Netflix And Amazon Join The Battle Against Kodi Pirates
Ian Morris, CONTRIBUTOR
Set TV is a company that offers 500 channels of premium content for $20 per month. But it hasn’t found some startling new revenue stream, it’s showing unauthorized content from broadcasters like Disney, NBC and others according to a lawsuit filed in California this week.
The service has apps that work with devices like Amazon’s own FireTV as well as Nvidia’s shield and pretty much any Android device. Kodi, the open source video streaming app is also a way to watch the Set TV streams, and while Kodi itself is legal it suffers a lot with plugins which are most certainly not.
Amazon and Netflix have joined the likes of Disney and Paramount in fighting companies which infringe their copyright in this way. The lawsuit claims $150,000 for each work, which means the service would be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars if found to be infringing.
It’s not clear from the Set TV site if it offers Netflix and Amazon but other broadcast channels are mentioned. Even so, it’s now very much in the interest of Amazon and Netflix to work with the traditional rights holders to stamp out this kind of infringement. Shows like Stranger Things and The Grand Tour are just as likely to be found on download sites as anything from a more traditional broadcaster.
The chances of the rights holders getting anywhere near that are quite slim, and that’s not really the idea, the goal must surely be to shut the service down, and send a warning to anyone else thinking of setting up one of these services. I would also imagine that any revenue made by sites like Set TV would likely taken up with server costs and other expenses.
Of course there is one argument to be made in favour of something like Set TV. There’s currently no real way for anyone to get access to a wide range of services in one place, with customers perhaps wanting more simplicity in how they watch shows. Even so, if there ultimately is some sort of service offering a selection of services, you can be sure it won’t be charging $20 per month for access to all this content.
The availability of TV shows and other content on the internet has been a problem for Hollywood for some time now. Progress is slow, and for every site like Set TV that gets dragged through the courts there are hundreds which don’t. Of course charging to show people illegal streams is one way to fall foul of the law really quickly. It’s one thing for a two-bit free service to get away with this, it’s quite another for a business to spring up and start charging for content it does not own.