If you recently visited a website that streams or lets you download your favourite movie or show for free, there is a good chance that the site is hosting pirated content and by using its services you are unknowingly or knowingly committing piracy. It affects the revenues of film industries all over the world, especially independent filmmakers who work on low budgets. The only reason you have not landed in trouble is the laxity of law enforcement with copyright infringement but with new laws on cyber offences, it can become quite troublesome for you to visit watchseries.co for your dose of entertainment.
How Illegal Is Online Piracy?
According to the Copyright Act 1978, pretty illegal. Distributing a series without a licence is a criminal offence. First-time offenders are penalized 5000 rands and/or 3 years of imprisonment for each item. A repeat offender is penalized 10000 rands and/or 5 years of imprisonment for each item. Downloading or watching illegally hosted films and shows is a civil offence and will result in a penalty equal to the cost of the work on DVD or as a theatre ticket. A slap on the wrist by comparison, but don’t watch The House online on an illegal site yet because after several revisions the government has come up with new laws that could penalize you for your pass time.
The Cyber Crimes Bill drafted in 2019 has a clause regarding the theft of incorporeal property that could be applied to downloading and streaming unlawfully, and a clause that clearly mentions copyright infringements via peer to peer sharing. The bill also proposes to increase the sentences for cyber crimes to up to fifteen years in prison. Moreover, thanks to the bill your internet service provider is obligated to report you within 72 hours of becoming aware of your illegal cyber activity or face a fine of 50000 rands. The true impact of the law can only be felt after it has been passed.
What’s The Harm In It?
According to estimates, about one million movies are illegally downloaded from domains like toptvseries every month which costs the country’s film industry loses 500 million rands every year. Considering that the entertainment industry contributes over $34 million to the nation’s economy every year, that’s a lot of wasted potential. Also, more than 22 thousand people rely directly upon the film industry for their livelihood. On the international side, people visited dubious URLs like watchseries.co over 300 billion times in 2017. The Hollywood suffers losses of over $100 billion every year and at least 230 thousand people lost their jobs over it. Moreover, pirated content could expose children to nudity and violence because of the lack of regulation.
Where Can I Watch Series Legally?
There are many platforms which stream videos for a premium. Fortunately, these premiums are not very costly, they can’t afford to be if they want to compete with their illegal copies. International big names like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are among the first that come to mind. ShowMax is a local favourite hosts classics from abroad and within the nation. Mzansi Magic is popular for shows like The Queen and River. AcornTV is the new rage for its collection of British series. If you are still reluctant about paying to watch The House online, you are in luck because there are platforms that show serials and movies for free with proper permits. Tuluntulu streams Africa-centric channels on mobiles for free. Many independent filmmakers create and upload original works on YouTube. The only downside here is that you have to sit through ads.