Posts Tagged ‘Kodi’

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Raynic X The Premier League has secured a court order to help tackle rights-infringing video streams of football matches via Kodi set-top boxes. The order gives the league the means to have computer servers used to power the streams blocked.Until now, it could only go after individual video streams which were relatively easy to re-establish at different links.

There have been several arrests of people selling set-top boxes pre-installed with both Kodi software and additional third-party add-ons that make it possible to watch copyright-infringing film and TV streams.

According to a recent survey commissioned by the security firm Irdeto, Kodi boxes are particularly prevalent in the UK.

It reported that 11% of Brits that admitted to watching pirated streams in a survey said they did so via a Kodi box. Doing so is not thought to be illegal. Derbyshire County Council trading standards officers recently explained:

Accessing premium paid-for content without a subscription is considered by the industry as unlawful access, although streaming something online, rather than downloading a file, is likely to be exempt from copyright laws,

That might seem a surprising position for an enforcement department to take, but support for it comes from an authoritative quarter. The European Commission doesn’t believe that consumers who watch pirate streams are infringing. From the user’s perspective they equate streaming to watching, which is legitimate. The European Commission gave its view during the hearing of an important case currently before Europe’s highest court involving the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, which wrote in its summary of the hearing:

The case concerns the sale of a mediaplayer on which the trader has loaded add-ons that link to evidently illegal websites that link to content. For a user such a player is plug & play . This king of pre-programmed player usually are offered with slogans like never pay again for the newest films and series and completely legal, downloading from illegal sources is prohibited but streaming is allowed . In summary the pre-judicial questions concern whether the seller of such a mediaplayer infringes copyright and whether streaming from an illegal source is legitimate use.

It has also been reported that the UK government is considering new laws against streaming pirated content, but discussions are at an early stage

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kodi fully loadedSelling 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 [206] 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.

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European Court of Justice The European Court of Justice has heard a crucial case that will give more clarity on the infringing nature of unauthorized streaming. Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN and the Spanish authorities argued that offering or watching pirate streams is a violation of the EU Copyright Directive. However, the European Commission believes that consumers who watch unauthorized streams are not breaking the law.

Unlike traditional forms of downloading, however, in many countries the legality of viewing unauthorized streams remains unclear. In the European Union this may change in the near future. This week the European Court of Justice held a hearing during which it reviewed several questions related to pirate streaming.

The questions were 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 previously referred the case to the EU Court of Justice, where several questions were discussed in a hearing this week. In addition to BREIN and Filmspeler, the European commission and Spain weighed in on the issue as well.

The first main question that the Court will try to answer is rather specific. It asks whether selling pre-programmed media-players with links to pirate sources, through add-ons for example, are permitted.

Not surprisingly, Filmspeler.nl believes that it should be allowed. They argued that there is no communication to the public or a crucial intervention from their side, since these pirate add-ons are already publicly available.

The European Commission doesn’t classify selling pre-loaded boxes as infringing either, and notes that rightholders have other options to go after intermediaries, such as blocking requests.

BREIN , which covered the hearing in detail , countered this argument noting that Filmspeler willingly provides access to illegal content for profit. Spain sided with BREIN and argued that willingly including pirate plugins should not be allowed.

The second question is more crucial for the general public as it asks whether it is illegal for consumers to stream pirated content from websites or services.

Is it lawful under EU law to temporarily reproduce content through streaming if the content originates from a third-party website where it’s made available without permission?

Spain argued that streaming pirated content should not be allowed in any way. BREIN agreed with this position and argued that streaming should be on par with unauthorized downloading since a temporary copy of the infringing file is made, which is illegal under EU case law.

Interestingly, the European Commission doesn’t believe that consumers who watch pirate streams are infringing. From the user’s perspective they equate streaming to watching, which is legitimate.

Based on the hearing the Advocate General will issue a recommendation later this year, which will be followed by a final verdict from the EU Court of Justice somewhere early 2017.