Kodi Crackdown

THE crackdown against Kodi add-ons and illegal streams continues with a shock new precedent set that affects watching movies online.

The Kodi surge continues without any sign of stopping, as users continue to ditch paid TV services for the online player.

Research has suggested Kodi – which offers access to thousands of channels – is being used in more than five million UK homes.

Kodi software is not illegal, but developers can produce third-party add-ons that provide free access to pirated and illegal content.

These apps allow users to stream premium content, like paid-for sports and movie channels for free.

The illegal add-ons are being targeted by ISP’s, government agencies, broadcasters and rights holders.

The rise in popularity of Kodi add-ons has helped turn online streaming into the new anti-piracy battleground.

And now Kodi users have been put on alert about a new present that affects watching movie streams online illegally.

Those who host pirated content online have always been a target for anti-piracy groups.

But now a new precedent has been set which affects those that aggregate links to remotely hosted pirated materials.

Moviestreamer charged customers access for an interface which made it easy for Kodi users to access illegal streams hosted all over the internet.

However, they did not host the infringing TV, movie and sports streams.

The service offered by the Netherlands-based firm came to the attention of Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN who took them to court.

MovieStreamer said they were not providing the content itself and were several step away from any infringement, TorrentFreak reported.

However, a judge disagreed – ruling that MovieStreamer knew or should have known about the illicit nature of the content being linked to.

There were told to stop linking to such content immediately.

Failure to do so would result in a €5,000 daily fine up to a maximum of €500,000. MovieStreamer were also ordered to pay legal costs.

The court ruling sets a precedent for internet pirates.

Offering access to copyrighted materials, whether hosted locally or remotely, could land you in big trouble.

Speaking to TorrentFreak about what the ruling meant for his company, Bernhard Ohler – owner of MovieStreamer – simply said: “The end”.

The ruling will surely set alarm bells off for other firms that offer similar services that aggregate links to illegal content.

And it could affect the number of avenues open to people trying to find illegal movie streams online.

This year has seen authorities ramp up their efforts to clamp down on online piracy.

The penalties for online piracy has become more severe this year thanks to the Digital Economy Act becoming law.

The new law raised the maximum possible sentence for online copyright infringement offences from two to 10 years.

The maximum sentence will only apply to people who commit serious copyright crimes, such as distributing content.

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