Using ShowBox (and similar apps) can result in lawsuit
Update (December 05):
ShowBox is reportedly down (not working) again. More info here.
Update (December 04):
We’re seeing reports that the ShowBox app is back up and running fine. Yes, it’s working again. More info here.
Update (December 03):
Want to know how you can check if a Moviebox or ShowBox replacement/alternative is safe? Head here.
Original story follows:
This past week was quite a stormy one for users of apps like ShowBox and MovieBox. While the latter has reportedly been officially shut down, the former service has not been working at all for days now with no official word from those behind the app, leading to speculations that developers might have shut it down as well.
There’s a lot of brouhaha over Android-based ShowBox’s current situation, presumably because it has more users (in hundreds of thousands, if not millions) than its iOS counterpart MovieBox. And it’s easier to miss the bigger picture in the ongoing scenario.
Currently, users are either hoping and waiting for ShowBox to be back to normal, or are looking for its alternatives. I personally think both these things should be avoided, and it’s for your own good. To make you understand the reason, let’s discuss what’s been silently happening with ShowBox and the team behind it for months now.
Before we begin, for those who are new to all this, ShowBox is an app that lets you stream movies and TV shows in a very easy way. Think of it as Netflix, except that it might not be completely (or always) legal as Netflix. Reason being, ShowBox streams through torrents and direct sources.
ShowBox’s legal troubles
If we talk about the year 2018, it all started back in May this year, when a report brought to light that a bunch of movie studios – including Dallas Buyers Club, Cobbler Nevada, and Bodyguard Productions – filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the founder as well distributors of ShowBox.
Distributors are basically the websites (yes there are more than one) that let you download and install the ShowBox apk. The lawsuit named distributors like showboxappdownload.co, Showboxappdownload.com, and Showbox.en.uptodown.com/android. In addition, it also target the person who uploaded the ShowBox apk to popular apk repository Rawapk.
The lawsuit also even included inputs from a regular ShowBox user (like you and many others) who said the language on the website (from which they downloaded ShowBox) made them believe the app can be used to legally watch free movies.
Then, a few months later, it came to light that Cloudflare, an extremely popular CDN and DDoS protection services provider, was legally compelled to hand over details of people behind some ShowBox distributors that were not named in the original lawsuit.
While there’s no information on whether or not Cloufare handed over the requested information to movie studios (there’s no reason to believe it did not, though), the latest development in this case came just over a week ago when it was reported that ShowBox distributors have settled the lawsuit with movie studios.
Although terms of the settlement remain unknown at the moment, one change is clearly visible: the websites promoting the app/service have started showing a blunt warning that ShowBox isn’t something users can trust when it comes to copyright protected movies/media.
Following is a screenshot showing exactly what one of these websites now says:
So you see, users are now being explicitly warned that if you use ShowBox to view copyright protected content, movie studios may slap a lawsuit against them as well.
While we aren’t sure if it’s related, it’ hard to ignore the fact that just a few days after this development came to light, ShowBox stopped working for users.
Should you use ShowBox (or other similar apps)?
ShowBox isn’t working at all at the moment and there are high chances it may have been shut down. But even if the service manages to rise back from the ashes, it is in your own interest not to use it now. Although large corporations going after individual users is rare, keep in mind that it’s not that it’s completely unheard of.
Now for those who are opting for alternatives, the trend suggests any such app that gets very popular becomes the target of lawsuits. So even if you move on and settle for any of the other apps like ShowBox, there are good chances it will also eventually shut down and expose you to the companies who hold copyrights to the content you view through the app.
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