It could soon get much harder to purchase a Kodi box.
A newly formed coalition of entertainment organizations is set to tackle pirate streaming devices and apps.
They’ve grown increasingly popular in the UK, as they allow users to watch films, TV shows and live sports for free, with minimal effort.
The Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) will target criminal activities in Asia, where so-called Kodi boxes are often made and imported – in large volume – from.
A number of sellers have been caught doing this, including Scott Aldridge and Daniel David Brown, who made thousands importing devices from China and selling them in the UK. Aldridge allegedly made £19,200 doing this, while Brown reportedly made £371,000.
“Historically, individuals and organized gangs have added illegal apps and add-ons onto the boxes once they have been imported, to allow illegal access to premium channels. However more recently, more boxes are coming into the UK complete with illegal access to copyrighted content via apps and add-ons already installed,” explained a piracy report released last month.
Kodi boxes – often also known as “fully loaded” Kodi boxes – have nothing to do with Kodi, which is legal software.
The devices are, however, pre-loaded with the open-source software and a number of third-party add-ons that enable users to illegally access copyrighted content.
Though you can download Kodi to your devices and find and install add-ons yourself, the process isn’t completely straightforward.
If the CAP manages to successfully disrupt operations and channels across Asia, repercussions could be felt in the UK.
“This is a highly organized transnational crime with criminal syndicates profiting enormously at the expense of consumers as well as content creators,” said Neil Gane, the coalition’s general manager, reports iWorld.
According to TorrentFreak, the coalition is backed by CASBAA, Disney, Fox, HBO Asia, NBCUniversal, Premier League, Turner Asia-Pacific, A&E Networks, Astro, BBC Worldwide, National Basketball Association, TV5MONDE and Viacom International.