Monday 13 March 2017

Kodi Live Stream Block Would Cost You Over £800


Kodi users are set to be blocked from watching illegal football streams.

A new court order gives the Premier League the means to block the servers that broadcast free live streams of matches online.

This will prevent those running Kodi-powered devices from tuning into the sport fixtures for free.

Before this week's ruling, rights-holders only had the ability to close individual streams, which could easily be restarted from a new server.

A spokesperson for Premier League said the new powers will allow the organisation to target pirates in a "precise manner".

"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," he told the BBC.

Instead of watching Premier League matches and other sport fixtures via illicit extensions for the Kodi software, fans are being urged to pay for a Sky Sports or BT Sport subscription.

That promises to be a pricey decision, especially for those who are used to streaming content with unlawful online streams.

New customers looking to subscribe to a set-top box service with both Sky Sports and BT Sport – to ensure you get access to every football game of the season – will have to cough-up some £899 a year.

That figure is based on a new customer looking to build a BT TV package with Infinity Broadband, Monthly Line Rental, BT Sport, Sky Sports in HD.

That works out at £74.99 a month.


For example, new Virgin TV customers can put together a bundle with the barebones Player TV package, Sky Sports (an additional £31.75 a month) in HD (an extra £7 a month) and BT Sport (another £18 a month) for a much cheaper rate than BT TV.

That works out at £61.75 a month, or some £741 a year.

However, unlike the above BT TV package, it does not include broadband or phone. Virgin TV does offer a bundle that includes both.

Dubbed The Full House Sports bundle, it includes a UK landline, 200 Mbps fibre broadband, all Sky Sports channels and BT Sport channels in HD for £75 a month for the first 12 months. After that, it increases to an eye-watering £106.50 a month.

Meanwhile, those who want to enjoy the football on Sky's latest satellite set-top box, Sky Q, will be looking at a monthly bill of some £49.50 per month. Or £72.49 a month, after you've added the £22.99 a month BT Sport package to your shopping basket.

There are a number of deals available for all of these platforms.

For example, Sky TV is currently offering a free 32-inch LG TV, Samsung Tab E, £100 Tesco voucher or £100 Prepaid MasterCard when you sign-up to select TV bundles.

BT Sport is also offering customers three free months at the start of their contract. It is also possible to watch fixtures on Sky Sports with a £6.99 daily pass via NOW TV, which does not require a rolling subscription, unlike the above options.

These deals and promotions change regularly, and all of the prices and offers listed were correct at the time of publication.

Kodi software has seen a huge surge of popularity in the last few months.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) branded the use of Kodi software to tune into pirated streams an "epidemic" last September.

Earlier this month, a man charged with selling set-top boxes preloaded with Kodi software and illicit extensions designed stream live broadcasts of sport matches, was charged £250,000.

Malcolm Mayes of Hartlepool, sold IPTV boxes – often colloquially referred to as Kodi boxes or Android boxes – that were modified to easily allow viewers to freely watch content that should otherwise be paid for.

Mr Mayes targeted pubs and clubs, where he sold the so-called Kodi boxes for £1,000 each. He also falsely claimed in national magazine adverts that the devices were "100% legal"

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 months in prison – suspended for one year – and ordered to pay costs of £170,000. A Proceeds of Crime Act order was also made against him for a further £80,000.

Following a growing number of complaints from right-holders and broadcasters about these Kodi-powered boxes, the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is holding a number of meetings to decide whether the law needs to be changed to tackle these devices.

Kodi is an open-source media player software that is available to install on a range of devices.

The software was previously known as XBMC, or Xbox Media Centre, since that was the only hardware is was designed to run on. But that has changed over the years, as the media player evolved, thanks to hundreds of coders across the globe tinkering with the software.

Since it first launched back in 2003, Kodi has been shaped by some 500 developers and 200 translators.

And now the open-source media player runs on a whole host of different devices. In fact, some estimates place 20 million devices in use in the UK at the moment.


In a nutshell, it turns any desktop computer, server, smartphone, tablet or set-top box into a media player able to stream files from the internet, your home network or local HDD storage.

Unlike the Apple TV, Google ChromeCast or others, the Kodi media player is not restricted by licensing agreements, or a curated app store.

That means Kodi users can download a plethora of community-built apps, that might not be approved under the guidelines that govern the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and others.

The Kodi software itself is perfectly legal, however, it does allow users to install illicit software extensions that allow viewers to access copyrighted material – uploaded, shared or streamed from other users across the globe.

Anyone with relevant information for the UK Intellectual Property Office is also welcome to participate in the consultation.

In a post about its consultation about Kodi Boxes, the IPO writes: “Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) boxes (also known as set-top boxes, Android TV boxes or Kodi boxes) are small plug and play media servers, originally designed to allow consumers to stream legitimate content (locally stored or legal online content).

“Despite the legitimate use of this equipment, software is widely available (illicit Kodi extensions being the best known) which connect the boxes to illegal content through streaming websites, file lockers and BitTorrent trackers.”

According to the UK Intellectual Property Office, the proliferation of devices with the required software preinstalled – sold at relatively low prices online – has triggered to a sharp increase in use from consumers.

This recent change has riled copyright owners and those whose business relies on the official, paid-for distribution of copyrighted content.

“Broadcasters and content owners have voiced concerns that, although a range of existing legislation applies to the sale and use of these devices (as well as the provision of illicit content streams), the legal framework does not provide sufficient tools to tackle this growing threat,” the IPO adds.



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