Amazon and eBay Asked By The FCC To Stop Selling Fake Pay-TV Boxes

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated August 17, 2021

The Federal Communications Commission has asked eBay and Amazon to remove all listings of fake pay-TV boxes and prevent any sellers from making new listings of such products. The streaming boxes often come with piracy enabled features and fake FCC logos, making them tools of perpetuating consumer fraud, copyright infringement, and intellectual property theft.

With piracy enabled media streaming boxes becoming cheaper than ever, consumers are moving away from cable TV options. Piracy enabled pay TV options are available in abundance on eBay and Amazon. These boxes are capable of allowing users illegal access to the same pool of content as legit subscription-based TV services. Using fake pay-TV boxes is more convenient than using pirate websites to manually download TV shows and movies.

Hacked Amazon Fire Stick

Image Courtesy of Kodi Fire Stick

These boxes often use Kodi as the primary platform for allowing access to content that infringes copyrights. Kodi by itself is not illegal by any means. However, Kodi supports third-party add-ons which can enable users to get access to TV content illegally for free. Kodi’s open source nature and its large community of developers who actively make add-ons to enable pirated content make it almost impossible to keep piracy in check.

Piracy enabled set-top box sellers are being taken to court all over the world, but the easy access to streaming boxes on platforms like eBay and Amazon makes it hard to contain their sales. The FCC sent out a letter to the eBay and Amazon CEOs, asking them to shut down sales of fake pay-TV boxes.

Amazon and eBay have already been trying to stop sales of pirate TV boxes, but sellers often identify the workarounds and put up their listings on the e-commerce websites over and over again. The FCC has asked both e-commerce platforms to be stricter against such sellers and prevent sales of pirate TV boxes.

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