Kodi live stream WARNING: Arrests, bans and fines as new Premier League season kicks-off
Kodi add-on users tempted to illegally stream the start of the new Premier League season have been put on alert.
This weekend sees the return of the Premier League with all the live matches being shown on paid-for channels like Sky Sports and BT Sports.
Some football fans may be tempted to turn to illegal add-ons on Kodi to illicitly live stream the Premier League.
Kodi software is perfectly legal but unaffiliated third-party developers can make add-ons that provide illegal access to paid-for content like live sports.
However FACT – the UK’s leading intellectual property protection organisation – have issued a warning to those thinking of illegally streaming matches.
Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, warned about the dangers of online piracy ahead of the start of the new Premier League season.
He said: “As the Premier League season starts, the public should be aware that it is illegal to watch a match that is streamed through social media, on a piracy site, or using a device, box or stick connected to your TV.
“Similarly using one of these methods to stream premium TV, sports and films for which you should have an official subscription is also breaking the law.
Kodi add-on users are being warned about the dangers of illegally streaming Premier League matches
“The recent sentencing of John Haggerty, along with the extended Premier League blocking order are proof of this and another step forward in tackling the issue of illegal streaming.
“FACT is leading the way in combatting digital piracy and we will continue to work with The Premier League, Industry and Law Enforcement Agencies across the UK to clamp down on illegal content that poses a real threat to the creative industries, the UK economy and the livelihoods of the 1.9million people working behind the scenes of our favourite sport, TV and film.”
In July John Haggerty – the owner and operator of a major pirate streaming service – was jailed for five years and three months.
Haggerty ran Evolution Trading with his wife Mary Gilfillan who was also convicted of fraud offences and given a two-year suspended sentence.
Illegal add-ons for Kodi can provide access to live Premier League games
They sold more than 8,000 illegal devices that were loaded with add-ons to enable publicans and consumers to view illegal streams of Premier League football.
Haggerty appeared in Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly obtaining services for another, contrary to the Fraud Act.
Between March 2013 and July 2015, the operators of Evolution generated more than £750,000 through their illegal activity.
Speaking about the conviction Premier League Director of Legal Services Kevin Plumb said: “This case demonstrates how seriously the Courts are dealing with criminals involved in the supply of illicit streaming devices and services that provide illegal access to Premier League football and other popular content.
“It also serves as a reminder to people that they take huge risks by handing over bank details and personal data to rogue operators like Evolution and infusum.tv.”
Kodi users may be tempted to live stream the start of the new Premier League season
While this week it was revealed a seller of IPTV subscriptions and pre-loaded illicit streaming devices agreed to pay thousands of pounds in damages.
Luke Skinner, from Fife in Scotland, had courts orders passed against him in relation to the sales on Facebook Marketplace.
Skinner was selling subscriptions to illegal content for £35 per year and pre-loaded Openbox VX and VX2 boxes, with a 24 month subscription, for £70 or £85
An interdict (the Scottish equivalent of an injunction) was issued by the Court of Session, Edinburgh which prevents Skinner from selling or advertising illegal streaming devices and subscriptions.
Skinner is also required to pay £50,000 in damages.
Kodi is perfectly legal, but third-party apps can provide illegal access to live sports
Matthew Hibbert, Head of Litigation at Sky, said: “Those who infringe copyrighted content do so at their own risk.
“This case is another example of the heavy price people who facilitate piracy can pay.”
Ahead of the start of the new season it was also revealed that the Premier League has been given a boost in their ongoing battle against those who illegally stream games from England’s top flight of football.
The Premier League in July was granted a victory in court that will help in their fight against online piracy.
Last year the Premier League obtained a groundbreaking injunction which compelled ISPs to block illegal live streams in real-time.
The Premier League 2018/19 season kicks-off this weekend
The order gave the Premier League the ability to “target the suppliers of illegal streams to IPTV boxes, and the internet, in a proportionate and precise manner.”
Under this order the Premier League were able to block 5,000 server IP addresses that were broadcasting content to stream illegally.
A second order was introduced in July last year that ran until May 2018, but the Premier League had to apply for an extension for it to continue.
And now it has been revealed that the High Court has agreed to this extension for a further season.
Research suggests Kodi is used in millions of UK homes
The order will affect BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
So customers of these ISPs that are trying to watch illegal live streams of Premier League matches could be subjected to a sudden block.
The extension order was signed by Mr Justice Arnold.
Soon afterwards a new judgement was revealed that means UEFA will also be able to ask ISPs to instantly ban any illegal streams being broadcast across the UK.
The block is set to affect millions of football fans in the UK.