All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player
Hello do you have an Amazon Firestick? Did you have it ‘jailbroken’? For anyone that does not know what I am referring to (where you been?) I will start by informing you. Kodi (used to be XMBC) is a free, open-source media player application developed by the XMBC Foundation which is a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for many systems and hardware. The Kodi software has a user interface which is to be used with TVs and remotes allows users to play and view streaming media (music, videos, podcasts) from the internet and from local storage and network sources. In essence, it is a home theater PC application. The history behind Kodi back when it was XMBC it was not easily setup as you see in Kodi now a days. Due to simplicity the application has gained in popularity.
Jailbreaking is the removal of software restrictions imposed by Apple’s iOS. You are basically making yourself an administrator on a jailbroken device. Jailbreaking is a term that refers to Apple devices but it is being used to refer to other types of devices also. Jailbreaking when referring to an Android device is not called Jailbreaking, it is called Rooting. The term Rooting comes from the Linux/Unix Operating System where the Administrator account is called root. For clarity, in Microsoft Windows the administrator account is called aptly named Administrator. Now a days you do not see as Microsoft has hidden the account by default. So in Linux this same account is instead called ‘root’. (In Linux Caps letters make a difference.) I believe you get the idea now in making ‘root’ a verb.
Now that all that is out of the way. Kodi is legal software but some cool people (some may call them criminal) have created addons for Kodi to allow the viewing of otherwise pay for content. Kodi’s misuse or anyone who misuses Kodi could be targeted by anti-piracy proponents. There is a new battle online against piracy and these ‘anti-pirates’ are gaining ground slowly. Kodi gaining in popularity and being used illegally has attracted the attentions of rights-holders. Anyone that has one knows the benefits. You could literally eliminate your TV service if need be and just spend your money on good internet. You can watch PPV events, movies, TV shows, and sports.
Although there is a court case to follow that can possibly change things. We all know how things work in the judicial system when it comes to precedence setting. The case is that of Brian Thompson, a Teesside trader. The case relates to the sale of Android or Kodi boxes. Sites all over the web say that he will fight the case but if he is found guilty it will open the Streaming Media Kits pandora’s box and possibly have them outlawed.
A group largely behind the movement, F.A.C.T. (Federation Against Copyright Theft), mentions that a good portion of their investigations are centered on streaming media devices. And this is all despite losing funding from Hollywood. FACT is saying that boxes configured in such a way are illegal and are continuing to fight with such statements using supporting data from the crime reports of the IPO (Intellectual Property Office). A report can be downloaded here. Bouncing around the internet I find a quote from FACT stating the streaming devices that are configured to receive premium content for free are “an emerging threat to the audiovisual industry”.
Comcast back in 20015 had already started with this through the sending of copyright infringement letter to its customers which left some confusion as some customers knew that they were not downloading anything but just using Kodi to watch content. The real deal was not so much Comcast but content owners monitoring things and recording your IP address to them brokering an agreement with Comcast to have them send out the notifications. Other providers are joining the fight like Sky and BT. The investigations have spawned action where cooperation with governments and law enforcement are taking place in efforts to underpin illegal streaming.
Kodi has only continued to get attention as its popularity has grown. One of Kodi’s (not official) most famous builds, the developers of those builds are beginning to take action against people profiting from the content they offer for free even though content is copyright infringing. If you read up top Kodi is open-source software and is legal. Kodi being open-source allows for changes to be made by anyone. One popular way to make things easier is through wizards. The wizards provide the means to install basically links from those build providers. When I say build or a Kodi Build, I am referring to an altered version of Kodi that someone has customized. The wizards install the addons and skins with tweaks to the files to possibly make the software run better.
One of the most popular wizards has about 300 builds with the largest collection with one of their builds having been downloaded 1.75 million times. The developers are starting to push updates to inform you:
“If you have paid for this build please seek a refund from the seller, there are no authorized sellers, you have been conned!!!”
The message is usually shown as soon as the build loads in Kodi. The team is on the users’ side and does not want anyone to be out-of-pocket for something that is free, especially when some are abusing things by charging a high fee.
The sales of preloaded set-top boxes start from $25 to $75 and more. Oh let’s not forget that friend you know that can add a build for you for a small fee.
There have been 5 people arrested for the sale and distribution of loaded illegal set-top boxes. This is causing a domino effect in the online streaming world. The organization FACT, which I mentioned latter, helped start the investigation of with lead to these arrests of people who made about $313,000. Even further the next wave are the Firestick installs of Kodi that you can find on Facebook’s Marketplace. I too have offered to do it for a fee but that is just for my time. I have no interest in making a lot of money from the installing of addons in Kodi when doing so will only cause issues in the future to the point where the option to use Kodi in such a way will not exist. Honestly though this is unlikely since it is based on open-source software but if it gets too much attention like it is currently receiving then the dominos may fall where you may not want them too. It could get the point where Internet providers are urged to step in. Leading to to use of services to circumvent the ISPs that for the most part make streaming videos in Kodi unusable. In the United States streaming is legal but with all the pressure, will this continue?