An android tv box is a set-top box, streamer, or just a media box that helps you transform your regular TV into an android enabled smart device. Meaning, once you connect this box to your television, you can stream any content with an internet connection. Your tv becomes android friendly, after which you can install multiple apps like YouTube and Netflix and watch media on a bigger screen. Isn’t that great?
Is the Android TV Box Legal?
As easy as all of it sounds, there is a lot of confusion regarding IPTV technology. Addressing the elephant in the room, let’s find out whether an android TV box is legal?
Buying an android tv box isn’t illegal per se. You can purchase and own any such media box without any apprehension of illegality. The question of unlawfulness comes to the picture when your set-top box is installed with unauthorized software: the software obtained without the approval of the inventor/creator company. Software piracy is a leading cybercrime in some of the most developed countries as well, and the same when done through any device, be it your PC, smartphone, or android tv box, constitutes an illegal act.
To put it simply, the act of purchasing or selling the hardware, i.e., the device box, is not at all illegal. You are safe if you use the media streamer to watch your self-made videos, purchased version of the software, and streaming platforms. However, if there is pre-installed software that is pirated or illegal services being used via the set-top box, you could get in trouble.
Some Known Problems of Android TV Box Legality
When we talk about the legality of android tv boxes, numerous aspects have to be enquired thoroughly to reach a rigid answer. Since many people have queries related to this matter, we would like to clear some air here.
As stated earlier, buying and selling the streaming box isn’t illegal. The point of illegality emerges at some juncture of usage. So how can one determine which acts are legal and which are against laws? Let’s deal with some known problems of Android TV Box Legality in this section:
Set-Top Boxes Modification:
Modifying an android tv box to obtain channels that are only permissible on paid subscriptions is illegal. Retailers or individual owners usually commit such acts.
Paying Additional Amount While the Purchase:
Always remember, if your set-top box seller is asking you for an extra amount for any app subscriptions, it implies that he has installed some copyright-protected software to your media box. Stay away from such a purchase.
3rd Party Add-ons:
An android tv box comes with a lot of pre-loaded apps. All you have to be mindful about is that the use of these apps must not violate anyone’s copyright. Your seller will ask for extra fees other than the cost of the streaming box for 3rd party add-ons. Paying fees for any such add-ons is illegal, so is selling of android tv boxes incorporated with these add-ons.
Liability on User and Seller:
As a seller, you would be held responsible for selling a set-top box that is pre-installed with pirated software or services. Software piracy has become so common today that it is practiced by many individuals knowingly, who sometimes don’t even realize that it’s a crime. Such a user generally doesn’t get punishable but would be made liable for criminal wrong if caught on any occasion.
Position of Legality in Some of the Developed Countries:
When we say buying and owning an android tv box is legal, it’s not just an understanding we derive from laws, but we can find some of the biggest media companies practicing it. For example, Apple, Google, and Amazon are among the prominent industry giants that have spread their legs in the manufacturing and marketing of streaming devices. Watching these companies market set-top boxes without any issue, the lawfulness could automatically be ascertained.
Is it OK to use Android TV Boxes?
Using Android TV boxes for regular streaming is perfectly fine. In countries where the technology has not advanced to its best and is still finding its place in ordinary households, the crime of illegal use of android tv boxes doesn’t necessarily lead to severe consequences. In most of the cases, involved individuals aren’t caught in the first place. However, in developed countries like the US and UK, a perpetrator is sentenced to hefty fines and subject to the authority’s decisions.