Just Sharing This Kodi will not stop users from streaming pirated content despite EU Court ruling

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Kodi will not actively stop users of its software from streaming pirated content.

The European Court of Justice recently ruled that streaming pirated content is illegal in a landmark ruling last month.

However, Kodi has since said it will not “police” its software and stands by its neutral policy.

"We are developers and not the police, and we have no interest in acting as police for our own software," said Nathan Betzen, community and project manager for Kodi.

"Kodi will remain as free and as open as it always has. Feel free to continue using Kodi however you want."

Kodi itself is not illegal, nor is it illegal to sell devices with Kodi pre-installed on them, but many people now sell Kodi devices pre-loaded with third party plug-ins and add-ons that allow users to stream pirated content to their TV.

Selling these "fully loaded" TV set-top devices is a breach of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988.

Kodi claims that it is not its job to block these add-ons - and even if it did, the open source nature of Kodi means the code would immediately be edited to circumvent the blocks.

"To us Kodi is and always will be just a tool, like a hammer, and how you choose to use that tool is up to you," Betzen said.

"We do ask that if you decide to use Kodi in a way that's illegal, please leave us out of it.

"People who steal cars don't tweet a picture of their stolen car to Ford Motor Co. We ask that if you watch pirate streams, that you not tweet us about those streams."

Streaming has previously been a bit of a grey area when it comes to copyright infringement.

When you stream something online, the file is stored only temporarily on your computer, and temporary copies have traditionally been exempt from copyright laws.

However, the EU Court of Justice ruled that the temporary reproduction of a copyright-protected work is not exempt from the "right of reproduction".

The right of reproduction states that no person other than the copyright owner can make any reproductions or copies of the work.

The ruling effectively means that anyone who streams an illegally copied film or TV show is breaking the law - just as they would be if they downloaded it.

The court explained that streaming this content "adversely affects the normal exploitation of those works and causes unreasonable prejudice to the legitimate interests of the copyright holders".

In other words, copyright owners are losing money because people are streaming content for free online, rather than paying for subscriptions.

The ruling is significant because it means the fact that streaming only generates temporary files is no longer a legitimate defence against charges of copyright infringement.
 

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