This could be the end for Kodi streaming devices. Netflix and Amazon have joined forces with a raft of top Hollywood studios to take one maker of a Kodi-powered streaming box to court.
The lawsuit is against TickBox, a streaming device that's powered by Kodi, the open-source streaming software that's become the go-to destination for pirated material. It sees Amazon, Netflix, Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures accuse Georgia-based TickBox of copyright infringement.
The studios are all founding members of the ACE anti-piracy group. They're claiming that TickBox's marketing and instructional materials promote the service as a way to illegally access copyrighted material for free.
"TickBox promotes the use of TickBox TV for overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, infringing purposes, and that is how its customers use TickBox TV," the filing reads. "TickBox advertises TickBox TV as a substitute for authorised and legitimate distribution channels such as cable television or video on-demand services like Amazon Prime and Netflix."
The lawsuit demands an immediate halt to sales of all TickBox TV streaming boxes, plus compensation to the studios affected. The studios are seeking the maximum $150,000 per infringement in damages, so a judgement or settlement is likely to run into the millions.
TickBox denies the allegations. It claims its device is 100 per cent legal, as it doesn't host copyrighted material. "TickBox TV is only a director or library of content which is hosted by third parties on the internet," its website reads. "TickBox TV does not condone parties who pirate or download copyrighted media and this box is not to be used for such purposes."
Kodi boxes have already been pulled from sale from Amazon, eBay and Facebook in the UK. Recently, the European Court of Justice extended EU copyright protection laws to include content streamed over devices like Kodi. But this is the first major court case regarding the issue in the US.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter