The creative industries call on the government to take a role in taking on "Kodi boxes", and the government, including President Trump, seems more than willing
Industry and government alike seems to have found a new major target in the never-ending war on downloads, as panel discussions on Capitol Hill and even President Trump signals the opening of a new front in the war.
A panel discussion happened this week on Capitol Hill, creatively titled 'Unboxing the Piracy Threat of Streaming Media Boxes'. Organised by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the discussions focused mostly on the threat of streaming media boxes, sometimes collectively known as 'Kodi boxes'.
Streaming media boxes are quickly becoming the most popular way to obtain pirated content, as users are turned off by the inconvenience of downloading, as well as the unwanted legal attention that torrenting might bring. It's a "evolution" that the MPAA, Hollywood's main copyright lobby, is keenly aware of.
In attendance was Neil Fried, Senior Vice President, Federal Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs at the MPAA.
"There's a criminal enterprise going on here that's stealing content and making a profit," Fried spoke during the panel discussions, making clear the seriousness of the problem at hand.
While lawsuits against Kodi box makers have already occurred and many more are happening all around the world, Fried also hinted that the government was about to get in on the action as well. Fried said that a "variety of candidates" are already being lined up by the Department of Justice for future criminal action.
From the panel discussion, it was also clear that the target of any governmental action may not be just domestic in nature.
"To combat piracy abroad, USTR [United States Trade Representative] needs to work with the creative industries to improve enforcement and target the source of pirated material," said Kevin Madigan from the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property.
As if almost right on mark, President Trump also chimed in on the issue. Posting on Twitter as expected, Trump promised tough actions on pirates both domestic and foreign.
"The U.S. is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft. We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!" tweeted the President.