Streaming in Germany – legal or illegal? [2023]

by | Feb 16, 2022 | Internet & SimCards in Germany

Home 9 Internet & SimCards in Germany 9 Streaming in Germany – legal or illegal? [2023]

Due to its good economic and social conditions, Germany has a huge number of ex-pats from a number of different countries. Apart from all other business ideas, streaming is something ex-pats should be careful about. Germany has strict rules and regulations regarding streaming, rules that might be completely non-existent in your country. Moreover, breaking these laws can cost you over 1000 Euros as a fine against illegal streaming. Hence, it becomes mandatory to have a good knowledge of these laws.

Streaming and Torrenting in Germany

Watching videos over online platforms is called streaming. A copious number of online platforms can be streamed by users. But some of these platforms start torrenting in the background.

Torrenting is a way of downloading videos faster by increasing the number of servers. When downloading from a central server, the more the number of downloads, the slower the downloading. But with torrenting, you are uploading content at the same time it is being downloaded on your device. In this way, the downloading becomes easier for the other person to whom you are uploading the content. Thus, this network of users allows faster downloading through torrenting.

What is illegal, Streaming, or Torrenting?

As a matter of fact, streaming isn’t illegal in Germany, but Torrenting is. When you share content through torrenting, your IP address becomes exposed to the network. Hence, anyone in the network can access your address.

What happens if I Get Warning letters from Copyright Lawyers ? 

Once you get the copyright violation letter, then there is no way that you get away with it. These letters are called Abmahnung in German. After you get the Abmahnung, we highly recommend that do not just sign something without knowing what you are signing. It is always recommended to consult a lawyer and ask for his professional services. Sometimes, these lawyers can help you reduce the fined amount or pay in installments.

In such cases, the legal insurance in Germany can save you, but you can’t get the insurance after you get the letter and then use it against this Abmahnung. If you need initial free lawyer consultation, then you can check with YourXpert 

How to avoid these letters?

The cleanest, safest, and easiest way to avoid getting into all of this mess, is to stream legally. Avoid torrenting sites and use legal streaming sites only.

But if you still have to use torrenting sites, there is another way to do it in a protected manner.

Use VPN because it hide your IP address and protect you from copyright lawyers and their letters. When using a VPN, no one can trace you down.

Link to the Topic
Best VPN Providers in Germany

What to do if you get these letters?

If you forgot to use a VPN when torrenting you will most probably get a letter from copyright lawyers. The first response in such a situation is to try not to panic. Keep calm and contact a lawyer. Your lawyer will take the least harmful path. Know that once you get a warning letter, it is impossible to avoid a fine. All you can do is minimize this fine and only a good lawyer can help you through it.

In such cases, Legal Insurance or Liability insurance comes in handy, because some liability insurance also covers the costs, if somebody else uses your internet to steam something illegal.

What to do if someone else streamed illegally using your internet?

Sometimes after taking all the possible precautions, you might still get a warning letter. This could be because someone else pirated on your internet connection. Before 2017, this could have caused you real damage. You would have to pay the inflected fine, though you do nothing. But new laws have been established to deal with such situations. If you are not the one who streamed the illegal content, you will have to prove that in court. Once proven, you will be freed of all the charges.

But proving such a complicated case is very troublesome. Hence, when living in Germany, be very careful about your wifi passwords. Do not trust anyone with your wifi password.

Some popular illegal sites

Many streaming sites seem to be legal, but they actually torrent videos in the background. Hence, they will be considered illegal in Germany. Following are some popular illegal sites in Germany that you should beware of.

  • 123movies
  • Fmovies
  • Popcorn Time
  • kinox.to
  • move4k.to

Some unavailable streaming sites in Germany

Hulu and SHOWTIME are two of the most popular sites that do not pirate and are loved by users. You might be finding them over the internet in Germany. The reason behind your failure is that these sites aren’t available in Germany. But you can access them using a VPN.

How to stream legally in Germany?

Several servers allow legal streaming in Germany and circumvent torrenting at any cost. Some of these are mentioned below. Visit any of these for a smooth and legal streaming experience.

Youtube

Youtube is the most popular streaming site worldwide. Apart from being popular, it is also free.

Luckily, Youtube not only has the greatest pool of content but also has purely legal content and streaming patterns. It’s good for everyone in the world, but it is a huge relief for those who live in Germany. You should know that you can trust youtube the most in Germany.

So, start streaming right now without the fear of getting warning letters.

Sky

Though especially known for live sports streaming, Sky streams movies, series, TV shows, and much more. Their Sky Go app connects your subscribed account from TV to your tablet or mobile. This means that using this app, you can stream on the go, anywhere anytime. Apart from that, it has very exciting and never-ending content.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon as a platform has itself quite established. There are a lot of extensions to this online shopping platform that you aren’t aware of. Amazon prime video is one of them.

When you are shopping over Amazon, you have an option to get an Amazon Prime membership. This membership opens a whole gateway to entertainment. You won’t only have access to movies, but also to music, reading, gaming, and especially prime delivery on your ordered products from Amazon. But the point that you should be interested in, is that it is completely legal in Germany.

Apple TV+

Manufactured for apple products, Apple TV+ can be streamed by users having an Apple ID. Apple Originals, series, dramas, documentaries, and much more are there for you to watch.

Apart from all of that, Apple, being a top tech company, has made sure that their customers living in Germany do not lag behind. Their platform Apple TV+ is completely legal in Germany.

TV NOW

TV NOW, a streaming service in Germany, streams on-demand movies, series, sports, TV shows, and a lot more.

Disney Plus

Disney is known for its cartoon series, animated series, and even some movies and TV shows. When on TV, they used to produce products for children only. But with their extension to the OTT platform, they have also expanded their range of audience. Now they endorse and even produce movies and series for adults. Hence, you should give try Disney Plus even if you do not have kids.

Netflix

There is no need to introduce you to Netflix. Netflix is an immensely popular streaming platform, second only to Youtube. A monthly subscription to Netflix provides you with a never-ending list of dramas, movies, series, documentaries, etc.

Netflix has different subscription programs according to different needs. Once you select your desired program, a subscription is super easy through an online payment. Also, Netflix has a very low monthly subscription rate.

Magenta TV

A project of Deutsche Telekom, Magenta TV offers a broad domain of movies, sports, TV channels, web series, and even Netflix content. Your Magenta TV subscription will provide you with many exciting features. For example, recording, replaying and restarting live TV shows.

You can select from three of their subscription programs. One is their Telekom contract. With this contract, you will have a package containing Magenta TV, telephone, and internet facilities. The other one is the subscription with Netflix.

But if you are not interested in Netflix and also would prefer to stream over your mobile phone, instead of your TV, then you should just pay for the Magenta TV app. 

Rakuten TV

This Japanese streaming platform streams movies, and series. You can stream it in Germany as it has a legal streaming pattern.

FilmOn

FilmOn is a Youtube-inspired streaming platform. Apart from streaming content, you can also upload content and create channels.

Maxdome

Germany’s largest streaming platform, Maxdome, has over 50,000 films, series episodes, documentaries, and children’s programs.

Joyn

Joyn streams most of the online content pool that people are looking for. In addition to that, it also streams some Joyn Originals and exclusive content. It is quite similar to the TV NOW streaming service.

Free TV channels

You’ll be happy to know that you can stream German TV channels over the internet for free. If you put entertainment aside, these channels can be a good source of learning German. But in case, you are looking for pure entertainment, you can switch to other methods then.

Guide to choosing the right streaming service

Though the above list will help you a lot, selecting the right streaming service is not child’s play. Hence, here is a short guide to help you through the process. Keep these factors under consideration when you go out to choose the right streaming service.

  • Some streaming services include TV channels in their subscription which costs you some extra bucks. If you do not want to watch TV channels, do not go for such a subscription.
  • Additional services also cost more. Remember to tick off such services, if you do not want them.
  • Go through the content that they are providing. Get a subscription if their content pool matches your choices.
  • Most streaming services provide free trials. Do get a trial if possible.
  • Last but not the least, your budget! You should buy the subscription with the most in your budget.

Conclusion

Concluding the article on the point that a little precaution can save you from a lot of trouble. Your ignorance can cost you over 1000 Euros. Hence, be careful about the content you are streaming over the internet in Germany. Moreover, your wifi passwords should be protected and not shared with strangers. We hope this article cleared all your ambiguities and aptly warned you against the dire consequences of even a little spec of ignorance.

⚠️ In our articles, we use affiliate links from our affiliate partners. If you click these links and purchase a service or a product then we may earn a small commission, without any extra cost to you. This way, we stay motivated and bring you all you need to know about Germany. 

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