The crackdown on illegal Kodi streaming services continues as a Dutch streamer faces fines of up to €500,000.
If you’ve heard of Kodi, it’s probably for all the wrong reasons. Despite being little more than an open-source media player, Kodi has gained notoriety for its user by pirates to illegally stream TV shows and movies. Users can load set-top boxes that run Kodi with certain third-party software that allows the criminally-inclined to avoid paying for premium content – including live sport.
Authorities have been cracking down on anyone partaking in such activities for a while now, but it’s akin to playing a game of whack-a-mole; take down one pirate and another five spring up.
In a fresh bid to limit the success of pirates, Dutch authorities have targeted a service that simply provides streams – even though it doesn’t host pirated content itself.
Moviestreamer, which is based in the Netherlands, offers a piece of software called Easy Use Interface 2.0. This software costs €79 to buy, and can be bundled onto a Kodi streaming box, making it possible to watch copyrighted content illegally. You can also pay an additional €20 per month for VIP access to thousands of premium streams.
Naturally, Moviestreamer would (and did) argue that it wasn’t actually hosting any dodgy content. Instead, it simply facilitated access to content that may or may not have been legal.
But Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN wasn’t having any of it, and eventually took Moviestreamer to court, arguing that the service had no right to profit from providing access to copyrighted material.
In a statement, BREIN director Tim Kuik said: “Moviestreamer sold a link to illegal content. Then you are required to check if that content is legally on the internet. You cannot claim that you have nothing to do with the content if you sell a link to that content.”
The court ruled against Moviestreamer, and ordered the company to cease its dodgy activities immediately. If Moviestreamer doesn’t comply, it could be fined €5,000 per day, up to a maximum of €500,000. This is in addition to the €17,527 in legal costs now owed.
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