A Beginner’s Guide To Kodi: A Simple Guide To Using It Legally

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If you’re looking for a cost-effective and fully-loaded media streaming solution, you need a Kodi in your life.

Kodi started life inside Microsoft; it was originally intended for the Xbox and was called the Xbox Media Center (XBMC). Over the years, though, Kodi – thanks to its open-source nature – has evolved and grown well beyond its original purpose. Managed by the non-profit XBMC Foundation, Kodi has been shaped and sculpted by more than 500 software developers.

And the net result is one hell of an entertainment system. Kodi gives you access to EVERYTHING and, because its software, it can run on a variety of devices from dedicated boxes, PCs and select phones.

What makes Kodi so special – and controversial – is that it is not held back by restrictive licensing pacts. If you want access to something you simply download it and start viewing, though it must be noted: not everything is, strictly speaking, legal – so, always with things like this, you proceed at your own risk.

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There is now some legal cases being brought against those that misuse Kodi as well. 

“People who are misusing Kodi boxes could be targeted by piracy fighters, according to Echo. “Users of the service – as well as other set-top box software – will find themselves at the middle of a new battle against piracy.”

It added: “But, worryingly for users, a trader is being hauled to court in a potential landmark case over their legality. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) said approximately half of its current investigations centred on the devices. It said boxes which are configured to receive premium content for free are illegal.”

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Please note that many add-ons contain content that isn’t officially licensed and accessing such content could be illegal. It is the user’s responsibility to comply with all applicable laws in their country in regard to use. Dennis Publishing Ltd excludes all liability for such content. We do not condone and are not responsible for the infringement of any intellectual property or other third party rights and shall not be liable to any party as a result of any such content made available. In short, if the content is free, but looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

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Stealing copyrighted media is a big deal these days, thanks to the passing of the Digital Economy Act, and could land you in prison for up to 10 years.

Basically, anyone caught streaming illegal material – either via torrents, Kodi add-ons or via the web – could face serious prison time. Scary, right?

Personally, the meat of this is designed to simply scare people, as the people behind the law have confirmed that it will mainly be focussing on people that make a business out of selling and/or pushing illegal content.

Either way, you need to be very careful these days if you’re using illegal Kodi add-ons.

“I’m delighted the Digital Economy Act has become law,” said Matt Hancock, the minister of state for digital and culture. 

“This legislation will help build a more connected and stronger economy. The Act will enable major improvements in broadband rollout, better support for consumers, better protection for children on the Internet, and further transformation of government services.”

Police in Scotland are now targeting “criminal gangs” that are selling media players pre-loaded with Kodi and a variety of illegal add-ons, notes The Independent.

“This is now seen as being normalised,” said Chief Inspector Mark Leonard, Police Scotland’s lead on counterfeiting. “A family will sit and watch one of these IPTV devices.”

Kodi has confirmed that it WILL NOT police its own software, despite numerous court cases being brought against the service in the UK and Europe.

Kodi issued a statement to the media, outlining its position on the matter:
“We are developers and not the police, and we have no interest in acting as police for our own software,” said Nathan Betzen, community and project manager for Kodi.

“Kodi will remain as free and as open as it always has. Feel free to continue using Kodi however you want.”

Kodi essentially believes that it is not responsible for what users do while using its software on account of its open source nature.

“To us Kodi is and always will be just a tool, like a hammer, and how you choose to use that tool is up to you,” Betzen said.

“We do ask that if you decide to use Kodi in a way that’s illegal, please leave us out of it.

“People who steal cars don’t tweet a picture of their stolen car to Ford Motor Co. We ask that if you watch pirate streams, that you not tweet us about those streams.”

If you’re using Kodi a lot, you need to make sure you’re using it in a legal manner, as the service is coming under more and more scrutiny from legal bodies.

No one likes getting sued, especially if its for something as trivial as watching Modern Family illegally!

If you’re using Kodi you definitely want to make sure you’re using it legally, as the powers that be are starting to clamp down on those that abuse the service.

Fortunately, you can still get plenty of value out of Kodi with legal add-ons – add-ons like the following: Plex, BBC iPlayer, SOUNDCLOUD, OneDrive and YouTube.

Any add-on that let’s you watch HBO shows, movies that are still in the cinema and anything that’s exclusive to Sky – sports, movies, TV Shows – is strictly off limits.

You can of course access all of these things on Kodi, but you do so at your own risk.

Basically, if something seems too good to be true is usually is. If you’re watching a film that’s only just come out in the cinema on Kodi, chances are you’re breaking the law and leaving yourself open to legal action.

Similarly, with TV shows if you’re watching something that is network-exclusive usually, shows like Sopranos, Game of Thrones and the like, you probably shouldn’t be as this is, once again, not legal.

Watching Premier League football on Kodi? The jig could soon be up, as reports suggest new laws will give the Premier League more powers to clamp down on those that are pirating its content.

A new court order will allow for the blocking of servers that are being used to stream matches illegally, meaning an end to free Premier League football on Kodi looks to be here.

Here’s what a spokesperson for the Premier League said on the matter:

“For the first time this will enable the Premier League to disrupt and prevent the illegal streaming of our matches via IPTV, so-called Kodi, boxes.”

This move is going to be extremely costly for football fans because it costs close to £1000 a year to watch every football match on TV, using services like BT Sport and Sky.

And if you’re getting Kodi in 2017 you should probably think about getting a VPN as well. I use PureVPN right now, as they have an amazing deal on right now whereby you can get two year’s worth of service for the price of one! 

The legality of Kodi can be summed up as follows: certain things you can do on there can border on copyright infringement. But this doesn’t make the software illegal, just as searching for a stream of a film on Chrome or Safari does not make Chrome or Safari illegal software. Basically, if you want to stay on the right side of the law make sure you avoid add-ons that appear to be too good to be true (because, put simply, they are).

At its core, Kodi is simply a media center that pushes content to your HDTV. Like Chromecast and Apple TV. But unlike Chromecast and Apple TV, Kodi is completely open-source and malleable; it is designed to be flexible and it works on all major platforms, including Linux and Raspberry Pi.

More recently, community-led projects within Kodi have brought the service to select smartphones and tablets. Android users can now download and run Kodi from the Google Play Store. Not so long ago, a side-load was required.

Apple users can install Kodi on the iPhone, but you will need to jailbreak your phone first.

Below are some of the most cost-effective and feature-rich options for running Kodi in your home. We mined Amazon for the best prices on each, so just click on each one for the best possible deal. 

Simple: Amazon’s Fire TV Stick – it’s cheap, easy to use and it provides a solid, consistent stream. For me, this is the perfect device for accessing Kodi as not only is it already connected to your HDTV, but it also has a remote which comes in handy when selecting what you want to watch. 

Latest Amazon Fire TV stick deals:

You can pick up the Amazon Fire TV for £32.99 on Amazon. For the price, Amazon’s streaming device cannot be beaten. Plus, as a bonus, on top of Kodi you get access to things like Netflix and Amazon’s ever-improving Amazon Video services, which includes a ton of great content from TV shows to films.

Click on over to PAGE 2 for information on installing Kodi on a variety of devices

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