Is It Legal to Watch the 2014 Movie "Annie" Online for Free?

Watching streaming movies online may be legal depending on how software processes the stream, notes FindLaw. If the streaming site makes a temporary copy of the movie on the viewer's system, then the stream is illegal to watch in the United States, subject to legal interpretation.

The U.S. Copyright Office does not claim a violation when the copy is removed quickly and is not obvious to the user, explains FindLaw. Even the Motion Picture Association of America seldom pursues streaming viewers. Legal issues aside, sites hosting or linking to illegal content may contain viruses, undesirable advertising and low-quality movies, Business Insider points out. There's also no assurance that a streaming site works with a user's software.

The 2014 version of "Annie" is copyrighted material jointly owned by several production companies and Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to Sony Pictures Entertainment is a member of the MPAA.