Kodi Box owners could see a dramatic change to streaming
A hugely-successful Kodi add-on repository has announced plans to “change the way people access streaming media forever” this year.
TVAddons, one of the most popular online destinations for third-party apps – dubbed add-ons – for Kodi, made the pledge on its homepage earlier this month.
For those who don’t know, Kodi is a neutral, open-source media player that can be installed on a broad range of devices – from discount set-top boxes powered by Android, to known brands, like Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Add-ons can be built by third-party developers to enable a number of additional features, including the ability to stream premium content, like paid-for sports and movie channels, for free without permission from the rightsholders.
TVAddons is one of the largest repositories for Kodi add-ons online.
The website sees 19 million monthly active users.
TVAddons was shutdown back in June 2017, following the seizure of its domain and social media accounts.
The add-on repository resurfaced later in the year, and quickly regained popularity.
TVAddons recently celebrated its sixth anniversary. It used the opportunity to tease its plans for the future.
In a statement posted on its website, TVAddons said: “We have grand plans moving forward.
“We’re almost ready to introduce a new generation of Kodi addons that will change the way people access streaming media forever!
“Expect the release of these addons in the coming weeks, along with our return to a standard addon submission policy which will once again foster innovation while remaining 100 percent DMCA compliant.”
Kodi add-on repository TVAddons shared a detailed blog post to celebrate its sixth anniversary
Unfortunately, the site doesn’t elaborate on how exactly it plans to “change the way people access streaming media forever”.
The announcement follows a tumultuous time for Kodi.
Earlier this year, research from FACT revealed that there are now one million Kodi Boxes in use across the UK.
The FACT research was conducted in association with the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, Intellectual Property Office, Police Scotland, and anti-piracy outfit Entura International.
It estimated that up to 25 per cent of the online viewing public access content illegally online.
The open-source Kodi media player can be installed on a range of different devices
According to the FACT report, the UK is one of the countries most affected by the increasing demand for Kodi boxes.
Those supplying the Kodi Boxes range from individuals building boxes for a select few friends and family, to sprawling organised crime networks.
There has been a steady stream of reports of individuals who have been arrested for selling these devices, however, FACT claims these are just the “tip of the iceberg”.
According to FACT, there are a number of large-scale operations currently in the early stages.
However, the organisation is unable to specify any other details at the moment. The crackdown on so-called Kodi Boxes in the UK is likely to carry severe penalties.
Back in April, the EU Court of Justice judgement in the Filmspeler case included confirmation that streaming by end users on illicit set-top boxes, like those powered by Kodi, constitutes an infringement of copyright.
The Digital Economy Act, which came into effect in October 2017, extends criminal penalties for online copyright infringement to match those of physical copyright infringement.
That means the maximum prison sentence that can be awarded in online copyright infringement cases has increased from two years to 10 years.
This change could result in longer custodial sentences for the criminals involved in distributing illicit streaming devices.