Crackdown on ‘fully loaded’ Kodi boxes targets illegal sport and TV streams

A newly formed coalition of entertainment companies is set to go to war with illegal streaming devices and the ‘organised crime’ groups allegedly behind them, as the global crackdown on Kodi boxes intensifies. 

The Coalition Against Piracy, or CAP for short, has been assembled to target “criminal syndicates” in Asia and counts a number of the entertainment world’s biggest players as founding members.

As first reported by Indian Television, these include Fox, HBO, NBC, Disney, the BBC, and the Premier League, while the anti-piracy group will be led by industry vet Neil Gane, who previously served as the Motion Picture Association of America’s regional director for the Australasia region.

The CAP’s chief mission will be to help local law enforcement agencies in Asia bolster their copyright protection efforts, with those who distribute and sell ‘ISDs’, or illegal streaming devices, among the main targets.

Such devices typically use the legal Kodi media player as their software platform, but augment it with ‘add-ons’ that provide easy access to pirate streams of sport, TV shows, and films.

Related: What is Kodi and is Kodi legal?

Gane told Indian Television:

“The prevalence of ISDs across Asia is staggering. The criminals who operate the ISD networks and the pirate websites are profiting from the hard work of talented creators, seriously damaging the legitimate content ecosystem as well as exposing consumers to dangerous malware. This is a highly organised transnational crime with criminal syndicates profiting enormously at the expense of consumers as well as content creators.”

All of which sounds perfectly noble, but what does a new copyright protection initiative halfway around the world mean for you?

Well, many of the so-called ‘fully loaded’ Kodi boxes that the market in the UK, US, and elsewhere are imported from Asia, so any disruption to the supply chain could mean that these devices become harder to find.

News of the formation of CAP follows the first major initiative by a similar US-based anti-piracy group, ACE, which has just filed a lawsuit against Kodi-powered streaming device company TickBox.

Related: Best Kodi add-ons

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