malware, like adware, is mostly annoying. But most malware is more sinister. There’s malware that can spy on you; malware that
can freeze your devices until you pay a ransom; and malware designed to root around your hard-drives and browsers looking for
personal information. And with that information—like credit card, bank account, and social security numbers—someone can steal your identity. Which, at best, is an enormous hassle, and at worst can leave you in debt.
The lesson? Protect yourself. Only do business with legitimate content providers. There are plenty to choose from.
When you buy content from a legitimate provider, part of what you pay for is reliable, consistent, quality service. You don’t get that when you buy from pirates.
Because they offer content that they have no right to, pirates are always under threat of being shut down by government authorities and the content’s rightful owners. And when pirates get shut down, they disappear, with no recourse for their customers who may have dropped hundreds of dollars for an illicit streaming device, or pre-paid for service.
Doing business with people who sell what isn’t theirs is a gamble. And there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself on the losing end.
When you buy a streaming device that provides unlimited free content, or when you subscribe to an obscure streaming service that promises thousands of channels for a ridiculously low
rate, you’re most likely doing business with criminals. And profits from pirated streams and downloads enrich criminals and criminal organizations.
Upstanding citizens don’t copy and resell other people’s property. Upstanding citizens don’t sell access to their customers’ devices and networks to hackers. Upstanding citizens don’t operate in the shadows of the internet.
If you don’t want to finance thieves, hackers and criminal organizations, don’t buy what they’re selling. It’s an easy choice.
Harms Content Creators
People that create television and film content aim to produce the best possible experience for their audience. Sometimes the key to success is an amazing script; sometimes it’s brilliant acting, or unbelievable special effects. Whatever the crucial ingredient, it’s going to cost, because greatness doesn’t come cheap.
When viewers pirate TV shows and films, rather than buying a theater ticket or subscribing to a licensed provider, they send a message that quality is not worth paying for. That the
content itself is not worth paying for. And that message has consequences.
If people are unwilling to pay for what they watch, fewer new shows and films will be produced. We will all be denied new, unique and interesting stories.
With content piracy, in the end, everybody loses.