Starting today, Amazon have removed and banned all the listings for so-called "fully-loaded" Kodi set-top boxes. Any seller who continues to offer the boxes, which infringe copyright laws, risks their account being suspended or banned. The online retail giant has also warned that if sellers are caught offering the devices, any of their stock held in Amazon's fulfillment centers is at risk of being destroyed with no reimbursement. Kodi set-top boxes allow consumers to access a range of streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, and when they are unmodified are completely legal. However, some are being used for illegal streaming.
They have been modified in a way which allows consumers to access paid services, such as Premier League football matches and films for free. Because Kodi runs on an open platform there are certain applications that can be installed that give users access to content which is protected by copyright laws. This content is provided by users around the world who share, stream and upload it. The "fully-loaded" boxes have the apps pre-installed and are sold with the intention of providing content which should be paid for by consumers.
Amazon has never permitted the sale of these illegal set-top boxes on their site, but until today it has been possible to find sellers who offered the boxes. Amazon has updated the terms and conditions that can be found on their site, and have added a warning to anyone who continues to offer the boxes for sale, essentially telling merchants on their site that products sold through Amazon are not to promote or enable buyers to access digital media that is protected under copyright laws, and products which do promote such activity are in violation of Amazon's policies and thus will not be allowed to be sold through the website. Any listing which shows images of logos, TV channels, or any other intellectual property was removed immediately under the new policy. This announcement coincides with a crackdown by the UK on such software as they're taking a zero-tolerance approach to anyone caught using the boxes to stream Premier League football matches, which is a particular concern due to the amount of money being lost. The streaming software is popular in the UK, where Kodi runs on around 20 million devices.