In the latest development in the global crackdown against online piracy, people who use Kodi could now find themselves the target of anti-piracy groups and law enforcement agencies.
Rather than simply targeting those who sell Kodi boxes or manage the illegal Kodi add-ons, a intellectual property trade organization in the UK is proposing going after anyone who uses Kodi to watch illegal streams or copyrighted content.
Kieron Sharp of the UK-based Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) said that investigators could begin exposing people who use Kodi illegally in “the very near future,” The Independent reported.
While the Kodi software itself is perfectly legal and can be used to manage a library of digital content, the platform has been hijacked by content pirates who use the service to distribute and stream content that isn’t theirs and which they have no rights to.
“There’s the manufacture and importation of devices, and then the distribution and selling of those,” Sharp said.
“We’re also looking at the people who are providing the apps and add-ons, the developers.”
And while going after the operators has proved somewhat successful, especially in the US where a recent lawsuit resulted in the sudden closure of some of Kodi’s most popular illegal add-ons, this is believed to only be the tip of a very large iceberg.
Sharp says that going after users may be easier than catching those who manage the Kodi add-ons online.
“The reason for end users to come into this is that they are committing criminal offences,” Sharp said.
It is believed that users would be identified by the sales records obtained from those who sell the illegal Kodi boxes.
It is not known if other countries intend to follow the lead of UK based FACT to target Kodi users but the reality is that identifying individual users and then prosecuting them would be extremely difficult.
However, the news does show the scrutiny that is currently being placed on Kodi by authorities.
It is also believed that organisation behind Kodi is also pressuring authorities to help rid the platform of pirates as it tries desperately to shake off its reputation as the home of digital piracy and illegal content.