Earlier, cable TV subscription was the only means to get entertained at home. But things started to change as soon as the online streaming apps and services are introduced. Anyone who has a subscription to such services will be able to stream television contents over the Internet Protocol or IP. They are referred to as IPTV and its users can stream contents continuously. In addition to TV streaming, IPTV apps will let its users stream more contents other than just TV. For instance, some IPTV lets you stream documentaries, video-on-demand contents, etc. You can use such IPTV apps on smartphone, desktop and on the smart TV as well. Unlike cable TV, not all of the contents provided by the IPTV apps are completely legal. So, is IPTV legal? is the question a lot of us ask and the answer for this is discussed in this article.
Related: Top Best IPTV Players for Android [August 2019]
What is IPTV?
IPTV aka Internet Protocol Television will deliver TV programs, videos, and more over the internet protocol. It is otherwise called as digital television service and often called as a replacement of the cable TV subscription. It will allow its users to stream digital TV over internet connectivity. Most of the IPTV services available in the market are subscription-based while a few of them are free-to-use.
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In other words, IPTV refers to streaming television contents without the support of cable, satellite, or over the air. Due to the price difference, IPTV apps have replaced the cable TV subscription. IPTV offers numerous contents at a considerably low cost than the cable TV providers. Unlike the cable TV, IPTV doesn’t require you to wait for the program or movie to re-telecast it. You can stream any TV shows, movies at any time you want.
Types of IPTV
IPTV services are further classified into
- Live Television
- Video on Demand
- Time Shifted TV/Catch-up TV
- TV on Demand/TVoD
- Near Video on Demand
Related: Top 10 IPTV for USA | Best IPTV Providers in USA
Is IPTV Legal?
The answer is neither Yes nor No. In simple words, it is not straightforward. The legality of the IPTV depends on the person who uses the service. Not all of the IPTV services are legal like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Sling TV, etc. Such type of IPTV services will acquire copyrights from the respective providers and offers only the contents that are legal. However, many of us knowingly or unknowingly opt for the IPTV service that provides illegal contents. Your internet service provider can track your activity or you will have to face legal issues on streaming an illegal IPTV service. If you want to know the difference between legal and illegal IPTV services, then look at the tips given below.
Tips to Identify Legal IPTV
Finding legal IPTV services isn’t a complex thing. The tips given below would help you identify the difference between the legal and illegal IPTV providers.
- Ensure your IPTV service is abiding by the rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
- Secondly, any legal IPTV service will be a little pricey as it will acquire copyrights and offer only the legal contents.
- Nothing comes free and so never opt to the IPTV that charges very less or those that are completely free as they might contain the copyrighted contents.
Things that make IPTV Illegal
- Streaming any contents without obtaining legal permission from the content owner is definitely illegal. So if you are watching any pirated video or music from the IPTV apps, it will be considered illegal.
- Similarly, if you are streaming geo-restricted IPTV apps or service, then it is also termed as illegal.
- Downloading copyrighted contents from IPTV service and sharing it with others is illegal.
- If an IPTV app records and redistributes any legal contents, then accessing such services is also illegal.
Related: How to Install Smart IPTV On Firestick / Fire TV 
What happens on Accessing Illegal IPTV
Upon using the illegal IPTV subscription, the punishments and prosecution differ from country to country. In some countries, accessing illegal IPTV isn’t a crime while some countries will initially warn the user by the ISP. In addition to this, the user with be asked to pay a fine or will be jailed in the worst cases. So anyone must choose the legal IPTV apps to stay away from issues.
Legal IPTV Service Providers
The best legal IPTV service providers are as follows
Choose a Trustworthy VPN
If you can’t identify the difference between legal and illegal IPTV services, then it’s better to choose a trustworthy VPN. It will mask your IP address from the ISP and your online activity can never be tracked. Also, it will help you stay safe from the copyright issues if you happen to access any illegal IPTV services. Although there are lots of free VPN’s available, we highly recommend you to choose a service that has been available at a reasonable monthly price.
Related: Best IPTV For Firestick & Fire TV  You Must Have
To Sum Up
Anyone who wants to get unlimited entertainment over internet protocol networks must indeed choose the right IPTV service provider. Just before downloading any IPTV, you should spend some time to know about the service and its legality concerns. Don’t opt for any IPTV blindly instead you should analyze the service for an uninterrupted streaming experience.