Kodi’s rise in popularity is nothing short of astonishing.
The TV player is thought to be in millions of homes across the UK with it offering easy access to thousands of hours of online content.
Kodi is not illegal and the team behind the service are proud of what they offer without breaking any rules.
However, over the past few years the platform has been hijacked by add-ons which allow users to stream premium content, such as sports and movies, without paying.
In recent months these add-ons have come under increasing pressure with many closing themselves down in fear of being fined.
One add-on called Navi-X recently conceded that it simply couldn’t continue to provide content.
Speaking about why it closed, the Navi-X team said: “Every good thing must come to an end.
“After ten years of successful operation, Navi-X has sadly being discontinued.
“The main reason why the decision was made to discontinue the Navi-X service is the current legal climate surrounding Kodi.”
A recent Twitter row saw Kodi blast a popular add-on service by tweeting, “Let’s hope tvaddons gets shut down regardless, cause they bring nothing but misery to everyone.”
And in another set of tweets, posted in the past few days, Kodi is even verablly attacking users who stream content illegally.
One user who tweeted Kodi, saying, “You’re an excellent pathway for pirate add-ons, keep up the good work,” got a kurt response.
Kodi replied with the shocking message, “And you’re an excellent example of why contraception should be more widely considered.”
And in another tweet, the TV player suggested that users who stream content illegally should “just b***** off and never come back.”
Some still question why, if Kodi is so against piracy, do they still allow add-ons to be compatible with their player.
But speaking in its defence, Kodi community and project manager, Nathan Betzen, said: ”Even though pirate streaming appears to be illegal in Europe, we still stand by our neutral policy,
“We are developers and not the police, and we have no interest in acting as police for our own software.
“Kodi will remain as free and as open as it always has. Feel free to continue using Kodi however you want.
“To us Kodi is and always will be just a tool, like a hammer, and how you choose to use that tool is up to you.”
However, the pressure on TV players such as Kodi continues to grow with a recent Premier League block disrupting thousands of illegal streams.
There has also been a steady stream of reports of individuals who have been arrested for selling these devices, however, FACT claims these are just the “tip of the iceberg”.
According to FACT, there are a number of large-scale operations currently in the early stages.
However, the organisation is unable to specify any other details at the moment. The crackdown on so-called Kodi Boxes in the UK is likely to carry severe penalties.
Back in April, the EU Court of Justice judgement in the Filmspeler case included confirmation that streaming by end users on illicit set-top boxes, like those powered by Kodi, constitutes an infringement of copyright.
The new Digital Economy Act, which came into effect in the UK on October 1st 2017, has extended criminal penalties for online copyright infringement to match those of physical copyright infringement – maximum sentences will increase from two years to 10 years.
Published at Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:12:00 +0000