Streaming movies for free – legal or not?


I have recently come across a dilemma. There is a website on the vast internet that allows users to stream full movies for free. It requires no sign-in accounts, no special programs and doesn’t download to your computer. So my dilemma is this, is this website illegal?

Technically it is not downloading onto the computer but much of the content on the website is a copy of illegally pirated movies. Just like does with music this website works in much of the same way. So is it necessarily illegal to watch?

It’s like taking a picture of the real Mona Lisa in order to appreciate it at your house. You didn’t buy the Mona Lisa and take it home to look at it; you took a picture of it and are appreciating that instead.

Overall I have mixed reactions on this website, I would feel guilty for watching the full movie without paying for it, yet it is just a copy of an already copied movie. The whole Mona Lisa scenario plays through and rationalizes the situation.