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Piracy Television Entertainment

Amazon Bans Sales of Media Player Boxes That Promote Piracy ( 102

Amazon is taking a tough stance against vendors who sell fully-loaded Kodi boxes and other "pirate" media players through its platform. From a report: The store now explicitly bans media players that "promote" or "suggest" the facilitation of piracy. Sellers who violate this policy, of which there are still a few around, risk having their inventory destroyed. [...] While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, millions of people use third-party add-ons to turn it into the ultimate pirate machine. In some cases, the pirate add-ons are put onto the devices by vendors, who sell these "fully-loaded" boxes through their own stores or marketplaces such as Amazon. The ecommerce giant appears to be well aware of the controversy, as it recently published an updated policy clarifying that pirate media players are not permitted on the platform. Merely 'suggesting' that devices can be used for infringing purposes is enough to have them delisted.
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Amazon Bans Sales of Media Player Boxes That Promote Piracy

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I suspect they would react similarly to vendors advertising their products' use for consumption of illegal drugs or child porn.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Now maybe they can focus on getting rid of the fake products and fake sellers who list items well below the real cost in order to steal money.

      Oh wait, that only harms end users/consumers and not huge multi-billion dollar corporations so it's not important.

  • Easy circumvention (Score:5, Informative)

    by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Friday March 31, 2017 @04:47PM (#54154293)

    Just change all of the listings slightly. "Perfect for piracy" becomes "Perfect for not piracy". "Never pay for cable again" becomes "Never not not pay for not cable again"

    Seriously though, the Kodi developers despise these guys, and I think have been actively seeking to get amazon, ebay, etc to crack down. The scammers make big promises and tell the customers to post on the developer mailing list or forums for support, even though the end user almost never has problems with Kodi, but with some third party add-ons or websites.

  • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Friday March 31, 2017 @04:49PM (#54154319) Homepage

    If they looked that far into it, why would anybody want a Kodi box at all, except for piracy? That's really the only reason to get one, whether they say "this is great for piracy!" or not.

    • If they looked that far into it, why would anybody want a Kodi box at all, except for piracy? That's really the only reason to get one, whether they say "this is great for piracy!" or not.

      It's spelled "privacy", and the files are stored on local servers in the Kodi users's homes.

      • Now, if we had an all-set Kodi box that used Tor by default...

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Friday March 31, 2017 @04:54PM (#54154363)

      If they looked that far into it, why would anybody want a Kodi box at all, except for piracy? That's really the only reason to get one, whether they say "this is great for piracy!" or not.

      There aren't a lot of mainstream streaming devices for cord-cutters that also act as a DVR. As a Roku user, that's the first thing that strikes me about it.

      • Silicon dust makes some stand alone multi-tuner boxes that can save to a Windows share and work pretty well.

        I'm using one with a Plex server.

    • by DaHat ( 247651 )

      Jack Valenti? Is that you? Probably not... he's been dead for 10 years, but the argument is the same... though about VHS tapes in the home 30 years ago.

      • VHS Will kill box office sales!!!

        • Another promise the MAFIAA didn't deliver on.

          • I used to download bootleg movies and shit when i was younger. but nothing hollywood produces even comes close to interesting me anymore. so dont even watch tv/movies. I listen to a bit of music but free pandora subscription is plenty for me. With what hollywood has turned into. we could only hope for their demise anyways.

            • Quite frankly, nothing of value would be lost. All we get today is remakes of movies that already exist anyway (and usually worse than the original), so what exactly is their reason to exist?

    • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Friday March 31, 2017 @05:07PM (#54154441)

      Kodi works very well as a media player for media that is on your local network. If you have a collection of DVDs that you've ripped, you can put them on a NAS box and then use Kodi on all your devices to access them. That's my own use case.

      • Also, Kodi doesnt trigger the Cinevia crap from ripped Blurays.
      • Are you able to access the kodi site or install addons?

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        "ripped yourself", right?
        • I'm not going to blow any sunshine up your arse about the totality of my use of Kodi, but most of what I do with it is either watch DVDs I've ripped myself from DVDs I own, or watch videos I've downloaded from Youtube. I even delete some of those later. I have a rinky-dink network connection so I can't really be downloading a lot of movies, which I might otherwise be doing. And I'm running it on a Fire TV Stick, which I have to say is really about the best possible use of a Fire TV Stick.

    • by w1zz4 ( 2943911 )
      In many country it is perfectly legal to rip you own DVD/Blu-Ray or remove DRM from a file you purchased legally.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No. I rip copies of all my TV/movie DVD and BD discs and store them on NAS. I also like using the RoosterTeeth addon to binge watch the latest seasons of Red vs. Blue and RWBY before they come out on disc, and I used the YouTube addon to watch at least one of the Presidential debates. If there were an Amazon Prime addon that actually worked, I might be inclined to use that as well. I picked up an nVidia Shield TV explicitly to use with Kodi, streaming my (legally acquired) content from my NAS.

      This is like t

    • by 0bject ( 758316 )
      Kodi has MythTv plugin that allows it to work as a fantastic MythTv frontend. Can play all your over-the-air DVR'd shows. Also DVDs/BluRays and their players with young kids don't mix. Its easier to rip the movies to a file server on the network and play the movies from kodi then have a 3 year old scale furniture with a disk in his mouth trying to put it in the player.
    • I use Plex, but it's just about the same thing.

      I have several hundreds of dvds including most of the useful Disney collection a ton of recorded TV and I have kids.

      Instead of $40 a month in cable box rental, I rent a single $5 cable card and pay for a modest cable package. I also own a silicon dust tuner and couple of Roku devices.

      Because all my content is on my own devices, I don't worry about shows being dropped or inaccessible. I don't worry about the shows leaving Netflix. I get to pick my stream speeds

  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Friday March 31, 2017 @04:56PM (#54154373)
    I side-loaded Kodi on my amazon fire stick... and I use an Alexa skills hack to play movies on my TV with voice control.

    Maybe they should limit sales of the Echo dot and fire stick?
  • I don't give a rats ass about people who choose to pirate their video content or anything else digital for that matter. But if you stand to profit from a box using free software as your main interface and additionally profiting from the non-free content said interface was implemented to access, then fuck you.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday March 31, 2017 @05:02PM (#54154425)
    what was scary about Popcorn Time was that it's interface was so slick I knew folks who had it and didn't even know what bit torrent was or that they were pirating content. Remember, high speed internet is around $80-$100/mo in most places. That's 10-15x the ISP's cost (based on SEC filings from Comcast). For that kind of money folks don't necessarily realize that they're just getting a data communication line and nothing else...
    • by dafradu ( 868234 )

      Probably that, they'll block the items that make it dead easy to watch pirated content, just like Popcorn Time. Any computer can be a pirate box with kodi, if they sold Intel NUCs loaded with kodi and those plugins it would also be pulled. Or at least it is the sane thing to do.

      BTW, since when [] was seized? I don't use it but i don't remember seeing anything about they losing their website.
      "This domain name has been seized by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warran

      • by 0bject ( 758316 )
        April fools
      • by lothos ( 10657 )


        BTW, since when [] was seized? I don't use it but i don't remember seeing anything about they losing their website.
        "This domain name has been seized by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court under the authority of 18 U.S.C 981 and 2323. "

        it's an April fools joke.

        • If it's an april fools joke then it's a pretty dumb one. They made their whole site unavailable for the sake of a joke??
  • I can build a Kodi box out of a $130 Intel NUC, 2 GB of RAM and an SD card, is Amazon going to stop selling them too?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think that unless someone actually shuts down this whole DMCA & co nightmare, we will soon end up in a situation where microcontrollers / processors must be registered like a firearm. Finding a non-DRM uC in the US would become as difficult as purchasing a silencer for a handgun in Canada. We've already seen that proposal from Microsoft , years ago (was that the "trusted computing" thing?), that suggested eliminating all analog outputs, and implementing DRM all the way to the screen's display driver c

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      Amazon doesn't give a fuck what you build out of the stuff they sell you, or what software you install on it. That's your problem. What they do care about, are certain keywords or meanings being in the product description.

      The water pipe is for tobacco only, and the grinder is for culinary herbs. The hammer is for nails (not skulls -- don't even mention skulls). And the multimedia player is obviously only useful for lawfully acquired media.

      If another party sues Amazon for something they sold you, Amazon's le

  • There is local guy on Craig's List that is looking to buy Firesticks for $35. He also has another listing that sells Firesticks with what he calls "customizations" that get you live TV and current movies for $100.

  • Now that Amazon is spending Big Bucks to make movies and TV shows, they want to stop people from getting them for free.

  • Amazon is a great idea, and a great contributor to the global economy. But Amazon is headed in the wrong direction: now taking it upon itself to censor the things you buy. This project needs a fork.

  • I agree with this, in part. But, because Amazon has their 'Fire' devices, they risk being labeled anti-competitive.
  • from amazon's new policy:
    "enable the infringement of or unauthorized access to digital media or other protected content"

    This does not mention captain hook or somali pirates.

  • by liquid_schwartz ( 530085 ) on Friday March 31, 2017 @05:58PM (#54154775)
    Amazon pirates things every day by going to suppliers of the original and knocking it off with Amazon Basics. That Amazon, distributor of many a fake / counterfeit piece of merchandise, is cracking down on others for piracy is definitely the pot calling the kettle black.

    Citations: [] []

  • If they have media boxes with Kodi installed and SuperRepo enabled, but no addons from it installed, is that actually piracy? What makes that any different from having a Linux repository with CD ripping software?
  • Like the snake-oil peddlers that sell industry strength bleach as medicine. "Not for human consumption! But if you choose to use it as such, put a drop of the one and a drop of the other...". Apparently that makes it nice and legal.

    So simply say "Not for piracy! But if you really plan to use it as such, download ..."

  • The Kodi domain ( has been given the Official Government Piracy Seal of Disapproval. Old news, perhaps, but I don't follow this.

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