THE UK COPYRIGHT GUARDIAN, FACT, has released the results of a study into the use of piracy-enabled set top boxes and found that they are relatively popular on these shores with some one million of the illegal things sold in the last two years.
Of course, this is the exact opposite of what FACT would like to see. In an ideal world, it would have us all spending large amounts of money at the cinema or nipping down to Tower records, if it still existed, to buy a Best of Celine Dion CD. Unfortunately for FACT this is not what people are doing.
It's report (PDF), compiled with the assistance of PIPCU, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, finds that people prefer piracy over premium-priced popcorn and that their insistence on buying dodgy boxes is really putting them at risk.
"This report has come at a crucial time in our fight against digital piracy. A quarter of Brits access digital material illegally, and often don't realise the risks associated with that, for them and their families," said Kieron Sharp, Director General at FACT.
"Pirates are not Robin Hood characters; they are criminals who do it to make money through illicit means. As a result, the risks are high - inappropriate advertising that could be seen by young children, electrical safety associated with counterfeit parts, and financial cyber crime."
FACT would say that though. People have presumably turned to piracy as a means to access premium content like football games, for example, or the Expendables 3 on the cheap. FACT has identified some issues that may have also contributed to the popularity.
Kodi won't like this, but the availability of piracy tools for its gear is an issue, as is streaming on Facebook and Twitter.
"While it may be tempting for people to think they are getting a bargain when streaming illegally, it's important to remember that there are organised criminals behind it, often associated with other serious crimes," added DCI Pete Ratcliffe, head of PIPCU.
"Pirating content is not a petty crime; from release groups, to site operators to set-top box wholesalers and distributers, there is an international criminal business model." µ
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