Two Singapore-based companies are facing Coalition Against Piracy lawsuits for distributing unauthorized content through Android-based set-top boxes.
The lawsuits represent yet another key moment in the media industry’s fight against content piracy.
Singapore’s digital news site Today first reported the lawsuit yesterday. According to the report, the set-top boxes the two companies were selling both run a version of Android and include subscription-based apps that let customers stream content illegally.
However, the outcome of the lawsuits may not be a clear win for copyright holders. Singapore’s Copyright Act does not specifically address illicit content streaming.
The Coalition Against Piracy is a group representing global and regional media companies in southeast Asia. It is similar to the US-based Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. The two lawsuits represent the CAP’s first action against distributors of piracy-enabling hardware.
Media Elephants vs Streaming Mosquitos
The challenge the media industry faces is the small-potatoes nature of its enemies. The combined impact of piracy is huge. However, each fly-by-night distributor reportedly generates only tens of thousands in revenue. It will take thousands of lawsuits to make a dent.
The real money is going to the hardware manufacturers that churn out the Android boxes that pirates repurpose and resell. It will take a crack-down by the Chinese government to really make a difference.
Despite the many obstacles standing in the way of content holders, recent legal actions suggest that more anti-piracy efforts may be on the horizon.
Just last week, Dish Networks hit two American distributors of Android boxes with piracy lawsuits. Two days ago, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment sued a California seller of set-top boxes.