Tech Talk: A Canadian Law Firm Is Watching Kodi Add-on Users

Users of the increasingly well-known Kodi app and more specifically the add-ons associated with the app may want to be careful what they stream unless they want to face legal consequences. A law firm out of Canada recently announced that it has taken over Navi-X and TV Addons, commonly used to stream unlicensed media. Moreover, the lawyers are reportedly monitoring websites associated with the services and logging users' data. As of this writing, the firm has not revealed whether or not any legal action will be taken using that information, but it stands to reason that it could at any point. With consideration for the fact that most other add-ons associated with pirating have been shut-down, while the firm has opted to monitor these particular add-ons instead.

Kodi, for those who don't already know, is a bare bones app that pulls content from other sources and add-ons. But the service has been under fire recently due to how easily it can be used to stream content illegally. For its part, the Kodi Foundation wants no part of the illegal activities. The foundation recently released a statement claiming that Kodi had been overrun by criminals, who it describes as “self-entitled and whiny." It is important to remember here that the application is intended to make streaming content, including online services, paid television services, and more. It comes pre-installed on Kodi boxes and can be installed on other set-top boxes that support it. It isn't deliberately intended to be used for piracy. The device and app are exceptionally popular in the U.K. and Europe, but Canadian officials have largely stayed out of the fray in the past. For the time being, the only services that are known to be having data pulled from them by the Canadian firm are Navi-X and TV Addons. Navi-X is a media sharing platform that allows all media types to be shared amongst its users. It is also one of the oldest Kodi box add-ons. TV Addons, meanwhile, is or was a hugely popular library for unofficially supported add-ons for Kodi. Both services' websites and service have seen intermittent shutdowns, varying by location, over the past several months.

With that said, a recent ruling in Europe effectively outlawed the sale of Kodi boxes and as many as 200 distributors have had to stop selling them. Amazon is included in that group and actually stopped selling "fully loaded" Kodi boxes back in April. There have also been crackdowns in the realm of sports streaming, with a High Court ruling in July allowing the forced shutdown of Premier League matches by ISPs at the request of The Premier League. With that ruling, the League could push to block any server showing the match illegally.

For now, there's no real way of knowing whether any legal action will be taken against Canadian users. However, that doesn't mean this won't set a precedent or that it isn't following precedent. It was recently revealed in the U.K. that users could be prosecuted for the use of illegal Kodi apps and without prior cases specifically stemming from the Canadian government, that could very well have set a trend that the Canadian law firm in question is choosing to follow. The consequences for users who have deliberately, or even accidentally, pirated media can be substantial. In the past, fines in excess of $5,000 CAD - around $3,950 USD - per infringement have been levied against individuals in possession of illegal copyrighted or pirated content. Any users wanting to avoid the possibility of prosecution for accidental misuse of either service are advised to wipe their device or update it to a new add-on service, but there's no way of knowing whether or not data has already been collected. An even better option for users of services like Kodi would be to conduct a little more research to ensure that they are only using 100 percent legal add-ons in the future.

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About the Author
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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]
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