Cable TV came relatively late to Chicago and by the time it did, ways to steal service had been perfected elsewhere. Chicago kind of prides itself on a certain level of dishonesty and graft, so stealing cable was no big deal. The opportunity to do it was so easily built into the process, you could almost make the claim you didn’t even know you had done something wrong. Almost.
But with the Internet, taking without paying is at least as historical, most famously with Napster, but also with the early history of any intellectual product that thought you’d actually pay to receive it.
So when I read a short item on Streaming Media.com about “credential sharing,” it was not at all surprising. Ever since HBO Go began, it seems, scammers have used somebody else’s cable information to be able to stream HBO where they were. Usually, these scammers are college-aged. Usually “somebody else” is their parents.
Parks Associates has produced a new report that says 6% of all broadband-capable households make use of a video on demand service paid for by someone who doesn’t live there, and 20% of streaming video viewers between the ages of 18 to 24 do.
That costs the business $500 million this year alone, and, in case you wondered (though why would you?), the thieves do it to save money.
Read the entire story here.