Sunday 6 November 2016

Brits searching online for illegal Kodi streaming channels


Kodi is quickly becoming a popular way to find illegal streams of movies and sports presented with a friendly Netflix-style user interface.

According to the latest figures, a huge number of Brits are turning to the software to avoid having to fork out for costly packages from the likes of Sky Sports.

Digital platform security company Irdeto claims that more than 20 million people around the world are looking online for tutorials on how to get hold of these illegal streams - through apps known as "addons".

The company doesn't specify exactly how many are based in the UK - but admits its a large percentage.

In September, a trader on Teesside appeared in court after becoming the first person to be prosecuted for selling Android boxes with illegal Kodi apps pre-installed.

“Set-top boxes, Android devices and software media centres are becoming a staple of households across the UK," said Mark Mulready, senior director for cyber services and investigations at Irdeto .

"Whilst perfectly legal in their own right, there is a current trend for consumers to exploit these devices and illegally receive premium content, including movies, TV shows and sports channels which are protected by intellectual property rights – whether they realise the legalities of this or not.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people searching online for information on how to download this illegal software."

Mulready said the key to fighting this type of online piracy is strong investigation and enforcement capabilities.

"It's about more than just detecting that it's there," he said.

"For content owners, broadcasters and operators to protect their investments and brand reputation, it’s essential that they are able to identify the real person behind the online piracy and take necessary action.”

What is Kodi?

Simply put, Kodi is open-source software designed specifically with home entertainment in mind – and it's totally free.

Although it was originally created for the Microsoft Xbox and called Xbox Media Center (XBMC), the software has continued to evolve, spawning a community of its own.

Unlike services like Chromecast or Plex, Kodi is managed by the non-profit XBMC Foundation , but it's constantly being modified and upgraded by hundreds of coders around the world.

Since its creation in 2003, Kodi has been shaped by more than 500 software developers and more than 200 translators.

What does Kodi do?

Kodi essentially turns any computer, smartphone or tablet into a digital set-top box or streamer, giving users the ability to stream files from the internet.

Designed to run on computers and home servers connected to larger TVs, Kodi pulls content directly to your front room.

Is it legal?

The simple answer is yes. In its most basic form, Kodi is a piece of streaming software designed to display content on a range of devices, and that means it’s perfectly legal.

However, just like a browser, torrent client, or any other computing tool, it's possible to use Kodi for less cut-and-dry purposes.

Kodi's open-source nature means that it's possible to download a range of add-ons – and some of the software's most popular extensions do enter ambiguous territory.



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