Kodi users are being warned of a major new crackdown that could see heavy fines awarded. Research has suggested that Kodi – which offers access to thousands of channels – is being used in more than five million UK homes. Kodi software is not illegal, but unaffiliated developers can produce third-party add-ons that provide free access to pirated and illegal content. These apps allow users to stream premium content, like paid-for sports, movie channels and TV shows for free.
These illegal add-ons have been targeted by ISPs, government agencies, broadcasters and rights holders.
And as the ongoing piracy crackdown rages on Kodi add-on fans have been put on alert about a new fine threat.
Fines in excess of £100,000 could be dished out as authorities look to clamp down on the use of third-party boxes that help to enable piracy.
These boxes tend to be powered by Android or Kodi software, but are made by third-parties not affiliated with or endorsed by either Android or Kodi.
These ‘fully loaded boxes’ come with all the apps you need to access pirated content.
However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US are looking to clamp down on the use of these illicit boxes in the US.
This is because, according to the FCC, many of these devices do not meet the safety, health and environment standards they require.
In an Enforcement Advisory from the FCC this week they advised that these devices carry the risk of huge fines.
As reported on in a post by TorrentFreak, the FCC said: “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has observed an increase in the marketing of Video TV Set-Top Boxes, designed to stream Internet-based content, that do not comply with FCC equipment marketing requirements.
“Anyone marketing or operating noncompliant devices should stop immediately.
“Violators may be subject to substantial monetary penalties that could total more than $147,000 per violation.”
As TF pointed out, “many thousands” or “potentially millions” of people in the US may have obtained streaming devices from non-certified sources.
Even if they’re using these boxes for legal purposes, the devices being non-compliant means it would be breaking the law in the States.
It remains to be seen whether such devices remain popular now that the EU has passed Article 13.
The controversial section of the Copyright Directive could lead to upload filters being added to sites which allow users to upload content.
Having upload filters in place would likely severely limit the amount of illicit streams of copyrighted content that gets uploaded onto the internet.