Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Reminder: It’s Really Easy to Pirate TV. Even Live Sports.

Fred Wilson wanted to watch the Knicks game on TV last night. But because of a cable company pissing match, he couldn’t.

But here’s a picture of the Union Square Ventures partner watching the New York-Toronto game on his big screen, after all. He was able to get a feed of the game from a pirate aggregator called atdhe, he explained on Twitter. “Worked great for me. #screwcable”

The fact that it’s easy to get pirated TV, delivered over the Internet, isn’t new. It’s certainly not a revelation for Wilson, one of tech’s most prominent and successful venture capitalists, or his 199,000 Twitter followers.

Still, it’s always worth pointing out just how easy it has become. It’s particularly important when it comes to live sports, because that’s supposed to be the one thing that keeps everyone — or many people, at least — paying (a lot) for cable.

I’d be surprised if the Knicks game looked very good on Wilson’s Panasonic — when I tried it on my MacBook, it was pretty blurry.

But it’s better than nothing, which is your only alternative if you’re a Time Warner Cable subscriber in New York City right now (the NBA’s League Pass subscription service, which is supposed to give you access to every game in the league, has a regional blackout).

It’s also worth noting that while Wilson is directing his anger at the cable guys, who are easy and deserving targets, the NBA itself is a supporter of ProtectIP and SOPA, which are designed to make sites like atdhe harder to search for on Google, Twitter, etc.

I’m quite sure that Wilson would say he’s not advocating piracy, but simply trying to access something he’s already paying for (or in other cases, grabbing something he isn’t allowed to buy for unfathomable reasons).

Still, I can imagine a Big Media lobbyist using Wilson’s tweets (or, I suppose, this post) to help explain why the legislation should pass. And I’m certain that’s not what Wilson was aiming for.

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First the NSA came for, well, jeez pretty much everybody’s data at this point, and I said nothing because wait how does this joke work

— Parker Higgins via Twitter