Is ShowBox legal?

The question most people ask is “since showbox download allows you to stream the latest movies on your device, is the app legal”? This question arises because ShowBox does not charge subscription fees that other similar application requires. It therefore makes people to questions its legality, with some thinking that the contents of the app violate copyright laws of most countries around the world.

The ShowBox app is considered legal in the UK. In 2003, The UK implemented the Copyright Directive, which was officially termed “Directive 2001/29EC of European Parliament & of Council of May 22 2001 on harmonization of some aspects of the copyright rights in information society”. The streaming media content including movies and TV shows as carried out by ShowBox meets the Article 5(1).

With regards to reproduction rights as found in Article 2, however, showbox download does not contravene this rule since it does not directly reproduce any of its movies and TV shows. According to Article 5(1), the only exception to copyright protection are temporary files which are transient and essential are not given copyright protection. Furthermore, in a court ruling by Court of Justice in EU (CJEU) at a UK case between the Public Relations Consultants Ltd and Newspaper Licensing Agency et al at 5 June 2014, it was concluded that files made during streaming are temporary files. The movies and TV shows that are streamed by ShowBox are temporary files, since they are constantly being updated. Thus, streaming copyrighted content as is done by showbox download is legal and does not break any copyright law in the UK and Europe.

Streaming is an easy way to watch or listen to content from the internet such as movies, music and series without having to download them or pay. What streaming essentially is, is accessing content that has been stored on another server so that you don’t have to download the file to open and view it. Your computer temporarily downloads the content as you watch, but deletes it once it has been watched. Sites such as YouTube have servers which save and hold the content you find on them, and you are able to watch videos on the site without saving them to your PC or device first.

This changes the way we watch movies or series dramatically, as it was once necessary to spend hours downloading content then storing it for as long as was needed. The problem with this is that you had to plan what you wanted to watch far in advance, and could only keep what your hard drive could store, which is most likely 1 Terabyte. It also limits your options to only what you have on your hard drive. What makes streaming revolutionary is that you can access any movie, series or song, for free, immediately. It takes up no space and allows you to watch specific episodes of series without having to download the entire season.

In the US, however, ShowBox is illegal if you download the movies and TV shows. However, if you are only streaming the movies online, then you are safe.