I had a question about a device called a Superbox. This device is an Android streaming box much like Roku, Chromecast, or even Amazon’s Fire TV, but there’s a big difference. With devices like Roku, you purchase the box, but you still must pay for subscriptions to premium services.
With the Superbox, you pay a one-time fee that promises to cover those services for a lifetime. The Superbox Pro S3 is priced at $329 and promises to deliver hundreds of channels, including pay services like HBO and Showtime and dozens of cable channels, including ESPN.
So, is it legal? Is the box itself legal? Yes, it’s legal to own an Android streaming box. However, that doesn’t mean its legal to show programming you don’t pay for. Even the company’s own site says, “SuperBox is a legal android device. We provide hardware. It is up to customers’ choices to install Apps.”
That means you’re the person choosing to install illegally hacked apps that show programs without paying for them, not them.
The site also says, “You won’t encounter a law issue unless uploading, downloading, or broadcasting content to a large group.” Well, maybe. Usually, companies won’t go after individuals for stuff like this, but that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way to shut it off or change their minds and start going after individuals.
How this service works is the company behind Superbox pays for a single subscription to these services and then redistributes the programming over their network without paying for them. Several major retailers have pulled this device from their websites and other companies that do the same thing have been shut down.
Now, should the company behind SuperBox get shut down, there goes all that programming you allegedly paid for when you bought the box, and you would not have any recourse because you’re doing something illegal.
The bottom line, even if you aren’t going to get arrested, you are stealing. It costs a lot of money to create and distribute programming, and as someone who creates content for a living and worked many years in the TV industry, I cannot condone that. I don’t want people pirating my books without paying for them, and I don’t support that happening to other content.
It costs a lot of money to create content and maintain the infrastructure necessary to bring you sports and entertainment programming, and the people who make it should be compensated. There are tons of free alternatives for content, if you don’t want the premium stuff. And just because something is expensive, is no excuse to steal it.