Set Top Box Wars

Set top boxes are extremely popular devices that allow you to transform your standard, boring, run of the mill TV into a full-fledged Smart TV. They normally run on some type of modified Android operating system and they allow you to access a lot of legitimate services such as Netflix, Crave TV, and YouTube. They’ve still caught the attention of Canada’s biggest media players, Bell, Rogers, and Videotron who recently launched a court battle against some of the biggest distributers of these devices.

While they might be concerned with the legitimate services that these devices can access, their line of argument against such boxes was focused on the illegal services it also allows consumers to access. These devices can also access countless unauthorized content providers and anyone with a little bit of tech savvy can find them using the Kodi media center app. 

Score a Victory for Big Media

It’s hard to understand how they really have a case considering all the legitimate content these boxes allow you to access. As long as the distributors of these boxes don’t preload their devices with illegal content their really shouldn’t be any case, but surprisingly there is. Canada’s federal court recently ruled in favour of the big media companies and issued an injunction banning the distribution of set top boxes by several major players.

It’s a curios development as there are many work arounds using laptops, USB sticks, and other devices that can accomplish the same thing. It’s doubtful the courts are going to ban laptops so you have to wonder what the point is. The companies affected by this ban are already launching an appeal and there’s a good chance this ruling will be overturned, but that’s certainly not guaranteed. There will always be ways to use legal devices to find illegal content, but that shouldn’t result in a ban of such devices. We can only hope that common sense will ultimately prevail.

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