It sounds like something from an espionage story…China has a little black box and high-ranking people in the U.S. are worried. But far from it being a tale of national security, it’s a tale of entertainment security. Wait, is that even a thing?
The whole flap involves a Chinese company that streams movies over Roku-like set-top boxes. According to Forbes:
Future TV is one of seven firms licensed to stream content into Chinese homes via the Internet to set-top boxes and smart TVs…It claims to offer 1.5 million hours of content, of which half is high-definition. But among U.S. studios it is notorious for uploading hundreds of copyrighted movies and evading tens of millions of dollars in licensing fees.
Content is obviously a global issue. We live in a world today where we have massive catalogues of books and movies and music and art, the industries behind each of which is going through flux as the Internet and technology changes the game.
Part of that flux is the devaluation of all that content. I can get thousands, maybe tens of thousand of movies for mere dollars a month. Every day, a new story comes out about some respected writer asking to submit work for free, and music and books, well, those are well-trod topics in this area.
And that devaluation isn’t just a tech issue, it’s a market issue. There is just vast amounts of content out there. And no amount of copyright protection is going to change that, either in the problem of policing that or in the problem of users’ attitudes toward it.
I feel like I use this outro too much in these posts, but it’s going to be interesting to see what happens.