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The Ease of Buying Pirate Streaming Devices & Legal Issues

The Ease of Buying Pirate Streaming Devices

In today’s digital landscape, obtaining a pirate streaming device with a built-in IPTV subscription is surprisingly straightforward.

These devices, which offer thousands of TV channels, pay-per-view events, video-on-demand, and even catch-up TV, are readily available through major online retailers like Amazon.

Devices such as Tanggula, vSeeBox, and Superbox are marketed with the convenience of next-day delivery, highlighting the ease of access for consumers.

However, a recent legal judgment in the United States has underscored the risks associated with selling such devices.

Two individuals, Marcelino Padilla and Danny Contreras, faced a significant financial penalty after being found guilty of selling these devices, resulting in a $1.25 million judgment against them.

Options for Purchasing Pirate Streaming Devices

Consumers looking to buy pirate streaming devices generally have three options:

  1. Buying a ‘Blank’ Android Device: This involves purchasing a generic Android device and navigating the complexities of finding and installing a pirate subscription. This method is fraught with risks, including the potential for scams.
  2. Devices with Embedded Subscriptions: Increasingly popular, these devices come pre-loaded with a subscription and can be bought from friends, acquaintances, or online sellers. This option is convenient and often marketed openly on social media platforms.
  3. Direct Purchases from Retailers: Major platforms like Amazon offer these devices, often with the allure of immediate availability and competitive pricing.

Pirate Streaming Devices Sold on Amazon

Legal Actions and Implications

A lawsuit filed by DISH Network and Sling TV in May targeted California residents Padilla and Contreras for selling pirate streaming devices on Facebook.

The lawsuit claimed that the defendants violated the DMCA by trafficking in illicit streaming services, with the devices providing illegally obtained content from legal streaming services.

The devices were sold under Padilla’s real name, with photos of large boxes of set-top boxes ready for sale, highlighting a blatant disregard for the legal risks involved.

Legal Actions and Implications
Image Source: TorrentFreak

This case is part of a broader trend where DISH and Sling TV have been pursuing legal action against individuals selling these types of devices, demanding damages under the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA.

Growing Popularity and Legal Risks

The demand for IPTV boxes like Tanggula, vSeeBox, and Superbox has been growing, driven by their one-time cost of approximately $350 and the promise of no monthly fees.

These devices are marketed with slogans like “Cut the cord forever,” appealing to consumers looking to avoid ongoing subscription fees associated with legitimate services.

Superbox Website
Superbox Website

The lawsuit against Padilla and Contreras specifically focused on the devices’ built-in subscriptions, which are a significant selling point.

The ease of setup and immediate access to a vast array of content make these devices attractive to consumers. However, the legal risks are substantial, as evidenced by the recent judgment.

Final Judgment and Financial Penalties

On July 5, 2024, the court found Padilla and Contreras liable for violations of the DMCA, with damages calculated at $2,500 per device sold. Padilla faced a total penalty of $1.25 million, highlighting the severe financial consequences of engaging in the sale of these devices.

While Contreras did not face financial penalties, the judgment and accompanying injunction suggest that those looking to buy pre-loaded set-top boxes in California will need to find alternative sources.

The Reality of ‘Lifetime’ Subscriptions

Despite their marketing, the ‘lifetime’ subscriptions offered with these devices are often misleading.


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A recent YouTube review revealed that similar devices, gifted for review purposes, were remotely disabled after the reviewer expressed concerns about network activity. This incident underscores the uncertainty and potential risks associated with relying on these subscriptions.


The ease of purchasing pirate streaming devices and the significant legal risks for sellers highlight a complex landscape for consumers and sellers alike.

While devices like Tanggula, vSeeBox, and Superbox offer convenient and cost-effective access to a wide range of content, the legal repercussions can be severe.

For more details on this story, refer to the report from TorrentFreak.

We want to know your thoughts on this story. What do you think about purchasing pirate streaming devices? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for MikeN MikeN says:

    Amazingly no action against the retail platforms - Facebook / Amazon

  2. Avatar for Miki Miki says:


  3. Avatar for AJS1 AJS1 says:

    Kind of reminds me of the guy who uses his own car as a getaway car a bank robbery.! LOL. :rofl::rofl::sunglasses:

  4. I remember that the ‘problem’ that the networks and local stations had was how the donated funds were being used claiming the the donations were in fact subscription fees.

    The ‘broadcast fees’ that subscription services pay are a major source of income for the corps that own the locals.

  5. There’s a local cell phone/computer repair shop that sells refurbed phones & computers and has been selling “jailbroken” firesticks for $70 for at least 6 years right out in the open.

    I guess the secret is to stay slightly under the radar and don’t get greedy.

  6. Avatar for AJS1 AJS1 says:

    This is kind of a strange case. Under dmca policy is usually for the media to notice them of a copyright infringement. This case these guys were selling products or devices so I don’t know how dmca would apply on this situation. Under dmca policy the individuals should have been noticed before action is taken.

  7. its only the sellers that are targeted going after end user would be a lifetimes work

  8. Avatar for Seesa Seesa says:

    Maybe these two people are illegals, and the cartells, and getting into a new business… you never know.
    china will ship to to mexico, and they get flashed by somsone making $10 a day… or China will do all the work.
    Sorry… I think outside the box… blame it on china…

  9. Avatar for Seesa Seesa says:

    People that had their sticks updated to block ADB, should mail them to this shop for a “flash” back to an older date… then block ANY updates from the Bezos machine.

  10. Who in their right mind would mail a Firestick to Mexico to get flashed? First off, Firesticks are barely average streaming devices. Second off, there are tons of device options as good or better out there now. And third, Amazon doesn’t want us (cord cutters), why do we want them?

  11. Avatar for AJS1 AJS1 says:

    I think he ment jailbroken.

  12. I think he meant to flash it to an older FireOS version, then try and block updates so that they work like they did a couple years back.

  13. Avatar for Miki Miki says:

    I lived in Mexico for 4 years. Taking an electronic device into any electronic repair shop there, is like taking a Ferrari to a bicycle repair shop, no guarantee you’ll ever get a working part, and certainly not an original manufacturer part, let alone programming without glitches.

  14. Avatar for AJS1 AJS1 says:

    You’re right my bad.

  15. Avatar for AJS1 AJS1 says:

    Yeah but what do you think your new Chevy came from! LOL. :rofl::sunglasses:

  16. I don’t believe that they really jailbreak them…I think that they just turn on developer options just like TP’s “jailbreaking” instructions.

  17. i agree it wouldnt be cost effective to really jailbreak also very risky

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