Both Amazon and eBay have recently banned piracy-enabled streaming boxes from their sites, and now the EU is putting the boot in too. It's ruled that selling so-called 'fully-loaded' Kodi boxes is against the law, in a massive blow to pirates and those selling piracy-enabled devices.
The European Court of Justice ruled this week that Netherlands-based website Filmspeler.nl is breaking the law by selling piracy-enabled Kodi boxes. The site had found itself the target of Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN.
The issue was that the site was selling boxes pre-loaded with hyperlinks to websites where pirated TV and film content was available without copyright holders' permission.
The Advocate General had previously ruled that this wasn't allowed, deciding that – contrary to the seller's claim – advertising such boxes as a way to watch content without paying amounted to communication with the public, and hence contravened the EU Copyright Directive.
Now the European Court of Justice has agreed.
"It is common ground that the sale of the 'filmspeler' multimedia player was made in full knowledge of the fact that the add-ons containing hyperlinks pre-installed on that player gave access to works published illegally on the internet," the decision reads.
Because the sale of such players was in order to turn a profit, "it is necessary to hold that the sale of such a multimedia player constitutes a 'communication to the public', within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29."
The court added that there are only a few conditions in which the reproduction of content can be exempt from reproduction rights. These include if the act is temporary, if it's transient or incidental, if it's an integral part of a technological process and if it has no independent economic significance.
The decision is likely to have grave ramifications around Europe, and to be bad news for anyone selling – or wanting to buy – piracy-enabled streaming boxes.
Source: Torrent Freak