How an Atlanta Power Couple’s Business Heightened Hollywood, Silicon Valley Piracy Anxieties (L.A. Times)


Jeffrey and Carrla Goldstein seem to have all the makings of a power couple from a reality TV show.

They host events for local religious groups at their tony mansion outside Atlanta, complete with a bowling alley and a mural of themselves posing with celebrities. A local news publication once referred to them as their community’s “Brad and Angelina,” and their twin children were reportedly featured on the TV show “Teen Cribs.”

But the pair’s ostentatious lifestyle has another side: A lawsuit accuses their company, TickBox TV, of being one of the most prominent and fastest-growing facilitators of online piracy. TickBox TV sells set-top boxes that promise free streaming of movies and television shows.

Piracy has long been a scourge of Hollywood, but the emerging technology sold by the Goldsteins has heightened anxieties about the industry’s vulnerability to copyright theft.

TickBox represents a new and growing type of copyright theft that uses streaming devices and apps to make piracy as easy and normal-seeming as watching movies through Apple TV or Roku. The devices, which are listed at about $150, come with instructions to load software “add-ons” created by third-party developers that allow users to stream video from the web for free.