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Amazon cracks down on ‘Kodi-like streamers’, bans devices that ‘enable’ piracy

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Amazon has decided to crack down on the sale of “Kodi-like streamers”, according to a new report.

According to the Inquirer, Amazon is “drawing a line” under the sale of devices that promote or enable unauthorised access to copyrighted content. Although there doesn’t appear to be an official announcement from Amazon, there is a telling section in the restricted products section of Amazon’s selling guidelines page.

Here’s Amazon’s official line on the matter: "Products offered for sale on Amazon should not promote, suggest the facilitation of, or actively enable the infringement of or unauthorized access to digital media or other protected content. Any streaming media player or other device that violates this policy is prohibited from sale on Amazon.”

The online retail giant continues: "It is your responsibility to source and sell products that do not promote, promise the facilitation of, or actively enable the infringement of or unauthorized access to digital media or other protected content. If you sell these products, we may immediately suspend or terminate your selling privileges and destroy inventory in our fulfillment centers without reimbursement.”

"In addition, if we determine that your account has been used to engage in fraud or other illegal activity, remittances and payments may be withheld or forfeited,” Amazon adds.

Amazon logoAmazon says it may 'destroy' stock that violates policy

The move appears to be in response to the growing uptake of devices designed to circumvent copyright restrictions. Some of you will be familiar with Kodi, which is the name for an open-source software that runs on set-top streamers. Kodi boxes aren't technically illegal to own, but some enterprising retailers are selling Kodi boxes loaded with software that allows users to stream copyrighted content like movies and TV shows for free.

As a result, there’s been a recent crackdown on the sale of such boxes in the UK. In fact, we’ve even seen a man from Teesside prosecuted and hit with a £250,000 fine for selling “fully-loaded” Kodi boxes to pubs and clubs. The man sold these boxes for around £1,000 each, sparking a huge debate over the legality of Kodi. The consensus appears to be that while Kodi boxes aren’t illegal, certain uses of them are.

We’ve contacted Amazon for comment on this story, and will update this article with any response.

Related: Best TV

What do you think about Kodi? Let us know in the comments.

Tomas Thorley

April 3, 2017, 8:02 pm

"What do you think about Kodi? Let us know in the comments."

I think it is a great piece of open source media centre software and all articles talking about it should make that clear. If they remove the plugins/addon function then it will be added back in another build (again, its open source software).

"The consensus appears to be that while Kodi boxes aren’t illegal, certain uses of them are."

Well yes but it is the same as Windows. It is not "the consensus" it is just fact. I am sure you can install pirated software or programs which add the ability to Windows 10 laptops/tablets...

Tuco Ramirez

April 4, 2017, 6:32 am

I still see lots of Kodi boxes for sale on Amazon.

jimmy

April 4, 2017, 9:57 am

I think they are great. They are so commonplace and well known now that a very large percentage of people use them. In the past it was quite an underground "geek" following.
Hopefully the more people flock to them, the stronger the message will be to Sky et al that consumers are fed up at being ripped off, just to line the pockets of agents and sports stars. The money in sport is ridiculous and needs to come down. The days of Sky and others paying multi billion pound contracts will hopefully end.
At the end of the day, if sky charged sensible prices for their channels, people would happily pay for them for the improved quality and reliability over Kodi. However given the astronomical prices, most are happy to put up with the odd bit of stuttering and reloading.

Amazons stance is quite amusing as well, given that the fire stick is one of the main devices used for Kodi!
I agree the selling and advertising boxes as "fully loaded" is what has increased the popularity and awareness of Kodi. These sellers in turn are risking the very product they are selling, as governments are starting to take notice.
Hopefully as it is open source, they won't be able to kill it off.

Phil

April 4, 2017, 12:40 pm

They'll do the same as they did with MP3 and P2P. They'll crack down stupidly hard on the little guy rather than forfeit their massive margins. I work in a place with plenty of well paid people, many of whom are ditching sky due to the insane prices.

Kent Seaton

April 4, 2017, 1:47 pm

I don't usually stream illegal content... but when I do, I always use my Amazon Firestick loaded with Kodi and streaming add-ons.

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