The United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is calling on so-called ‘fully loaded’ Kodi box owners to remove any third-party add-ons that let them stream copyright-protected films and TV shows for free.
The move comes after the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) revealed that around 70% of Kodi’s estimated 38 million users are using plugins – which come pre-loaded on fully-loaded systems – to access pirated material.
Kodi boxes have the potential to expose users to inappropriate content, warned the IPO in a guide published on November 21, before reiterating that several popular models don’t comply with the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations Act.
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This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a ticking time bomb, though. For all we know, they could be built to the same standard as your Apple TV, for example – but they most certainly haven’t been subjected to the same rigorous tests.
What’s strange, however, is that the IPO is suggesting that you can use the boxes safely by removing the illegitimate plugins, when in reality, altering the software would not improve the build quality – so they could still pose a threat.
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“The creative industry in the UK is a very important sector,” explained the IPO in its extensive guide to underground streaming devices. “It provides employment for more than 1.9 million people and contributes £84.1 billion to our economy.”
“Using illicit streaming devices is illegal,” it added. “If you are not paying for this content, you are depriving industry of the revenue it needs to fund the next generation of TV programmes, films and sporting events we all enjoy.”
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The IPO is instructing members of the public to report people selling fully loaded Kodi boxes to Crimestoppers.
Do you own a fully-loaded Kodi box? If so, will you be uninstalling the third-party add-ons that let you access copyright-protected content? Be sure to let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.