Downloading movies illegally is considered stealing, and just like any other crimes, it comes with different consequences. One of the most recent examples of such consequences is the TCYK letter sent to internet subscribers accused of downloading and sharing copyrighted materials. This letter served as copyright infringement notices, and they must be responded to immediately so that the recipients need not appear in court, put their names to shame, and go through so much expense and hassle.
Here are some more consequences of illegally downloading movies and other copyrighted materials:
*Criminal and Civil Penalties
Copyright infringement penalties vary from one country to another, but if you are from the U.S., the FBI handles the investigation and implementation of copyright laws here, and violators face up to 5 years in prison and/or fines that could reach to $250,000 or even more. Aside from criminal penalties, accused infringers may be sued by copyright owners, and if the former loses the law suit, he should be able to pay back the entire copyright holder’s lost profits. The violator is also asked to pay for the opposite party’s legal fees, including attorney fees. Plus, he could be forced to pay an amount of $200-$150,000 for the punitive damages, which is usually determined by a jury.
Free torrent sites usually have viruses and ad-ware that could be transmitted to your device and therefore cause damage to your PCs, phones, tablets, or laptops. This is why downloading movies or TV shows via illegal file-sharing sources are often unsafe.
*Loss of Profits to Creatives
Lastly and most importantly, you are not supporting the entertainment industry if you choose to download free movies online rather than buying theatre tickets or original DVDs. Directors, producers, authors, actors, and movie crew lose the profits that they deserve just because of rampant illegal downloading online. Now, how could these creative individuals be able to produce other entertaining shows and films if you don’t let them earn the revenues that are due them? These talented and hard-working people have the right to earn properly for they have invested their intellect, time, money, and efforts just to entertain the public with quality movies.
So, if you do not want to receive a TCYK letter or be able to contribute to online piracy, choose to watch your favourite movies and shows through legal ways. Aside from this, take part in fighting piracy by supporting copyright tracking websites in any way you can.