Selling media players with pirate add-ons violates EU law, according to a recommendation from Advocate General Campos S31nchez-Bordona.He issued the advice in a landmark case over the legality of pre-loaded XBMC/Kodi devices, which are widely sold across Europe. Whether users of these players also liable depends on whether they know that the content is infringing. While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, there are lots of add-ons available that turn it into a pirate’s heaven.
In Europe, the European Court of Justice is currently handling a landmark case that should provide more clarity on the legality of set-top boxes that are sold with links to infringing content.
The issue was raised in a case between Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN and the Filmspeler.nl store, which sells piracy configured media players. While these devices don’t host any infringing content, they ship with add-ons that make it very easy to watch infringing content.
The Dutch District Court referred the case to the EU Court of Justice, and the Advocate General (AG) Campos S31nchez-Bordona issued his recommendation to the Court. The AG concluded that selling a media player with the knowledge that it links to infringing material, constitutes a communication to the public, which makes it copyright infringing.
Whether the users of these devices are also acting unlawfully is a different question. According to the AG it would be logical to conclude that, when offering devices with pirate add-ons is illegal, using them would be too:
In my opinion, if the key factor, in the case of a person who inserts a hyperlink without pursuing a profit, is knowledge  that the protected work is available on the internet unlawfully, it would be difficult not to extend that criterion to a person who merely makes use of that hyperlink, also without pursuing a profit.
The Advocate General’s advice is often crucial, but not binding. It is expected that the EU Court of Justice will issue its final verdict in this case early next year.