Let’s get a few things out of the way real quick. Owning a Kodi box is not illegal. Streaming your own purchased content to a Kodi box is not illegal. Selling or installing a Kodi box is not illegal. Streaming pirated content to a Kodi box, however, is now illegal in the European Union. Kodi boxes have become popular, even breaking into the mainstream non-techie realm due to the ability to pull content from across the internet.
Kodi started its life out as XBMC (Xbox Media Center) whose goal was to make the Xbox a whole entertainment system. XBMC was pretty popular with the tech and tinkering crowd but never really caught on with the public. The XBMC project has since morphed into Kodi and has become even more user-friendly and easy to use. Kodi itself is nothing more than software that manages your local and online content. It provides a nice user interface which has the look and feel of popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
You can use Kodi to access your local content or access services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and all of the normal streaming services. Let’s face it though, everyone knows by now, Kodi also allows you to access other streaming options. The streaming options I speak of are generally sources that host and stream loads of illegally gotten content. Out of the box, a Kodi box doesn’t work with these sources, the user must set those sources up themselves. Kodi even puts a disclaimer on their software.
- Kodi does not supply or include any media or content.
- Users must provide their own content or install one of the third-party plug-ins
- Kodi has no affiliation with any third-part plug-in or add-on provider what so ever.
- We do not endorse the streaming of copyright-protected material without permission of the copyright holder.
Here in the United States and abroad, it’s become a business for some buying and setting up Kodi boxes then reselling them for a profit already setup. As we’ve already said, streaming your own content or purchased content to Kodi is not illegal, but it’s always been a gray area when streaming from third-party sources. Following the recent crackdown in the UK on those selling “fully-loaded” Kodi boxes, a court in the EU has now ruled that streaming copyrighted content from third-party sources is illegal.
The argument has always been that streaming copyrighted material isn’t illegal because one isn’t storing that material on their own drives. The EU ruling is making that area far less gray with this new ruling.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has categorically ruled that the temporary reproduction of copyright-protected work – without the consent of the rights holder – cannot be deemed as exempt from “right of reproduction”.
In some case, it is perfectly legal to temporarily reproduce a copyrighted work.
Although this is technically what a stream is doing, the EU court has ruled that piracy-friendly boxes do not meet the requirements for this exemption since their temporary transmissions hurt the copyright holder.
The ruling states, “The Court also finds that temporary acts of reproduction, on that multimedia player, of a copyright protected work obtained by streaming on a website belonging to a third party offering that work without the consent of the copyright holder, cannot be exempted from the right of reproduction.”
It adds: “Furthermore, acts of temporary reproduction, on the multimedia player in question, of copyright-protected works adversely affects the normal exploitation of those works and causes unreasonable prejudice to the legitimate interests of the copyright holders because it usually results in a diminution of the lawful transactions relating to those protected works.”
There you have it. The EU is making it much harder for one to want to use a Kodi box for fear of being prosecuted. Of course, there are ways to use the Kodi software to stream from third-party providers and keep your IP safe byinstalling a VPN. Using a VPN (virtual private network) service is useful to block your IP address but we also know ISP’s are on the lookout for users who utilize these services. It will be interesting to see how effective this EU ruling is and how many Kodi users actually stop streaming from illegal third-party sources.