Roku streaming stick
@virginmedia An unknown Roku streaming stick is on my network and I can't access my router settings to block them…should I be worried?
— Joel Murray (@joelmurray) February 8, 2015
Interesting one this. A Roku streaming stick has to be plugged into your TV. It’s a bit like a Chromecast but different. One assumes that Joel knows that he hasn’t got a Roku streaming stick plugged into his TV. It must therefore be plugged into somebody’s else’s TV hanging off Joel’s network.
This does bring up the issue of wifi network security and the fact that other people may be making use of others’ broadband bandwidth. Who hasn’t had a look at their wifi settings when in a strange place to see if there are any open networks there. There often are, at least in public places.
This issue to me is further highlighted by the fact that we are coming up to the next general election. At this time 5 years ago the Digital Economy Act was rushed through just before the election. One of the many points landed on the deaf ears of government by protesting voices at the time was the very fact that it was difficult to prove who was actually doing the downloading/copyright infringement. The rogue Roku of our introductory Tweet reinforces this. The DEAct has still not properly been enacted.
The issues that rights holders where highlighting in pushing for the Digital Economy Act have of course not gone away. I was talking yesterday to a 21 year old recent graduate about where he got his music from. He said it was all downloaded free of charge from online sources. This was despite the fact that his broadband provider Virgin Media has a block on access to specific sites associated with this activity. He said that that none of the people that he knew ie 18-25 demographic, paid for their music.
The blocking orders imposed by the courts on ISPs are not working. I did ask him about proxies and he was very familiar with the technology. He was very familiar with proxies and had used them. However many were also blocked by ISPs but because sites such as Pirate Bay morph very quickly into similar sites and the kids know how to follow them they never have a problem accessing music.
I asked him what he thought about the fact that if nobody paid for them there would come a time where there would no longer be any record labels. His answer was that bands seem nowadays to make more out of their live shows than they do the out of selling music.
Whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of the situation, it is what it is. I have a Spotify Premium account. It’s a great service. For the 21 year old concerned £10 a month is actually quite a lot of money. Rob, the trefor.net developer, is a little older at 24. Rob has Spotify Premium. Rob also pays £6 a month for Netflix and doesn’t see why at £10 the music service is more expensive. He has a point maybe.
Now I’m not here to defend anyone’s business model, have a go any ones business model or anything else to do with business models other than to say that business models do change. Clearly the music industry is in the middle of a period of change that they’ve been struggling to come to grips with. Whether this is to do with legacy deals, royalties payable or cost base who knows.
We do hear of bands withdrawing their music from Spotify because the live streaming service doesn’t pay enough for the privilege of carrying their stuff. One wonders what proportion of Spotify’s royalties actually go to the band as opposed to the record label. I took a look at SpotifyArtists but it was either too complicated for my small brain to get around or it just wasn’t obvious.
We ain’t going to solve an industry’s problems in this blog post but I can only say that the efforts and the money spent on fighting online copyright infringement don’t seem to be working, at least based on my own local evidence.
PS I’d never heard of the Roku Streaming Stick before I came across this tweet. I’d get one and do a review except I already have a Chromecast in the port the Roku would use and the kids use it a fair bit.