Kodi Box Drought Causing Mass Hysteria In The National Press

By Ian Morris on at

The Sun and The Independent are both reporting that it's becoming harder to get hold of a "Kodi box" because of the recent crackdown over boxes pre-loaded with both Kodi and a set of unofficial plugins that make it possible to watch premium TV and movies without paying.

The story is based on Dutch anti-piracy organisation Brein (Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland) taking action on the fully-loaded market. It claims that 200 sellers have stopped trading, which makes sense as the fine for continuing is €10,000 which can multiply if the case goes to court. Brein rather sensibly offers sellers a free pass as long as they stop selling the boxes immediately.

It is no doubt true that selling these devices on eBay or Facebook is becoming much less attractive thanks, both to the press attention and the recent EU ruling that these devices must be only sold if the seller is certain they contain no access to illegal material. Although there is still nothing stopping people from building their own Kodi streaming system from freely-available devices and the Kodi software.

The Sun, in it's usual evidence-free approach to news claims that "millions of Brits" are using Kodi boxes to stream free PPV sport, TV shows and movies. While it's almost certainly true that some people are doing this, the Sun doesn't mention any source for its data so it's hard to check. It's worth pointing out that The Sun is owned by a company that also owns a big chunk of Sky TV and a movie studio.

Now that's not to say that the sale of these boxes wasn't long overdue a crackdown. But the problem here is that stopping people from selling them solves absolutely nothing apart from putting a few people off. The technology will still exist, and people will continue to misuse it. This is not something that's going to go away anytime soon.

One good thing could come out of this though because people are now much less likely to buy a crap import box that doesn't meet safety standards. These boxes are common because the less you spend on hardware the more profit these sellers can make doing five minutes work installing Kodi and flogging them on eBay.

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