Streaming Movie Website

How to Tell if a Streaming Movie Website is Legal

It's never been easier to watch streaming online movies on your computer or mobile device. It's fun, convenient, and free - but is it legal?

If you've found a free streaming movie website like bmovies and you want to know if they're showing their movies legally, there are some things you can look for. This doesn't totally decide if the website is not pirating content, but they are big hints on whether you should stay and watch or tune to another virtual channel.

I have a list of what I consider to be the best free online movies that are totally legal. This is a great place to start looking for free movies. I also have a listing of free and legal places to watch TV online if you're looking for your favorite show.


They Tell You Where They're Getting Their Movies

Legal free online movie websites get their movies one of two ways: it is possible that they have permission from the film studio to show the movies, or they're showing movies that fall under public domain.

Sometimes a film studio or other content company will let a streaming movie website show their movies. They may be affiliated with the website or the website is paying the studio for use of their movies. For example, Crackle gets its free online movies from Sony Pictures, and Popcornflix gets theirs from Screen Media Ventures.

When no one has copyright to a movie, including individuals, organizations, or governments, it becomes common property that anybody can watch and share legally.

You'll need to search for an "About Us" page or something similar to search out where these websites get their movies from.


They're Making Money Through Advertisements

The free streaming movie websites aren't just being nice in letting you see free movies, they need to profit as well. If they aren't charging a membership fee then they are most likely making money through ads.

Advertisements can be shown through click ads on their website or as periodic commercials during the movie or TV show that you're watching. You'll see these commercials while watching free movies at many of the websites, including Viewster, Yidio, and SnagFilms.


There's Contact Information

If a free streaming movie website is legitimate then they have nothing to hide. You should be able to easily search their contact information on their website. Look at the bottom of the page for a section titled "Contact Us," "About Us", or something similar.

Finding a contact email address is great but if they have a physical address and phone number, that's even better.


There Aren't Any Really New Movies

When you visit a free movie website, you'll typically just watch older movies, movies anywhere from a few years to a few decades old.

If you do see movies that are still in theaters or ones that were just released on DVD, this should raise a red flag. It's extremely rare for anybody to get permission to show these movies online, so if you watch them, they're probably not legal.