The vast content in free video streaming websites such as PrimeWire makes them a desirable option for users worldwide. But while many TV shows and movies available for no charge seem a good deal, there’s a price to pay for them, just not with money. Using this type of website could be illegal in your jurisdiction, for a start. Also, many such web pages are known to distribute malware through advertising and other means, and you could have a severe security problem.
Hence, security-aware users prefer to connect to PrimeWire and similar sites through a VPN server. It allows them to remain safe and unlock access to the website in those countries where it’s banned.
If using PrimeWire sounds good, start by ensuring you’re not breaking any domestic laws. Then, consider using the many good alternatives to PrimeWire (some are even legal) instead. Yet, if you’ve decided that PrimeWire is your cup of tea, it would be good to learn the pros and cons of using it and the legal alternatives, and other relevant information. And that is what we will show you in this article.
What is PrimeWire, and how does it work?
PrimeWire is a popular free video streaming website that features thousands of TV shows and movies at no cost. If you’re already familiar with web pages such as Putlocker or Popcorn Time, you have a good idea of what we mean. The website has many aliases, including 1Channel and LetMeWatch, but the current “official” name (if it has one) is PrimeWire.
There are some disadvantages for PrimeWire users. The website works with popup ads that can promote anything malicious. So, you may end up downloading malware by clicking the wrong link. Besides, using this website could have legal and security implications for you. This article explores them in detail.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is meant for entertainment and informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, so it should not be construed in that way. Every domestic jurisdiction has its very own legislation, which can change at any moment. Therefore, you should comply with your domestic laws. IF you doubt the legality of digital activity, you must seek the advice of an expert conversant with the local legal framework. PrivacySavvy does not provide any legal advice.
Is PrimeWire a legal website to use?
The ugly truth about PrimeWire is that it is a website devoted to piracy, just like 123movies or Putlocker. This website streams content to your device; you do not download a file or a copy of the movie or show in question.
Unfortunately, this simple fact makes users deem it legal as they do not consider streaming videos a problem from the intellectual property point of view. This spurious impression is that no content remains on your device once you’re done watching.
Alas, this is not the case. Both downloading and streaming videos are forms of piracy because the creators remain without compensation for their work. Hence if you live in a jurisdiction where piracy is illegal (and yes, there are a handful of countries in which it’s not), you’re breaking the law by watching content from PrimeWire.
PrimeWire doesn’t stream any content to users directly. Instead, it’s a hub of links that will take a user to other locations on the web from which the video streams. But none of those streamers are any more legitimate. Unfortunately, that means you are liable to prosecution for breaching copyright laws.
Prospective legal complications
Most of the world’s governments consider that they have much more important things to do with their resources than to punish their citizens for getting free music, tv shows, or movies online. However, some take this task seriously, pursue it and punish it. Take Germany, for instance. Fines can be thousands of Euros or even five years in jail. Granted, the worse penalties rarely apply for watching videos online anywhere globally, but why risk it?
Now, let’s see what some other countries hold on to piracy. We start with Switzerland, Spain, and Poland. These countries do not consider piracy a crime. So anything you download for free is legitimate as long as you keep it for your personal use and do not try to make it profitable. In contrast, countries like the US, South Africa, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Italy, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, and China deem piracy illegal and pursue it aggressively. Finally, the middle of the road position includes other countries like Uruguay, Slovakia, Slovenia, Singapore, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, Mexico, Greece, Canada, Israel, Iran, India, Egypt, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil. They have strict legislation against piracy but don’t enforce those laws aggressively.
So you can see a distinct pattern: most countries do not allow downloading or streaming copyrighted content. Of course, some will do something about it, and some won’t, but the trend is clear.
And don’t allow the streaming vs. downloading argument to deceive you. Streaming is downloading. As you stream, you download the content in real time while watching it. By the end, the download vanishes into the digital ether, and you don’t end up with a copy of the video in question. And it’s still a download–an illegal download that can get you in legal trouble in the wrong jurisdictions.