As the crackdown continues on illicit streaming devices, the authorities are now targeting ebay sellers who are advertising Android TV boxes fully loaded with Kodi. These boxes are already banned by Amazon and Facebook so ebay could be next to introduce a blanket ban.
There appears to be no let up by the major broadcasting companies who have all teamed up as a task force to try and put an end to illegal streaming of copyright material.
The main reason for this crackdown is to prevent loss of subscriptions especially in the UK. Customers are fed up paying 100's of pounds to watch TV and a mini-revolt is underway.
Companies like Sky TV and BT are losing thousands, maybe millions of pounds as TV lovers look at cheaper alternatives. I know how expensive Sky TV can be so who can blame them?
Now eBay sellers are in the cross-hairs.
The Somerset Live website reports that Nayanesh Patel of Harrow, Middlesex was fined £18,000 recently for selling these fully loaded boxes on ebay and also through Facebook advertising.
He has since been ordered to remove any of the infringing adverts and disable access to his website. Another unnamed supplier was fined £8,000 for selling these devices on ebay and banned from further advertsiing.
Patel was given a £18,000 fine for breaching Premier League copyright. He has been ordered to remove all infringing adverts from the platforms, disable access to his website, and stop all sales of similar devices. A second supplier who sold subscriptions for Kodi Box owners to tune into free streams of Premier League football has also had to pay an £8,000 fine. The supplier, who has not been named, sold subscriptions to the pirate broadcasts via eBay.- Somerset Live
A lot of people have been making money out of fully loaded Kodi boxes and it all started in England when Brian Thompson was given a 2 year suspended sentence for selling these devices at a huge profit.
So, is Kodi illegal?
In a word, NO. Kodi is merely open-source software that allows third-party developer to write program addons. These addons may or may not contain links to material that is deemed subject to copyright.
When you download Kodi from the Play Store or official website, you are looking at a very basic installation. There's literally nothing there. Unless you know how to install addons you won't have access to anything.
It's only when these addons are installed and you access certain streams it then may become illegal. Currently the authorities are not going after end users but that may change down the line.
He is now facing a Lawsuit which was handed down by Dish Network in the State of Texas.
Why are they called Kodi boxes?
This is just a name that kind of stuck after the media jumped all over the story. The device itself is actually a common Android box that can be used for various things. You can play games or install other apps from the Play Store.
It can be used for Netflix and other TV Apps like Amazon Video etc. You can even browse the internet using an Android device and you can hook it up to your TV via HDMI cable.
I don't really like using the term Kodi box because that's just one app from 100's or 1000's of different apps. Kodi isn't even the only app that can access so-called illicit streams. There are others popping up all the time.
One such app is Mobdro which selects the best stream for live TV channels including channels that are usually subscribed to in the UK and other countries. It's really been a witch-hunt on Kodi but again, that could change.
A lot of suppliers have been selling these boxes with their own software included which is basically a customized version ok Kodi but called something else.
Even these suppliers are now being chased. Tiger Stream TV is one of the latest suppliers to be implicated. It feels like it's a non-stop crackdown.
Don't be ripped off
A lot of these boxes are sold with Kodi installed and set up but some people don't realize it's just an Android box with Kodi on it. If you purchase your own Android box, you can install and set up Kodi yourself.
You will save a lot of money by doing this. Some boxes like Rveal TV box, DigiXSteam DX5, Thorstream, etc. are selling for 100's of dollars online. I've seen boxes like KAT TV going for $400+ which is crazy money.
Kodi is free to install but if you're a bit of a novice don't worry. The best way of using Kodi is to install a Kodi Build. This is a one-time installation and once installed you will have access to many of the top addons.
Please be aware that some of these addons do access copyright material and they may be blocked in the UK. The ISPs in the UK are now obliged to block any of the servers that host these links.
How to stay safe
If you are in any doubt whatsoever, always use a VPN. This will mask your identity and protect your anonymity. We all know there are freeview channels that are available to stream but does anyone know what is free and what isn't?
Some copyrighted channels may be obvious but even I don't know all the channels that are not freeview. It's a bit of a minefield when you are online so it's important to make sure you are safe.
A VPN will also allow you to access geo-restricted content like BBC1, BBC2, ITV, etc. It's a simple case of connecting the VPN to a UK server and you will be able to watch these channels and also use the iPlayer.
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In no way am I condoning the use of illegal streams but I do think the authorities are taking it a bit far. It's hardly the crime of the century, let's face it. Don't these broadcasters make enough money?
If you search for Kodi on ebay right now you will find 100's of Android boxes with Kodi installed so the authorities are going to have their work cut out if they want to chase every single seller.
Ebay was always an auction site where you pick up some good bargains but it looks like it's going to be the end of the road soon for buying Kodi boxes on ebay.