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Hollywood's International War on Kodi Plugins And Video-Streaming Boxes (eff.org) 57

An anonymous reader quotes the EFF: In the past few years, the sale of pre-configured Kodi boxes, and the availability of a range of plugins providing access to streaming media, has seen the software's popularity balloon -- and made it the latest target of Hollywood's copyright enforcement juggernaut. We've seen this in the appearance of streaming media boxes as an enforcement priority in the U.S. Trade Representative's Special 301 Report, in proposals for new legislation targeting the sale of "illicit" media boxes, and in lawsuits that have been brought on both sides of the Atlantic to address the "problem" that media boxes running Kodi, like any Web browser, can be used to access media streams that were not authorized by the copyright holder...

The difficulty facing the titans of TV is that since neither those who sell Kodi boxes, nor those who write or host add-ons for the software, are engaging in any unauthorized copying by doing so, cases targeting these parties have to rely on other legal theories. So far several legal theories have been used; one in Europe against sellers of Kodi boxes, one in Canada against the owner of the popular Kodi add-on repository TVAddons, and two in the United States against TVAddons and a plugin developer... These lawsuits by big TV incumbents seem to have a few goals: to expand the scope of secondary copyright infringement yet again, to force major Kodi add-on distributors off of the Internet, and to smear and discourage open source, freely configurable media players by focusing on the few bad actors in that ecosystem.

The EFF details the specific lawsuits in each region, and concludes that their courts "should reject these expansions of copyright liability, and TV networks should not target neutral platforms and technologies for abusive lawsuits."
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Hollywood's International War on Kodi Plugins And Video-Streaming Boxes

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  • When you pry them from my cold, dead hands!
  • some people use them to sharpen blades before murdering people!

    Just because some people use something for a purpose that you do not like, does not give you a valid reason to stop them being made. However: big media is rich and can afford expensive lawyers who speak with forked tongues.

  • I don't give a damn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @04:29PM (#55284927)

    Let them ban preloaded Kodi boxes... I don't really care.

    Smarter folk just use a Raspberry Pi with OpenElec/Kodi and their choice of add-ons anyway.

    The fewer store-bought preloaded Kodi boxes there are, the quicker my streams will start :-)

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      It is not about copyright it is all about the establishment of content distribution monopolies. They do not want content creation and distribution competition, it will send them and their crap marketing driven content bankrupt. This is all about creating publishing monopolies on the internet to censor all expression that can not pay millions of dollars to be accessible to the public, the old model.

  • If you have developed bittorrent, you could succesfully argue that you have a general purpose tool that CAN be used for unlawful purposes and you walk away. When you develop a tool whose ONLY purpose is illegal in most jurisdictions, well... good luck with that. In case thatâ(TM)s still news to somebody: âfacilitationâ or âenablingâ is an actual crime in many places. Yes, little details matter.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.