One of the dangers of watching movies illegally online is the possibility of getting sued for copyright infringement, which potentially carries severe penalties. Additionally, free movie sites may contain viruses, and hackers may use the sites to enter personal computers and steal personal and financial information.
People who watch movies illegally online violate copyright law and are subject to criminal prosecution. Internet providers can easily track the sites that Internet customers use. As of 2013, major Internet service providers give customers several warnings when they violate copyright law, first through educational messages and then by temporarily slowing down their Internet speeds. If customers ignore the warnings and break copyright law, they incur potential penalties of up to $30,000 for every work, such as a film, they infringe and up to $150,000 per work if the copyright owner can prove that they willfully infringed it. They may also have to pay the copyright owner's attorney's fees.
Besides legal liabilities, accessing illegal movie sites exposes users to spyware, viruses and a surfeit of unwanted advertising. Movie quality on illegal sites is often much worse than on legal channels. If criminals steal their banking information, users of unauthorized sites have no legal recourse, as they are performing an illegal activity themselves when they are scammed.