In response to my article on Rabbit TV, a reader wrote: “This is a great post. There are a lot of sites where you can watch the next day and it can be watched later without TiVo. One site is viptv.net you nave to fund your account but for $29.00 a month you have unlimited viewing and there are more at this site than many others. The only draw back is it is best to use Pay Pal because it is in China. You can get an account and fund it one time for $10.00 and use it to watch a lot of free shows.We buy a lot of things from China already and it is a shame we can not have something like this over here in the U.S. but Hollywood could not get rich.”
I’m about to hop up on my soapbox here and also give you some advice that can save you money and possibly getting your information stolen.
VIP TV is illegally running programs. The service is stealing programs without paying for them. That means the people who worked hard to make them are not getting their proper royalties, and that the rest of us who are legally purchasing the programs are paying more to make up for the thieves. It’s exactly the same as shoplifting. As someone who has worked in the media for more than 25 years, it really burns me when companies think it’s okay to steal other people’s work and profit from it. If you wouldn’t put a DVD in your pocket without paying for it, you shouldn’t partake of pirated programs.
VIP TV argues that it simply a recording facility and is just recording programs for you. But that’s not a legal argument that would fly in the USA, which is why it is based in China.
So, should the lawful copyright holders of these pirated programs ever happen to get their hands on the names of users of VIP TV, those users may have to pay up for the media they consumed. What you paid to VIP TV doesn’t count. They aren’t paying the program providers.
You should also be concerned for the safety of your information. You’re dealing with thieves. They have no trouble stealing other people’s work, what makes you think they wouldn’t steal from you? Sites that feature pirated programs frequently download malware onto PCs. It’s actually one of the leading ways that Malware gets onto computers.
Frankly, I’d rather see the people who work hard in Hollywood creating programming getting rich or at least getting paid for what they make that a bunch of people in China who stole their work making cash off it. And we do already have multiple service like this in the U.S., but the programming costs more because the providers are actually paying the people who make it.
I’ll step down off my soapbox now, but I will leave you with the warning that even if you don’t have moral issues with pirating programming, you might want to be concerned about your PC.