The effect of piracy – GOV.UK
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The effect of piracy – GOV.UK

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Published 19 December 2022

© Crown copyright 2022
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Life is made better through great film, music and pictures.  Whether it’s the latest film, sport or music, it’s never far away through your TV, computer or phone.
But how do you ensure that you are accessing this content legally, and the creator is paid for their effort?
When we go to work, we want to be paid – the creative industries are no different.  Take the next blockbuster film; the average film will have a workforce of 300 people.  Directors and film stars, but also cleaners, carpenters and makeup artists to name a few.  By watching the film through a paid for streaming service, buying it on disc or experiencing it at the cinema you will ensure that all those people continue to work to create excellent experiences for you, the viewer.
Illegal streaming boxes and apps usually lack parental controls. Using them could mean your children are exposed to explicit advertisements or age-inappropriate content.
Where legitimate devices and power cables will have been tested, some illegal devices have failed safety standards so could be a real danger to you, like causing a fire in your home.
Every time you access illegal content, whether it’s to watch your favourite films, sports or TV shows using a modified box or stick or via an unauthorised website, app, add-on or another illegal source, you are infringing copyright and may be committing a crime. You also risk being exposed to dangerous malware and/or the risk of fraud and data theft. This risk increases significantly when you exchange credit or debit card information to view content on unregulated and pirate-run websites.
The creative industry offers employment for more than 1.9 million people and contributes £84.1 billion to the UK economy. If you are not paying for content, you are depriving industry of the money it needs to fund the next generation of TV programmes, films and sporting events.
Buying and using these devices and apps funds organised crime
If you see these devices being for sale, tell Crimestoppers exactly what you know, and they will pass this on to the appropriate organisation for investigation. All information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you see content being shared via a live post on social media, you can report by clicking the 3 dots at the top, right-hand side of the post.
guidance on using digital images, photographs and the internet
guidance on using Illicit streaming devices
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