Is Kodi Illegal? UK Court Slams Kodi Boxes, Sides with Copyright Owners
Is Kodi Illegal?
On March 18th 2017, a UK court deemed fully loaded Kodi boxes illegal in the UK based on incidents of massive copyright infringement. The controversy kicked off when Malcolm Mayes of Hartlepool was discovered selling fully loaded Kodi boxes for £1000 each, also claiming that the boxes were “100% legal”. Mayes was sentenced to 10 months in prison and was hit by a £250,000.
The courts intervened after official copyright holders of the English Premier League claimed that these fully loaded Kodi boxes allowed FREE viewing of all Premier League matches. The court ruled in favor of copyright holders allowing them to ban all servers that are used to deliver the IPTV streaming of EPL matches.
Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media andBT Infinity will all place exclusive geo-restrictions over servers that will stream EPL matches in the UK for free over the Kodi media player. Selling fully loaded Kodi boxes will be illegal while owning and will fetch a fat penalty at the discretion of the courts. A Premier League spokesperson commented that EPL pirates will be targeted in a “precise manner”, also establishing that.
“… For the first time this will enable the Premier League to disrupt and prevent the illegal streaming of our matches via IPTV, so-called Kodi, boxes…”
The gargantuan cost of signing up to a single EPL season, according to a fan signing up using BT Infinity,came down to £899. Virgin TV customers can sign upto either SkySports or BTSport as an add-on, but the cost still hits £741 per year.
Since Kodi is an open source software and follows the rules of the General Public License (GPL). This allows developers and users of the software to do as they like even with the fully loaded boxes. This was Kodi Product Manager Nathan Betzen’s statement to Torrent Freak back in 2016. With over 20 million Kodi users already in the UK, it’s going to be a tough fight for copyright holders to upset so many people who cannot afford their ridiculously priced subscriptions.
Legal consultation over the use and sale of Kodi boxes will finish on the 7th of April 2017, after which a proper decision will be taken.