Sep 28, 2016

Kodi Boxes Subject of Court Case

Selling a 'fully loaded' Kodi box which is used to access subscription and pirated content for free may become illegal as a court case concerning the entertainment box is set to proceed. The case is to being brought by Middlesborough Council.

The defendant, an individual from Middlesborough, has been accused of selling equipment that "facilitated the circumvention" of copyright protection rules. The dispute is the first of its kind to be brought in a UK court and will focus on the use of applications like Kodi that, it is argued, infringe copyright in protected works.

The Kodi box is a free software and application that brings together music, movies, games and much more into one platform for the convenience of users. The software can then be used to load set-top boxes with the latest content before selling it to users which they can then modify to access pirated content or subscription-free channels. The Kodi box is also known as an Android box because the software runs on the Android platform.

The software was previously known as the Xbox Media Centre (XBMC) and it has been developed so that it can be streamlined with other popular streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast and Apple TV.

The developers of Kodi have maintained that they have a "neutral stance on what users do with their own software". The group have also said that they will enforce their trade mark rights should anyone use their Kodi trade mark on fully loaded boxes.

A fully loaded Kodi box is a box fully loaded or pre-loaded with pirated movies and TV shows for example. A normal Kodi box does not come pre-loaded therefore it does not infringe copyright works. It is the sale of these "fully-loaded" boxes that are the subject of the legal case.

As an intellectual property right, copyright prevents people from copying an author's work, distributing it or placing it online, i.e. piracy. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this case will receive large attention especially from the owners of the copyright protected works.

The dispute is said to be a landmark case and if the Defendant is found guilty of infringing copyright it will be a precedent for the courts to follow should a similar scenario end up in court.

If you have any queries on the above please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdainelslaw.com.

Posted by: in: Copyright, News

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