What is streaming?

Streaming, file sharing and downloading – what do these terms mean and in what way do you risk contributing to criminal activities by using illegal streaming services?

Streaming services are most commonly used for film, TV and music. One of the world's biggest online streaming services is YouTube.

What is the difference between streaming, downloading and file sharing copyright protected material?

Streaming means playing audio and video files on a computer, tablet or mobile phone in real time from a website at the same time as the files are transferred across a network. When streaming, there is normally no copy of the protected file stored at the user's end, even though a temporary copy may technically be created.

Downloading means that the user downloads a copy of the file, which is only allowed if the file is legal and this is done for private use. File sharing is a way of making files available on a network for others to copy. This requires the permission of those who have created the content; the creators.

Illegal streaming services are primarily film and music files that have not been approved by those who created the content; the copyright holders. The files are therefore illegal and cannot be made available to users.

An illegal streaming service is often free for the visitor to use. The visitor sometimes need to create an account or register and will then be providing information that may be used for unwanted purposes. Films and TV series that are shown via an illegal streaming service are often badly translated or have no subtitles at all.

By streaming from illegal streaming services, you risk contributing to the funding of serious criminal activities. This money primarily come from the advertising that takes place on illegal streaming services. The more visitors an illegal streaming service has, the greater its advertising revenue. This money can then be used for other criminal activities.

Read more about the connection between illegal streaming services, multifarious criminal activities and multi-million kronor revenues under the headings "Current legal cases" and "About streaming globally".

Current court cases

About streaming globally

FAQ: copyright and streaming

Edited 2023-04-18