Formerly known as XBMC, Kodi is an open source media player and entertainment center that has been the subject of much controversy and confusion. This is mainly due to the fact that people are using Kodi to illegally distribute and torrent copyrighted materials, such as movies, sporting events and TV shows. This guide will answer the two most frequently asked questions about Kodi: is it legal and is it safe?
Is Kodi legal?
Kodi is a completely legal platform, but its extensions may not be
In short, Kodi, as provided, is perfectly legal in most countries because Kodi is a media platform much like YouTube. Kodi allows users to stream content to almost any device. However, illegalities and gray areas relate to how Kodi is used by an individual, and when illegal and unofficial add-ins are used, which may violate copyright law.
Add-ins that contain copyrighted material or that are rooted in websites and hacking repositories are prohibited by Kodi and illegal in most countries. At the same time, it was also decided to sell “preloaded” Kodi decoders that had already installed illegal third-party add-ons. illegal by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The emphasis here is on the fact that Kodi itself is not illegal, only the act of using it to illegally access copyrighted material.
Which Kodi supplements are illegal?
While there are hundreds of unofficial third-party extensions for Kodi, we have listed some of the most popular prohibited extensions currently available:
Although these extensions contain legitimate content, their use is often considered illegal in most countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, because of their roots in pirated content. The easiest way to tell if you are illegally broadcasting is to ask yourself “should I have paid for this?” If the answer is yes, chances are your feed is illegal.
How do governments suppress Kodi piracy?
Copyright laws around the world are becoming more and more stringent. The goal is to secure the copyrighted material and the profit made from it for the appropriate people. However, countries take many approaches to tackle copyright infringement:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), like many copyright authorities, has prohibited the sale of “preloaded” Kodi decoders and continues to combat copyright infringement. More recently, the United States has focused on international copyright infringement, as well as the possible reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998). The DMCA regulates digital media and deals with the scope of copyright infringement issues, as well as sanctions.
Find out how you can stay safe with a VPN for the United States.
In previous years, Canadian ISPs would send notices demanding payment for copyright infringement. However, after a mandatory review of the Copyright Act (1985) in 2018, Canada has passed new legislation that prohibits these requests for payment and / or personal information. This change was seen by humans as a defense against hacking, but was in fact a means of protecting innocent people who have been falsely accused by the change of IP addresses. For people who use third-party add-ins with Kodi, this has allowed them to continue to distribute content without fear of receiving a copyright infringement notice from their ISP.
Find out how you can stay safe with a VPN for Canada.
In recent years, the UK has followed in the footsteps of the rest of Europe by banning “preloaded” decoders, with a focus on illegal third-party streaming add-ons and hacking websites that break laws on copyright. At the same time, the UK has pushed people to be more aware of the risks of streaming, while reinforcing the fact that broadcasting content that is not in the public domain is still illegal.
At the same time, Brexit has caused confusion as to how British and European copyright will be affected; and for the most part this will not be the case. This is mainly due to the fact that a substantial part of copyright law derives from the EU copyright framework. Pursuant to powers conferred by the European Union Act 2018 (withdrawal), the United Kingdom introduced the 2019 Intellectual Property (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations (amendment) (out of EU). Under this legislation, UK copyright will be protected in the EU and vice versa. Conversely.
Find out how you can stay safe with a UK VPN.
As far as copyright is concerned, Europe is mainly governed by the EU, which has had a significant impact on the development of copyright law. As mentioned throughout this article, the CJEU has banned the sale of “preloaded” Kodi boxes, with the intention of ending the sale of devices pirating copyrighted material. For users, this means that they cannot sell a Kodi device containing third-party extensions and that the use of streaming copyrighted material via third-party extensions is also a criminal offense.
Nations such as India and China have come under scrutiny for copyright infringement and sanctions, with India having an arguably incapable approach that has generated a substantial backlog of cases. In particular, India places the burden of criminal activity on the distributor more than the viewer, despite the speeches and actions being taken. For this reason, the illegal dissemination of content is much more widespread and common.
At the same time, China has also found itself at the heart of the controversy surrounding intellectual property rights in general. But despite this, the biggest problem for Kodi users in China is government-imposed mass censorship, rather than the focus on illegal streaming.
Check out our Global Privacy Report to find out how to stay safe online in your country.
Is Kodi safe?
So how is Kodi safe? Well, it depends on how you use it. In its vanilla state, Kodi is safe (although it is still vulnerable to targeted attacks, such as attacks by the man in the middle who seek to steal personal information), and the official addons in the Kodi repository are also safe and malware-free.
However, the use of third-party and unofficial addons and streaming content can also put you and your device at risk. When using Kodi, your Internet service provider (ISP) can monitor your use and report any illegal activity to the appropriate authorities. With this in mind, the use of illegal Kodi addons can make you violate copyright law and face the consequences of such actions.
How to stay safe on Kodi
The best way to stay safe on Kodi is to use it as provided, with only the official add-ons, and pair it with a VPN to protect yourself from attack. For an organized list of the best VPNs to use with Kodi, click the link.
If you decide to use a third party or unofficial addon for Kodi, be sure to do a thorough research on the addon, examining the reviews and content to make sure it is safe to use before installing it .