Is IPTV Legal? Everything You Need to Know About IPTV Legality in 2024

Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 2 Jan 2022

Everything You Need to Know About IPTV

Television has been a central part of many Americans’ lives for the last few decades. Television sets were popularized, and a home video entertainment system would not exist without them. With the ever-evolving technology, we can stream just about any TV film or content on our devices at any time.

With that in mind, IPTV is one of the technologies that help us access the video entertainment world with ease. That said, you may be wondering what IPTV is, and whether it is legal and safe or not.

This article will answer all your questions about what IPTV really entails and how you can use it for watching your favorite shows without compromising on quality.

What is IPTV and Is It Legal?

The term Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is unfamiliar to many people.

IPTV refers to any type of televised information that uses Internet Protocol (IP) rather than traditional transmission techniques such as cable or satellite television.

These IPTV services allow you to watch television shows on-demand rather than waiting for their scheduled airtime. You can access this sort of service through your internet connection and enjoy watching whatever program or movie.

Now, regarding the legality, this is where we get to the tricky part. Whether IPTV is legal or not will depend on the service it provides. It is in fact legal when the service provider holds all necessary licenses.

They can provide streams that contain copyrighted content as long as they have permission from their copyright holders. However, it will depend on what kind of IPTV service you are looking for to know whether this applies or not.

The use of illegal streaming services is highly discouraged because it constitutes a violation of intellectual property rights. Otherwise, you will be breaking the law too.

Services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc., are legal. As they hold licenses for the content that their platforms provide. However, many other IPTV providers acquire TV programs and series illegally without proper licensing from owners. If you pick these options, you will also be breaking the law.

What are the Laws Surrounding IPTV Illegality

In some countries, IPTV services are considered to be legitimate. In others, they’re not so much and may even constitute an illegal activity according to the local law of that particular nation.

The laws on IPTV Illegality in the US

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a significant law that covers copyright infringement in the United States. 

The DMCA initially passed this act in 1998 with significant support from both Democrats and Republicans. This makes it one of America’s most important pieces of legislation.

But how does streaming fit into all this? 

Streaming services like Netflix, which do not make you install anything on your computer first, were exempted from paying any sort of penalties or fines. That’s because the terms of this law were only applicable to downloads and not online content providers who stream video files directly from their servers onto your screen.

That said, this inadequacy in the law was closed recently. 

The use of illegal IPTV services can now result in jail time. The COVID Relief Act of 2020 included measures to make streaming IPTV illegal, and as a result, we may face jail sentences of up to ten years.

However, in a recent clarification, the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act is now intended to prosecute those operating streaming services illegally rather than innocent customers.

The laws on IPTV Illegality in Canada

Canada is one of many countries that have implemented an IPTV alert system in order to enforce copyright law. 

In 2015, Canada established a system that allowed copyright holders to issue warnings to suspected users of illegal IPTVs via their ISP (internet service provider). Until recently, most of these warnings involved payment settlement requests to prevent prosecution and higher fines.

That said, in 2019, a new law was passed to protect Canadians against unexpected fines. 

The old method for receiving these warnings was often criticized because recipients owed no financial obligation when they received them. In some cases, people were wrongly accused and pressured into paying an unnecessary fine.

The new copyright law means that warning fees and the collection of personal information are no longer allowed. This change is perfect for users who want to avoid legal action.

However, it also leaves them open to prosecution from their country’s government. Now, this could result in fines much higher if caught using an illegal IPTV service provider than those they would have incurred previously.

The laws on IPTV Illegality in the UK

The United Kingdom has taken a tough stance against copyright infringement over the last few years. The Digital Economy Act, which came into effect in 2017, has led to stiff punishments for those found guilty.

Those who illegally provide IPTV services or watch and distribute such programs could face jail sentences up to ten years long.

It wasn’t until recently that the police have started issuing mass warnings and threatening suspected illegal users. 

If you refuse their demands and continue using these services, don’t be surprised by an investigation or raid from law enforcement officials. 

In short, they will take legal action against anyone found guilty, including those running such networks, as part of this crackdown effort.

Should You Use an Illegal IPTV Service?

The answer to this question is a straight no. Illegitimate IPTV services are not just a risk to your wallet but also safety.

You may be open to investigation by law enforcement or even face fines/jail time if caught using such a service. This puts both yourself and even those around you at risk of becoming involved with illegal activity.

IPTV Services are a great way to get your favorite shows and movies without having any additional costs. However, there’s no control over who gets access to the financial details you provide when paying for IPTV services with credit cards.

It could potentially lead to grave issues like identity theft. You may even be scammed out of money by hackers if they find out how much cash is available in one place at once. 

Not only that but there’s no guarantee they will provide access for what was paid in advance either.

When you use an illegal IPTV service, you risk jeopardizing more than just your privacy. They may also harvest information from the devices you use to access them.

This leaves you open to scams because of giving away personal information without permission or knowledge. Therefore, ensure safety by using only trusted sources.

Furthermore, your devices may be hacked by illegal IPTV services. When streaming video from an unknown source, you should always take precautions.

Make sure that any links you click on have been validated before downloading anything onto your device or installing software updates through these same sources.

This is because malware often comes bundled with fake playback buttons. It may trick users into visiting external websites designed to install unwanted programs onto their computers.

Furthermore, your internet service provider may cut off your connection if you use illegal IPTV streaming services. They will usually give a warning before taking more severe action.

But the consequences of using these unapproved TV sources can be scary and include losing access to everything online, including legal ones.

You might be wondering if your IPTV service is safe. With all the recent data breaches, you want to ensure that what’s on the internet can’t hurt you. The best idea is to install a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) like ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN compatible list


A secure VPN will allow users access without being tracked or monitored by hackers. It will give them peace of mind knowing there is protection when using these types of products in general as well as against malware infections.

A VPN is a must-have for anyone who wants to get their hands on region-locked films or content. Whether you’re looking to watch TV shows or movies that are only available in other countries, this powerful tool has your back. It provides the best way to avoid watching from illegal streaming sites.

How to Differentiate Between a Legal and Illegal IPTV Service?

Legal streaming services are often big brands like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, and their reputations alone are enough to identify them easily. But what about smaller, unknown ones?

To find out if they’re trustworthy or not-so-great quality compared to other providers on the market today – here’s how!

When you’re looking for an IPTV service that’s legal, there are some telltale signs. 

For starters, if the provider offers their services absolutely free of charge, then it’ll most likely be considered illegal.

This is because all legal IPTV services have different subscriptions available with varying pricing structures depending on what packages suit your needs best.

It’s essential to look at how much these subscriptions usually cost.

Certain illegal ones charge less than what you would normally find in a legal context. Because they don’t have licensing or production costs, which means their profit margin is much higher on each channel bundle package.

Best Legal IPTV Streaming Services

With so many IPTV streaming services to choose from, it’s difficult for one service to stand out. With that in mind, we have put together some of the best legitimate IPTV services you can pick from:

Amazon Prime Video

With an ever-growing library of movies and TV shows, Amazon’s IPTV service is a great way to stay up on your favorite programs without commercials. Subscribers can access addons such as Starz TV or Shudder if they want more variety in their viewing experiences.

You can also rent or purchase additional television box sets so that all seasons (and episodes) will be available at any time.


Netflix is a well-known, subscription-based streaming service that has been around for quite some time. It was one of the first companies to take IPTV mainstream. It offers high-quality content, including its very own original documentaries, shows, and movies.


When Disney released their new IPTV service, the company offered a truly unparalleled selection of TV shows and movies. 

Besides Disney classics, you will come across content from 21st Century Fox to National Geographic, bringing all sorts of content together under one roof.

Apple TV+

Apple is getting ready to bring its TV service straight into people’s living rooms.

Apple TV+, like other IPTV streaming services, offers a diverse range of content, including original series from the company and exclusive films not accessible elsewhere.


HBO Max is a relatively new IPTV platform from HBO. It lets you stream original programs as well as other shows and movies.

Notably, when COVID restrictions limited cinematic releases, Warner Bros turned to this method for delivering their movie slate in theaters without having any negative impact on screenings.

Unverified IPTV Services Examples

The internet is full of online IPTV services, but how do you know which one has the proper license for your favorite shows? It’s a daunting task trying to keep track.

That said, we’ve listed some unverified IPTVs examples below:

Besides the IPTVs mentioned above, Kodi is another well-known name in unauthorized streaming. The site itself is legitimate. However, some illegal users are taking advantage of it.

They use Kodi as the foundation of a homemade media center that plugs into your TV set with free access to IPTV subscription services such as Netflix.


The Internet has a lot of both legal and illegal content. It can be hard to tell what will work best for you. However, there are some factors that we recommend staying away from if your goal is safety while streaming TV shows or movies online without being troubled by hackers. Legal IPTV services offer a great alternative to watching TV. They provide high-quality videos with no risk of getting hacked or malware on your device. This makes them more secure than using illegal sites that might have negative consequences.