Kodi Crackdown in USA, UK, Canada, and Australia? You’ve probably heard a lot of news about authorities cracking down on Android TV box sellers and unofficial Kodi addon developers in the last couple of months. Should you be worried or is it all simply a case of scaremongering? In this article, we’ll take a look at major events surrounding the use of ‘illegal’ Kodi addons. We’ll also update the article whenever new major legal issues related to the use of Kodi emerge.
Before we dwell into all the incident where we must point out that Kodi as an app is complete legal. You are not breaking any law by downloading and installing the Kodi app. However, as with the uTorrent app for example, you can potentially access ‘pirated’ material via Kodi. The Kodi app itself is not affiliated with third-party addons that faciliate the access to pirated movies, TV shows, or live streams.
News emerged that indicate the UK Intellectual Property office has launched a Kodi box consultation under pressure from right-holders and broadcasters. The aim seems to be to tighten legislations and tweaking copyright laws that not only target Kodi box sellers but also end users.
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards in the UK, stated that he “would also warn any person or business selling or operating such a device (Kodi boxes) that they are in breach of copyright law. National Trading Standards will continue to protect legitimate business and pursue those who breach copyright in this way.”
The ECJ, aka European Court of Justice, ruled that “copyright-protected work obtained by streaming from a website belonging to a third party offering that work without the consent of the copyright holder” does not benefit from an exemption of the laws governing the distribution of copyright content. In other words, streaming pirated content using illicit addons is now just as illegal in the EU as downloading copyrighted material.
Amazon and Ebay officially ban the selling of Android TV boxes on its website. Amazon even threatened to suspend the accounts of anyone who attempts to sell “fully loaded” Android TV Boxes.
Facebook updated their their Commerce Policy to prohibit the sale of Android TV Boxes. “Sale of the following is prohibited on Facebook: Products or items that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media.” the page reads.
Phoenix, an extremely popular Kodi addon shuts down. Its developer claimed that “In light of current events we have decided to close down Phoenix.”
The TVAddons website mysteriously goes offline. TVAddons is home of Fusion repositories. Without warning, the site went offline and never recovered. Lots of speculations was made but nobody truly knows the real reason to-date.
FACT, UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft, claims that Kodi users who utilize unofficial Kodi addons to stream pirated movies, TV shows, and live streams will soon be targeted with copyright infringement notices.
3 domains previously operated by defunct Kodi addons site TVAddons have been transferred to a Canadian anti-privacy law firm. Anybody who controls these domains could possibly do whatever they wanted to vulnerable former TVAddons users.
TVAddons appears back online albeit under a new domain. Several Canadian companies are suing TVAddons for the alleged unlawful distribution of Kodi software addons
Many third-party Kodi addon developers call it quits after receiving legal threats from Hollywood studios. As a result, popular unofficial Kodi plugins such as Covenant, Bennu, and Pro Sport stop working.
Third-party repositories such as Colossus, Ares Wizard, and Smash repo also go offline.
Kodi Crackdown – What Can You Do?
As evident from the timeline above, Illegal or pirated Kodi add-ons have been getting lots of bad publicity in the last couple of months. Copyright trolls in the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia have been cracking down on such add-ons. It is always advised to encrypt your traffic and hide your IP address whenever you go online. By using a virtual private network, you can browse the web anonymously. All you have to do is download and install a VPN app and then connect to a VPN server. Once done, your IP address is hidden and you get to take advantage of the following features.
Unblock Geo-restricted Kodi Add-ons: There are a lot of Kodi addons that you can only use in certain regions. With VPN you can bypass regional restrictions.
Bypass ISP Throttling: Ever noticed that your Internet speed is decent if you are browsing websites but suddenly drops when you are watching videos online? If that is the case, your ISP is probably throttling your Internet speed. Using VPN basically allows you to avoid that from happening.
Ultimate Privacy: Add an extra layer of privacy and security to all your online activities.
VPN Applications: You don’t have to be a tech-freak to setup a VPN connection thanks to user-friendly VPN apps on PC, Mac, Android, iOS, and FireStick.
From personal experience,ExpressVPN is the best VPN service you can use with Kodi. They have optimized their VPN apps to work better with Kodi add-ons and have a no-logs policy. Check out our reviewed list of the best Kodi VPNs in 2017 below.
Whether Kodi end-users will be the next target of the Kodi crackdown is yet to be seen. Some unofficial add-ons, like Quasar and Kodi Popcorn Time, are P2P based. So tracking people who use them would not be that difficult. FACT also claim they have a list of names that includes people who purchased Android Boxes pre-loaded with third-party addons. Time will tell if they are serious with their threats or not.
Streaming gadgets geek. Interested in every little thing there is to know about bypassing regional restrictions. An avid believer in the right to protect online privacy. Charles has also reviewed plenty of VPN service providers and knows how to separate the good apples from the bad ones.