That Latest Piracy Fearmongering Attacks Raspberry Pi

By Tom Pritchard on at

These days there is a lot of interest in the topic of illegal streaming, and you don't have to try very hard to find news about the so-called 'illicit streaming devices' (often referred to as Kodi boxes) and the kind of things they let you access without having to pay. Obviously Hollywood has a vested interest in you nor illegally streaming, so it's trying to convince you that it's a bad thing.

The latest video, however, takes things a step too far. The Hollywood-funded Digital Citizens Alliance wants you to know that dodgy streaming can ruin your life, and the Raspberry Pi is grouped with other "disreputable devices" that can lead to users being exposed to malware, ID theft, financial loss, and ransomware.

The Raspberry Pi isn't mentioned by name, but there's no mistaking the design of the 'pirate device' in the video.

On the left we have Flirc's Kodi Edition Raspberry Pi case, and on the left the graphic from the video. There are some differences in the design, but it's pretty clear where the inspiration comes from.

People can use Raspberry Pi to run Kodi, with multiple ways of doing things (as is the Kodi way), but generally the two products are completely separate. The Pi can be used for lots of different things, 99 per cent of which don't involve anything to do with media - let alone piracy.

Still the two have become linked, which the people behind Kodi have blamed on poor media coverage that includes imagery of the Kodi case. Particularly recent coverage about how cheap imported set top boxes often don't meet minimum electrical safety standards. While we always try and represent Kodi, piracy, and everything else about illicit streaming fairly and accurately here at Giz UK, we're admittedly guilty of using images of the Kodi-themed Pi case as well.

"Instead of showing one of the many thousands of generic black boxes sold without the legally required CE/UL marks, the media mainly chose to depict a legitimate Rasbperry Pi clothed in a very familiar Kodi case. The Pis originate from Cambridge, UK, and have been rigorously certified. We’re also super-huge fans of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and the proceeds of Pi board sales fund the awesome work they do to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in schools. The Kodi FLIRC case has also been a hit with our Raspberry Pi users and sales contribute towards the cost of events like Kodi DevCon.

It’s insulting, and potentially harmful, to see two successful (and safe) products being wrongly presented for the sake of a headline."

We do our best not to have anything to do with the sensationalist, clickbaity headlines Kodi criticises in the blog post, however. From my experience, those generally come from the tabloids.

Some people might make bold claims about Kodi and its popularity stemming from the potential for piracy, and while the XBMC Foundation (which develops Kodi) might disagree, there's one thing everyone can agree on. Raspberry Pi isn't guilty, even by association. So let's leave them out of it, shall we? [TorrentFreak]

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