Feb 28 2017
Kodi is a free media player that can run on a computer, smartphone, tablet or set-top box, allowing users to stream films and TV programmes over the internet.
Sales of Kodi boxes have really taken off in the UK and around the globe, with large numbers using the devices to watch premium pay-TV channels, live sports and films without having to take out costly subscription packages.
However, with the news that some people have been arrested for selling “fully loaded” Kodi boxes, many people are asking whether they could get in trouble for owning a Kodi box.
That said, it is a bit more complicated, neither Kodi boxes or the Kodi software are in them selves themselves illegal, though they can enable users to illegally stream content to their TV.
Kodi is legally available from both Google Play and the Windows Store. It can become illegal when certain ‘sources’ or ‘repositories’ are added, these can give access to illegal content such as pay-TV channels or films.
Selling these “fully loaded” TV set-top devices is in the UK is a breach of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 and sellers may also be breaking the Fraud Act, and be charged with Money Laundering offences, according to FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).
In a ruling in 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that internet users who look at copyrighted material online are not breaking the law by doing so, citing Article 5.1 of the EU Copyright Directive.
The latest crackdown by FACT, Greater Manchester Police, City of London Police and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is targeting those involved in the sale and distribution of these illegal “fully loaded” devices.
FACT’s priority is to “disrupt and combat individuals manufacturing, importing, selling and re-selling these illegal devices”.
While the end user is not a target, they could get swept up in one of FACT’s operations, and could become part of the whole criminal investigation, the organisation said.
For more information on FACT see: www.fact-uk.org.uk
For more information on Kodi see: https://kodi.tv