On Wednesday, the European Court of Justice passed a decision which basically prohibits pre-installed Kodi devices for a case between the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN and Filmspeler.nl.
Filmspeler was selling Android devices with Kodi software installed. Filmspeler's owners believed that the predefined settings on their devices were legal, but both, BREIN and European Court of Justice disagreed.
So what does this decision mean for the sale of "pre-configured" or pre-configured devices in the EU? In the short term, something will probably not happen, but in the long run, it is very likely that we will see some changes.
Suppliers of these devices come from China, but also from eBay. Despite recent reports to domestic and foreign media, a brief search today reveals hundreds of listings for devices that are clearly configured for piracy.
Over time, however, eBay will be implementing stricter policies, as rights owners will chase every market that promotes such products. So it is very likely that the lists of those that are publicly available become much less common and stay away from common sight. Certainly, vendors will find more discreet ways to craft their devices without attracting attention.
Piratical Additives? Get ready for a DIY boom
The judgment of the European Court of Justice of the week that passed to us has nothing to do with the sale of basic equipment as it is not related to software infringement. In other words, if box suppliers sell devices with a minimal software installation other than the main operating system, they do not violate the law. But this may be a problem.
A typical pirate box buyer does not have the knowledge to turn an Android device into a streaming engine, so he bought the device from eBay. This means that beginners will have difficulty unless they decide to search on Google. With just a few clicks they can install what they want at Kodi.
We do not have to do with other forbidden Android applications like Showbox, Popcorn Time, Mobdro and Terrarium TV. These applications are not pre-installed but with a few clicks, even the most novice can enjoy them.
Specialist installers for Kodi (like TVAddons Fusion) are widely available and will undoubtedly gain further traction if the availability of predefined "pirated" devices is restricted. We'll probably see new things in this area to make apps and addons as simple as possible to install.
With one word
Until this week, we considered that users who simply transmit pirated content do not violate the law. It was a place that became stronger with the argument that the user virtually does not save something on his hard disk.
However, the European Court of Justice's ruling on Wednesday seems to have dispelled any doubts, pointing out that the illegality exists when: Copyright."
In other words, the flow of content from an illegal source is illegal in the EU.
When a user downloads or transmits content that has not paid for copyright, it violates the law, whether it comes from a file hosting site, a streaming portal, or even YouTube.
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However, the connection of the user to the illegal source, as opposed to BitTorrent, can not easily be perceived by third parties. So, yes, streaming is illegal, but it will remain a hidden offense that will be carried out by tens of millions of people across the EU, even after the ruling of the European Court of Justice.