The Legal Landscape of Streaming: Copyright, Licensing, and Piracy

By: The BitMar Team

Streaming platforms have revolutionized how we consume media. However, the rise of streaming has created a host of legal considerations—including: copyright, licensing, and piracy. In this article, we will explore the legal landscape of streaming, and the challenges that streaming platforms face.

Copyright, and Streaming:

Copyright is one of the primary legal concerns that streaming platforms must face. As the name implies, copyright laws protect the rights of creators, and owners, of original works. This includes: movies, TV shows, music, and more. Streaming platforms must secure the necessary rights, in order to stream the copyrighted works, legally.

According to a report, by Statista, the global revenue of the video streaming market is expected to reach over $124 billion, in 2025. The high revenue potential of streaming platforms makes them a prime target for copyright holders seeking to protect their intellectual property.

Licensing, and streaming:

Securing licenses to stream copyrighted works is a complex process, that involves negotiating with various rights holders. Streaming platforms must negotiate with studios, record labels, publishers, and other rights holders, to obtain the necessary licenses; and stream content, legally.

The United States Copyright Office is responsible for administering copyright law, and maintaining a database of registered works. Streaming platforms can use this database, to verify whether a work is protected by copyright, and/or to identify the owners of the rights to any content in question.

Piracy, and streaming:

Piracy is a major concern for streaming platforms, as it can result in significant revenue losses, and legal penalties. Piracy involves the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works – such, as: movies, TV shows, and music – often through illegal streaming sites.

According to a report, by the Motion Picture Association, online piracy cost the film, and TV industries, $71 billion, in global revenue, in 2018. To combat piracy, streaming platforms must employ measures – such, as: Digital Rights Management (D.R.M.), and geo-blocking – to prevent unauthorized access to copyrighted works.


In conclusion, the legal landscape of streaming is complex, and ever-evolving. Streaming platforms must navigate copyright laws, negotiate licenses with rights holders, and combat piracy; in order to operate legally, and sustainably. Understanding the legal considerations of streaming is essential, for both: content creators, and consumers, alike.

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