One of the most popular sources of entertainment in the Philippines is streaming videos online. However, many people think that everything available online is legal. Piracy is a huge problem and something that cannot be solved easily. Moreover, it exposes viewers to dangers like viruses, malware, identity theft, and affects the livelihood of those producing and starring in films and TV shows. Even more dangerous, illegal sites also carry child pornography content.
Globe has launched #PlayItRight, an advocacy to educate Filipinos to download or stream content from legitimate sources only, and to share the dangers of streaming or downloading from illegal websites.
Here are five ways to know if a site is streaming or distributing illegally:
1. It has a lot of dubious-looking ads
One of the hallmarks of an illegal streaming website is the number of ads that appear as pop ups. Oftentimes, viewers will have to go through several of the popups before they can even watch the promised content. This is dangerous because they may contain malware that can steal private information like passwords, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers.
2. The content has low quality
Content quality is usually low, with choppy or poor resolution, inaudible audio, or mixed-up subtitles. Some are even recordings at a cinema! Because these streaming websites obtained the movies illegally, their copies are inferior. Another sign that a film was stolen: the copy has a visible watermark that says it’s not for distribution.
3. You need to buffer a lot, even if your internet speed is fast
A fast and reliable internet connection doesn’t mean the viewer can watch from illegal streaming sites smoothly. These websites are not meant for content delivery so viewers will experience lag and buffering, especially if many viewers access the site at the same time. Legitimate streaming sites work with telcos to make sure that viewers get the best experience when watching content.
4. There’s no contact information
Websites normally have a “Contact Us” page where users can reach the administrators should they encounter a problem. A site with no such page is suspicious because it means they have something to hide. Illegal sources don’t want to get caught illegally streaming and distributing copyrighted content so they don’t put their contact information to avoid legal repercussions.
5. Movies currently showing in cinemas are already available online
The telltale sign of a site distributing illegal content is that movies still being screened in cinemas are already available in the site. Film studios rarely grant immediate distribution to films that are still in theaters, so sites peddling these are questionable and most likely acquired illegally.
Protect yourself from the dangers of illegal streaming and support the film and TV industry, make sure to #PlayItRight. Globe offers affordable access to legitimate content through international partners like Netflix, Disney, HOOQ, FOX+, and Viu.
To know more about how to subscribe to these streaming platforms, visit the website. To report websites containing child pornography, you may submit a report to the Interagency Council Against Child Pornography through firstname.lastname@example.org.