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Trading Standards: streaming ok?

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 06 March 2017

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Derbyshire Council Trading Standards have been discussing all things Kodi and copyright. A spokesperson has said that “Accessing premium paid-for content without a subscription is considered by the industry as unlawful access, although streaming something online, rather than downloading a file, is likely to be exempt from copyright laws,”. So if a person is streaming content rather than downloading content, they may have nothing to worry about in terms of copyright infringement. Although, please note - you didn’t hear it from Lawdit, you heard it from Trading Standards.

However, the Intellectual Property Office is getting involved too. Following complaints from rights holders and broadcasters, a consultation has been launched that will look into how the law can be tightened to tackle this issue.

This consultation, whilst still in its infancy, plans to target sellers of the Kodi boxes, but also users of the Kodi boxes and the third party add-ons that allow access to paid-for content. The words “fraudulent reception of transmissions” and “obtaining services dishonestly” are reported titles that may be used to tackle the problem.

There is also a landmark case on its way through the courts that should provide an answer regarding the sale of Kodi boxes. Brian Thompson submitted his not guilty plea to the courts, after his shop was raided by police and Trading Standards. Mr Thompson had been selling Kodi boxes with third party add-ons installed. In September he said that “All I want to know is whether I am doing anything illegal. I know it’s a grey area but I want it in black and white,”

For now, it appears that users of Kodi have been given the go ahead by Trading Standards. Although I am sure that this will not remain this way for long. 

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