Pirates of the Living Room: Why Streaming Beats Piracy

Jacques du Rand 2020-09-01

Internet piracy is easy and cheap, and it’s why most people do it. It also sounds kind of hardcore, which is something they should have thought about more when they named it... But it’s also illegal, and it’s costing the international movie and music industry millions. In the long run, it’s taking money from the pockets of the actors, directors and writers making the entertainment – which means the industry is steadily going to collapse if piracy continues.
If all we’re watching in ten years are reruns of Magnum PI, you can blame the damn pirates. Here’s why you should consider switching over to a legal and affordable streaming service instead.

How Much?

Just how much data or bandwidth does your streaming use? 
According to Netflix’s official website, streaming your average quality movie or TV show will use approximately 1GB of data per hour. HD content, on the other hand, will take up as much as 3GB of data per hour. 
If you want a more accurate representation of how much data you’re using, download a bandwidth monitor like Bitmeter OS or Bandwidth Monitor to keep an eye on it.

South African Piracy Laws

In South Africa, piracy is considered a violation under the Copyright Act of 1978 and could land you as much as five years in jail or a fine of up to R10, 000 - assuming you aren’t prosecuted under federal laws. Oh, and usually every instance of piracy is a separate charge. Multiply that times how many movies you’ve pirated. 
See why you should consider switching to streaming?

More Reasons Against Piracy


  • Piracy costs the industry millions, and it’s still illegal – with IP tracking and other technologies, you could be hit with a fine or considerable jail time for ending up on a list of people who downloaded something from a torrent site.
  • Piracy takes you to some dodgy websites, and that’s the nice way to put it. This puts your computer at risk of viruses, and it could even compromise personal information like your banking passwords.
  • Pirated movies are often of terrible quality, and you have no guarantee of what you could be downloading – or what kind of viruses and spyware you’re almost guaranteed to be downloading with it. In 2014 alone, 317 million viruses were created on the internet: Sleep well, kids!


Why Streaming?

Here’s why you should consider making use of a legal streaming service.


  • There are many affordable streaming services out there, and most of them offer a free trial (for a few days or weeks) so you can try out the service and see if you’re happy with what they offer.
  • Streaming services give you first access to the latest movies and TV shows as they air and you don’t have to wait.
  • Many streaming services give you the option to re-watch your favourites, some even allow you to download the content you watch to a USB flash drive for later.
  • Streaming services give you instant access to movies and TV shows you didn’t even know existed – so if you love binge-watching new stuff, streaming services are a great way to find then.
  • Streaming services are legal, so you don’t have to worry about your IP being tracked or the FBI showing up on your door with sniffer hamsters because it’s all good.
  • Many people avoid streaming services because they figure it’ll use up too much bandwidth or data. It’s easy to set the quality to Normal or Low for lower-bandwidth connections.


Top Streaming Services for South Africans


  • Netflix Streaming The biggest and some might argue the best streaming service out there!
  • ShowMax Our very own South African streaming service - a DSTV offshoot from MultiChoice.
  • YouTube YES! YouTube and its free ! The amount of YouTube channels and programs we are watching is massive compared to the other two.