GitHub takes down MediaBox HD APK, but the app is still available elsewhere

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The Motion Picture Association asked Microsoft’s GitHub, an open source software community used for software distribution and version control, to take down an Android software package (APK) that enables consumers to access to MediaBox HD, an infringing streaming site.

Image source: Screen-shot of GitHub on 2020-1203
Image source: Screen-shot of GitHub on 2020-1203

However, while GitHub has complied with the MPA’s takedown request, as of December 3rd 2020, the APK was still available for download directly via the MediaBox HD Web site, along with installation instructions.

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A download page for an equivalent iOS version of the MediaBox HD app also exists, but its download links are broken.

In addition, consumers can access MediaBox HD as a Web site.

Read the MPA complaint

Why it matters

Sites like MediaBox HD can exist by taking advantage of an outdated aspect of copyright law.  Current law applies only to public performances, and streaming is interpreted as private performance because streaming is delivered to individual devices via unicast.   Even cases against progressive download have not won in court.

When apps are made unavailable by app distributors, pirates lose an important channel of distribution.

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