The FCC usually doesn’t get involved in telling Amazon and eBay how to run their business endeavors. Things change. The government agency recently took a look at fake TV boxes up for sale on the two sites. A call went out from the government to the companies. Essentially, the FCC wants Amazon and eBay to curtail the sales of these fake pay TV boxes on their platforms.
Open-source software combined with gray-market TV boxes make it possible for people to stream content illegally. With certain apps, owners of illicit TV boxes can even stream illegal copies of movies currently playing in theaters. In years past, people took advantage of torrent sites to watch illegal copies of copyrighted material. The new apps and corresponding boxes create a new pathway to access such content. Installing the boxes isn’t difficult. Information on how to stream content can be found online. So, people take advantage of these illegal devices. Since they are sold on Amazon and eBay, some might not even think there’s anything illegal associated with the boxes.
Shockingly, eBay and Amazon did not crack down on the presence of these boxes. Perhaps lack of oversight contributed to the presence of the boxes online. An incredible volume of new products arrive on the inventory list of both these companies each and every day. Tracking what members put up for sale can be a little difficult. That’s not stated to provide a convenient excuse for the two companies. Any entity providing an online marketplace to facilitate sales must take some responsibility for the products it’s members promote. For whatever reason, the illegal and fake TV boxes seem to appear with prevalence. Now, the FCC wants to put an end to the distribution of the fake boxes.
Piracy continues to deliver a thorn in the side of the entertainment industry. Untold hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue derives from pirated distribution of content. The entertainment industry continues to crack down on illegal distribution as it should. Unfortunately, pirate technology is always advancing. As soon as one distribution channel is shut down, another one emerges. The entertainment history has to play catch-up with the pirates.