Internet Crime: Penalties for Illegal Streaming
With the popularity of streaming services taking over the entertainment industry, many people assume that private streaming is no longer an Internet-based crime. Bootlegging videos, movies, TV programs and music have been around almost as long as the Internet. However, privately broadcasting the works of another person or company is still a crime.
Call it piracy, bootlegging, or back door streaming, whatever the term of choice it is still illegal. And authorities are starting to crack down. Copyright infringement is being taken so seriously in the entertainment industry that people who watch illegally streamed entertainment are also being charged with a crime.
You can be charged with the Internet crime of illegal streaming by watching these programs or listening to music. Penalties are ranging between $750.00 and $30,000.00 for those charged with watching illegal streaming. For anyone charged with uploading the copyrighted materials for others to view or use, the fines start at $150,000.00. What is even scarier is the fact that many politicians are pushing for jail sentences to be added to these types of crimes.
How You Are Charged With The Crime Of Streaming Illegally
It has already been proven in court that the general public understands that “piracy is not a victimless crime.” This message has been played before every movie ever made since the mid- 1980’s and is as commonly known as the words to the Miranda Rights. Because of this, the court system will not accept the defense that a person did not know that watching any form of professionally produced entertainment, sporting event or listening to professionally produced music without paying for that right is illegal.
When you illegally stream entertainment, it is documented on your IP address. Even with a VPN in place, your internet provider can tell what device was used for illegal streaming and its location. If subpoenaed, they would be required to provide that information to law enforcement. Law enforcement would now have their reason to seek an arrest.
Upon your arrest, you will be charged with this type of crime, and you may even have your devices seized. If this happens to you, the very first thing you should do is protect your rights and seek the assistance of Pewaukee criminal attorneys who handle Internet crime cases.
Speak With An Attorney Immediately After Your Arrest
When you are charged with illegal streaming, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. While you are encouraged to be cooperative with law enforcement about being arrested and providing your personal information, you are discouraged about answering to much information about the situation without a lawyer representing your case.
Why the urgency? The new push by the entertainment industry to pursue illegal streaming is causing many issues to arise within the legal system. The only way to adequately protect your rights is to have qualified Pewaukee criminal attorneys defending you every step of the way.
Right now the legal system seems to be playing a game of hit and miss with how they are going to handle, charge, and penalize people accused of this activity. With so much at stake concerning this type of criminal charge, it is essential to have a diligent attorney watching every action of the case.
“But I Only Watched The Movie; I Didn’t Upload It.”
The entertainment industry has come to the conclusion that they may never stop people from pirating movies, music, sports or TV programs to the Internet. They have also concluded that although they have legal rights against people that do break the copyright laws by illegally uploading and broadcasting their materials, the entertainment companies may never be able to catch them physically.
Most of the illegal streaming sites on the Internet, including the dark web, are based outside of the United States. These sites are routed and rerouted so many times so that you cannot get an actual location of where the items are being uploaded. And even if you could, the U.S. may not have jurisdiction in that area, and the criminals cannot be charged or arrested.
With all of that in mind, the attorneys representing the entertainment industry has decided to go after the end-user of these illegal streaming services. People within the United States that are illegally streaming entertainment can and will be held accountable for their actions.
What To Do If You Are Arrested For An Internet Crime
If you are arrested for an illegally streaming entertainment or any other type of Internet-based crime, you should take the following actions:
- Go Peacefully. When you are arrested, no matter how unjustified you believe the action is, you will want to be cooperative with the police officers. Arguing, fighting or being unreasonable will only lead to more problems for you. It is better to go quietly and have it officially documented that there was no problem then to be deemed a problem.
- Do Not Give A Statement. When the police begin to question you about your charges you should remain polite. Provide them with your personal information when they ask and then request an attorney. They will try to dissuade you from seeking legal representation at this point. Hold your ground and ask for an attorney. It is essential that you remember that “anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.”
- Do Not Give Any Permissions. You do not have to give law enforcement any permission to “search” your devices, your home, your car, your office. Even if you feel you have nothing to hide, wait for your attorney to make these decisions.
- Speak With An Attorney Immediately. You will want to protect your rights as soon as possible after your arrest. Internet-based crimes is a very delicate area of law, and you should have an attorney with you through every step. Legal representation is the only way to protect yourself from these charges.
- Work Closely With Your Attorney. Working with your attorney openly and honestly is the only way to come to the best outcome for this situation.