Mar 29, 2016

'Free TV' boxes growing concern for broadcasters

The growth of set-top boxes promising free TV to users is quickly becoming a big problem, according to Toronto intellectual property litigator Kevin Fisher.

The boxes, which offer virtually unlimited access to television shows, including copyrighted material, function using pre-programmed links to illegal sites offering streaming content and on-demand programming similar to services like Netflix. In addition, the boxes can also come loaded with movies and other content.

“They are becoming a real problem, and are incredibly prevalent. You can see them offered online, in most free newspapers, and through storefronts. Go to any flea market and you're going to find them being sold in little stalls,” says Fisher, a partner with Basman Smith LLP.

“It is growing fast and, if not addressed, will become as big a problem to legal broadcasters as free music downloading was to the music industry,” he adds.

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Phgoto by Johnny Michelleto