Cable companies sue 'free TV' Android box vendors


tay
#1
The ads are enticing: The promise of "Free TV" and the chance to "Say goodbye to cable bills forever."

So it's no surprise Canada's cable giants are targeting upstart dealers selling loaded Android TV boxes. The devices enable users to access pirated content with ease for a one-time fee

Bell Media, Rogers Communications and Quebec's Videotron have taken legal action in Federal Court against five Canadian vendors.

The cable companies have already won a temporary injunction (external - login to view) to stop the defendants from selling the boxes.

The boxes are similar to Apple TV, but they use the Android operating system. Vendors can load them with special software that provides easy access to pirated content online.

Customers can attach the boxes to their TVs and stream a vast array of unauthorized movies, TV shows and even live broadcasts, sometimes eliminating the need for cable.

"We even got rid of Netflix," loaded Android box customer Jenna Galloway told CBC News earlier this year.

The Cole Harbour, N.S., resident said she uses the box to access all her favourite shows, including Call the Midwife and The Walking Dead.

The loaded boxes can be purchased online from sites such as Amazon (external - login to view) for a one-time fee ranging from $40 to $250.

They're growing in popularity in Canada and across the globe, making them a target for cable companies.

The defendants named in the Federal Court case are MtlFreeTV, iTVBox, Android Bros Sales, WatchNSaveNow and My Electronics.
According to the injunction ruling, they promoted their boxes as a way to watch TV without paying for cable.

Android Bros in London, Ont., for example, advertised that customers "can 'cancel cable today' and still watch all of their television programs for free."

Bell, Rogers and Videotron alleged "there is a serious issue to be tried" due to "copyright infringement by the defendants." They also allege the businesses are selling devices intended for illegal purposes.

They argued the defendants should halt sales of the loaded boxes during the legal proceedings because continued sales would cause "irreparable harm" to their business.

The cable companies claimed "piracy is one of the top causes for declining subscriptions for television services in Canada."

Only one defendant, Quebec-based MTLFreeTV, appeared at the injunction hearing. Owner Vincent Wesley argued the loaded boxes are nothing more than "a piece of hardware" loaded with software that's freely available to the public.

The judge didn't buy the argument, and agreed to a temporary injunction to halt sales.

Cable companies launch court battle against 'free TV' Android box vendors - Business - CBC News
 
TenPenny
#2
Those boxes don't do anything that a computer doesn't do, I don't understand the problem.
 
spaminator
#3
is this iptv?
 
Jinentonix
+2
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote:

The cable companies claimed "piracy is one of the top causes for declining subscriptions for television services in Canada."

Yeah, it wouldn't have anything to do with their sh*tty, over-priced products and service though. Never mind forcing customers to take on absolute crap "specialty" channels that wouldn't exist if their product wasn't being forced on cable customers. A la carte did nothing to alleviate that. Sure, you don't have the to take the crap channels anymore but you won't end up saving squat either.
 
MHz
+1
#5
Once they have the bugs worked out that is the model cable will 'sell' as the sit down at a certain time or you miss the show is gone the way of the horse and buggy. The odds are those boxes build up a database of what has been watched and it streams to other boxes the same way Microsoft distributes it's updates with such amazing speed. For 99% of the viewing audience that would be all you need and the 1% that use broadband to it's max already have that access but at a lower speed. Downloading a 90min movie in 3 minutes is mean to help a customer base that is growing rather than shrinking and the 99% don't want much control other than which pic to click on.
 
Ludlow
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

Once they have the bugs worked out that is the model cable will 'sell' as the sit down at a certain time or you miss the show is gone the way of the horse and buggy. The odds are those boxes build up a database of what has been watched and it streams to other boxes the same way Microsoft distributes it's updates with such amazing speed. For 99% of the viewing audience that would be all you need and the 1% that use broadband to it's max already have that access but at a lower speed. Downloading a 90min movie in 3 minutes is mean to help a customer base that is growing rather than shrinking and the 99% don't want much control other than which pic to click on.

However, protocol should never take precedence over procedure.
 
MHz
+1
#7
They are getting 'us' to pay for a service we are providing for ourselves. That kind of move could be admired by some, just before the noose snaps tight that is. Money for nothing.
 
tay
+1
#8
The fully loaded Android TV box battle resumes on Monday. That's when two box dealers take on Canada's cable giants in the Federal Court of Appeal in Montreal.

The dealers are appealing an injunction blocking them from selling their boxes during a legal case targeting the business.

Plaintiffs Bell, Rogers and Quebec's Videotron won the temporary injunction in June. It's their first victory after launching court action to stamp out a device that has become a scourge of the cable TV industry.

Once the box is loaded with special software, users can connect the Android box to their televisions to easily stream pirated content, including TV shows, movies, even live sports all for a one-time fee, typically around $100.

The devices have been marketed with slogans such as "free TV" and "never pay a cable bill ever again!!!"

Bell Media, Rogers and Videotron which all produce and distribute content have targeted at least 45 Canadian dealers in the case.

They allege that by promoting and selling the loaded boxes, the vendors have "induced and authorized" customers to engage in copyright infringement.

The cable companies secured the injunction by arguing that if the defendants continued to sell their boxes, it would cause them "irreparable harm" due to lost business. That's because "piracy is one of the top causes for declining subscriptions for television services," they claim in court documents (external - login to view).

Two defendants, WatchNSaveNow in Mississauga, Ont., and MTLFreeTV in Montreal, are appealing the injunction.

They allege in court documents that the claim of "irreparable harm" was never properly established. For example, they argue the plaintiffs offered no concrete evidence linking box sales to lost TV subscriptions.

"They're going to have a very hard time being able to prove that I've caused them to lose one customer directly," says defendant Vincent Wesley, owner of MTLFreeTV.

There are numerous reasons why cable customers cancel their subscriptions, ranging from escalating prices to the lure of Netflix, he says.

"They're not going to be able to say, 'This one person bought a box from you, Vince, then directly came to us and cancelled every single one of our services.'"

Bell, Rogers and Videotron declined to comment on the appeal.

'Free TV' Android box dealers in court Monday to fight injunction blocking sales - Business - CBC News
 
Danbones
#9
see yah like free internet
 

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