You learned a lot about them, but what’s a Kodi box precisely? And how legal is it? Here we clarify everything you need to understand about Kodi and if you should purchase one or not.
A Teesside man was detained in the autumn of 2016 for selling completely loaded Kodi boxes – an internet player that enables you to choose from content from blockbuster films to live football in the Premier League.
This triggered a Europe-wide discussion about the boxes legality. Unfortunately, this is a complicated problem for customers that surrounds what is at core a very helpful and intuitive way to enjoy digital media and content on demand. Let’s begin at the start.
What is Kodi?
Kodi may be best defined as a’ media center.’ It actually started life as XBMC or Xbox Media Center for the first time. It is fundamentally a versatile media player accessible across various platforms, enabling users to play locally stored documents such as videos and music, and stream live internet broadcasts and podcasts. Unlike, say, the Windows Media Player you will find on your PC, it has a user-friendly, intuitive interface and is extremely customizable-that’s what really distinguishes it from its competition. Instead of spending time and bandwidth downloading big files, the fact that you can simply stream whatever you want to watch is also a enormous draw.
A’ Kodi box’ is a loose word for any internet TV box that is mainly intended for use with the Kodi app. Most of the moment they are sold pre-installed with the app-frequently referred to as’ completely loaded.’ Technically, any TV streamer that can install the app may be a Kodi box, but when the word is used in the press and media it is most frequently referred to as the legally questionable first type.
Use our Best Kodi boxes to browse the finest phones on the market.
Is Kodi lawful?
The issue with Kodi is that while using some wonderfully flexible and easy-to-use software, it can also be readily used for illegal streaming. For instance, subscription sports and film packages are just a few clicks away and a fast download away–and all without paying. The reason that arrests were made is not merely because individuals were selling Kodi boxes, but because they were selling them pre-loaded with these illegal applications and services.
Simply put: Kodi and Kodi boxes are completely legal. The issue occurs when the Kodi app is used to illegally stream content of subscriptions. Of course, that’s something you shouldn’t do. And when you bring those applications that enable you to illegally stream and pre-install them onto a streaming box before selling them as a free all-in – one worldwide streaming source? That’s when it’s huge.
What was controlled on Kodi so far
European Court of Justice: Kodi boxes fully loaded are illegal
Maybe the largest decision is the one from Luxembourg. The largest tribunal in the EU proclaimed’ the sale of a multimedia player that makes it possible for movies that are illegally accessible on the internet to be viewed readily and for free on a TV screen’ to be illegally themselves.
This is a verdict with huge consequences for Kodi’s future. While it is clearly illegal to download a pirated film at home, the ECJ has proclaimed devices that allow piracy and make it simple to be illegal as well.
High Court: UK Premier League gets a court order for piracy
It may sound obvious, but if you haven’t paid for a subscription, streaming Premier League football over the web is against the legislation. However, a latest court case gave the Premier League the means to actively pursue and shut down individual pirates.
Although there have long been illegal internet streams of football, Kodi boxes offer people a easy way to watch it on their TV, rather than just a laptop monitor or sitting at their desk. In this judgment of the High Court, their rise in popularity was believed to be the driving factor.
The Premier League is now permitted to trace and block the servers used to broadcast their games. You can expect a range of other rights owners, such as movie studios and TV networks, to attempt the same thing with the Premier League winning this case.
Amazon: Total ban on the sale of Kodi boxes completely loaded
Amazon has banned the sale of all fully loaded boxes as a consequence of the above court instances, plus the increasing adverse press surrounding them. The distributor said:’ Products provided for sale on Amazon should not encourage, suggest facilitating or actively enabling infringement of or unauthorized access to digital media or other protected material.’ Anyone caught selling Kodi boxes that break Amazon’s laws will be suspended from their accounts. While these boxes were being sold through Amazon shopkeepers and not by Amazon itself, there is obviously no desire to be connected with them or to provide a platform that could possibly break the law.
What can you do with Kodi legally?
Despite all the negative press it has recently received, you shouldn’t be afraid of the app. If you own a famous internet streaming box, like the Amazon Fire TV or the Nvidia Shield, you can download the app from your official website. It also operates on any computer running Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, or Linux.
You can then choose from a vast range of legal add-ons that are all housed in the bigger Kodi app. Literally, there are hundreds to choose from. YouTube, SoundCloud, Twitch, PBS and 9GAG are all available, which is amazing if your streaming box is not offering them through its usual app store.
What has Kodi to say
When debating this continuing drama, something often forgotten is that the word ‘ codi box’ has no concrete significance. Kodi is just a popular app that opens a range of streaming systems to applications that are not found in the Google Play or Amazon app stores. There are plenty of completely legal applications within it that are used to access free content.
These illegal streamers were given because of the casual label, an honest service is being run into the ground. The employees that developed the Kodi app published a declaration explaining this on their official website. They say they’re tired of’ unhappy salesmen’ using the name of their app to’ create a fast profit.’
Team Kodi has an formally neutral attitude towards what users are doing with their own software. While we don’t love Kodi’s use, as long as you know what illegal and potentially dangerous things you get into and accept that the team won’t give you any assistance, you’re welcome to do what you like.
Their alternative was to mark the name ‘ Kodi ‘ and actively follow those who use it to promote their own legally dubious products.
Although it may hog the spotlight at the moment, Kodi is far from being the only implementation of its sort. Here are a few options that might want to consider jaded supporters or those curious to try something fresh:
Plex is a media server that enables you to organize your music, pictures and videos in one location and stream them to a broad variety of devices such as a TV, smartphone, tablet or web TV box. It’s not as common as Kodi, maybe because it needs a local computer to run a Plex Media Server. This implies you will need to synchronize your preferred streaming device with your home computer (or laptop, or network-enabled storage device) to install and access all your media through your home network. However, this gives you synchronized content across all of your devices, which can be very convenient.
If you are an Amazon Echo owner, then one of Plex’s most interesting features is that it is now compatible with Alexa voice control so you can play music and films without touching a remote. There is also a premium Plex subscription service offering features like cloud storage and offline access.
In fact, there is not much distinction between Plex and Emby. Emby has a very good Xbox One app and operates well on smartphones, but the large bulk is no different from Plex-right down to the premium subscription service. The decision here is going to be more about personal preference than outstanding characteristics, but it’s worth trying each one.
There are many comparable alternatives out there that rank just a bit below Plex, Emby and Kodi, of course. Stremio works like a PVR, providing you a calendar that keeps track of your tracked shows ‘ fresh episodes and the capacity to continue viewing mid-shows on another device. It is also defined as more tailor-made for PC users by its designers, rather than those who want a’ sofa experience.’
While the other choices on this list are highly flexible in supporting different equipment and operating systems, Usher is tailored to MacOS consumers.
When it comes to working with non-Apple software and hardware, iTunes can be notoriously stubborn, so Usher could be extremely helpful in this scenario.
How to prove the lawfulness of your streamer
If you’re going to download Kodi to, say, your Amazon Fire TV Stick or Nvidia Shield, you shouldn’t worry, because you’re right to do that. However, where caution should be exercised is what applications and services you use within it.
If an app seems to be too nice to be true, it’s likely–if it allows you to watch the recent Hollywood blockbusters without paying, it’s a fairly powerful indicator. If you’re looking to buy a TV streaming box and it’s not made by a company that you recognize, it’s not sold by a retailer that you recognize, or you use the terms ‘ Kodi’ and’ fully loaded’ in the title, then that’s another red flag (Kodi isn’t a manufacturer–none of these boxes are crazy at all).