June 16, 2016
Android TV boxes are giving cable companies a run for their money, which may be why the biggest cable companies are trying to shut down vendors that sell these boxes with the promise of free television. For a one -time fee that ranges from $40 to $250, users can attach the box to their television and stream pirated content like movies, TV shows, and live broadcasts, thus eliminating the need to pay for cable.
Cable companies in Canada – Rogers Communications, Bell Media, and Videotron – have recently taken legal action against five Canadian Android TV vendors – iTVBox, Android Bros Sales, MTLFreeTV, My Electronics, and WatchNSaveNow – and have won a temporary injunction that prevents them from selling the boxes at this time.
At the hearing, the cable companies argued that these boxes cause “irreparable harm” to their business and claimed that “piracy is one of the top causes for declining subscriptions for television services in Canada”.
A lawyer for Vincent Wesley, owner of MTLFreeTV, argued that the Android boxes are simply like “iPads, Apple TVs or computers”, all of which can be used for both legal and illegal purposes and that “the vendor doesn’t control or authorize what users do, or what software providers enable users to do”.
According to CBC News, a source close to the case says that a sixth company has been added as a defendant. This source also states that the cable companies started with these five vendors because they could get a quick injunction, but that they also intend to widen it across the country to shut down illegal streaming via Android boxes as best they can.
To learn more about this case, visit the CBC News website. What are your thoughts on this case? Do you agree with the initial ruling siding with the big cable companies?
This is most likely not the last that we will hear about this issue as illegal streaming and piracy remain a hot topic in today’s digital world.