The entertainment industry is big business, and it has the ear of the government. People like Murdoch use their papers to win favour with those in charge, then make demands on policy - particularly when it comes to punishing those who steal intellectual property. We're now capable of imprisoning someone for 10 years for copyright infringement, a sentence more than several crimes that involve hurting other humans physically.
Kodi, itself not designed to be a method of piracy, has become the current target of the entertainment industry, and you can see why. Get the Kodi Media Centre, add some plugins and you can watch live sport, stolen from Sky's feeds. Another button press and you can watch a movie, stored on a cloud storage platform and delivered to your TV in HD. Press another button and every TV show ever made is viewable.
So the entertainment industry is panicking, and understandably. For one thing, the sharing of live sport is a huge issue because fat cat footballers need to have their wallets lined with weekly salaries large enough to fund the annual salaries of 11 nurses. To fund this madness, BT and Sky pay billions, which they recoup through subscriptions. So, you can see why they're tense about Kodi and its fancy plugins offering the same for the low, low price of zero pounds.
The Intellectual Property Office says that the decline in so-called piracy has stalled thanks to boxes running Kodi. These Android TV machines are sold on eBay and similar with pre-loaded plugins that allow people to access content for free. Kodi wants nothing to do with this and routinely separates itself from the piracy plugins.
The current numbers say that 25% of people admit to accessing illegal content. This is the same as March 2016, but is still down from March 2015 when the number was 27%. The highest rate was January 2013, when 30% of respondents admitted to watching illegal content.
The big problem we have now is that we're seeing times of stagnant wages, economic uncertainty and a future where AI and bots take over millions of jobs. People feel poor, and when they feel poor they're more likely to cancel the expensive subscription package. That leaves them with few options aside from going to the pub, which can get expensive - especially if you're paying London prices. A £60 box solves the problem very nicely for many.
The problem of people not paying for digital media isn't ever going to go away. But when you sell a product that's affordable and easy to use, like Netflix does, then people are less likely to try and steal it. [via The Telegraph]