Streaming media boxes—digital media devices that stream music and video to users’ TVs—are unlocking a new wave of online piracy. While many users legally stream online content using devices like Fire TV Sticks, Chromecasts, and Rokus, there are a growing number of users who buy devices such as the TickBox or Dragon Box to avoid paying for content. Makers of these devices advertise that their products come pre-loaded with software add-ons that will allow users to watch their favorite movies and TV shows without paying for access through legal services such as Netflix and Hulu. Not surprisingly, sales of these “pirate boxes” are taking off—a 2017 study from Sandvine found that roughly 6 percent of North American households were using one to stream unlicensed content.
Please join ITIF for a panel discussion on the challenges associated with piracy from streaming media boxes, its impact on the creative industry, and steps policymakers can take to protect lawful U.S. businesses.