Illegal streams: get out of the gray area

But what happens if I only receive a stream without downloading or offering my own data? On websites such as Kinox or BS, current cinema hits and series highlights can be seen in the stream. There is no doubt that these portals act unlawfully. Nevertheless, the use was until recently considered a legally gray area.

Although data streams are also temporarily stored on the device during streaming, the resulting “volatile copies” were not sufficient for the courts to establish a copyright infringement of users. That is why in the past rightholders have mainly been against the operators of the illegal portals.

However, a decision of the European Court of Justice of 26 April 2017 could change this in the future: the court here believes that the use of a clearly illegal stream is an illegal act. What is “clearly illegal” remains a matter of interpretation – however, if you watch the latest blockbuster for free on your home computer, you may find it difficult to make your ignorance credible in an emergency.

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