It could soon be much harder to watch sports, TV shows and movies via a Kodi box.
A newly formed coalition of the some of the world’s largest entertainment organisations and content creators have joined forces to tackle illegal streaming online through so called ‘fully loaded Kodi boxes’.
The Kodi boxes, which are referred to as illicit streaming devices (ISDs) within the industry, allow users to stream live sports and TV shows for free. But the content is ripped from the likes of HBO, the Premier League and Astro, among others.
Now the newly formed Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) says it will tackle illegally piracy and is focussing its efforts in Asia, where it claims highly organized transnational crime syndicates are responsible for the sale and distribution of the content through illegal streaming boxes, which are then sold around the world.
The ‘Kodi boxes’ have nothing to do with the Kodi organisation, who make the Kodi software which is designed to be used to allow people to easily manage their own library of multimedia content.
However, because of its open source nature, third parties use the software to create add-ons that enable users to illegally access copyrighted content through the streaming boxes.
Torrent Freak reports that CAP is made up of many of the entertainment channels which broadcast in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia, including Disney, Fox, HBO Asia, NBCUniversal, Premier League, Turner Asia-Pacific, A&E Networks, Astro, BBC Worldwide, TV5MONDE and others.
Neil Gane, formerly of the Hong Kong Police who has been hired by CAP as its general manager, reportedly told Indian Television: “The prevalence of ISDs across Asia is staggering. The criminals who operate the ISD networks and the pirate websites are profiting from the hard work of talented creators, seriously damaging the legitimate content ecosystem as well as exposing consumers to dangerous malware”.
“This is a highly organized transnational crime with criminal syndicates profiting enormously at the expense of consumers as well as content creators,” Gane added
If CAP succeeds in putting a halt to the illegal streaming channels and operations in Southeast Asia then repercussions will almost certainly be felt in Thailand, where the boxes have become popular with expats who use them to watch TV from their home country, as well as live sports, without having to pay a subscription fee.
The news comes after it was also revealed earlier this week that a number of major Hollywood studios have teamed up with streaming giants Netflix and Amazon to launch a joint lawsuit against a company in the US which distributes a Kodi powered streaming box called Tick Box, the Hollywood Reporter said.