Today the FCC has asked both Amazon and eBay to stop selling bogus pay-TV set-top boxes. These boxes in public are often known as “Kodi Boxes” and are packed full of 3rd party Kodi add-ons that give free access to movies and TV shows. (Please note the team behind Kodi are not the ones making these boxes or the 3rd party add-ons.)
“Although sufficiently disturbing on its own, these devices are particularly problematic as they are perpetrating intellectual property theft and consumer fraud. While the Commission has obligations on our end to prevent unauthorized set-top boxes from being available no matter their use, I seek your partnership in helping to remove these illegal products from the stream of commerce,” The FCC said in a letter from the FCC today.
“Disturbingly, some rogue set-top box manufacturers and distributors are exploiting the FCC’s trusted logo by fraudulently placing it on devices that have not been approved via the Commission’s equipment authorization process,” he wrote. “Specifically, nine set-top box distributors were referred to the FCC in October for enabling the unlawful streaming of copyrighted material, seven of which displayed the FCC logo, although there was not record of such compliance.”
Recently though Amazon and eBay have both taken steps to stop the sale of these boxes but it seems the FCC wants them to do more. Amazon, for example, has even joined in efforts to sue makers of some “Kodi Boxes” including the Tickbox and the Dragon box.
A year ago a search for Kodi Boxes on Amazon would have found a flood of these boxes. Now they are still slipping through but are often quickly taken down. Well the FCC says they recognize that Amazon and eBay are working to block these devices the FCC is asking for “assistance in “taking steps to eliminate non-FCC compliant devices or devices the fraudulently bear the FCC logo.”
This could mark a major change in US policy and seems to say that the marker and sellers of these devices are now being targeted by the US Government.
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