Tag Archives: add-ons

KodiUKTV Considers its Future Following FACT Cease & Desist

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/kodiuktv-considers-its-future-following-fact-cease-desist-191117/

This week, news began to filter through that the shutdown of a pair of Kodi add-on related resources had taken place under serious legal pressure.

KodiUKTV and OneNation weren’t specific in their announcements but TorrentFreak was able to confirm that the Federation Against Copyright Theft was behind both actions. Indeed, the anti-piracy group told us that other groups were targeted too but at this stage, we haven’t been able to identify them.

What we do know is at the end of October, FACT sent out cease and desist notices titled ‘Unauthorized Distribution of Film, Television and Sport Subject to Copyright’.

The letters stated that FACT investigators had established that the platforms were “providing or facilitating access without authorization, to broadcasts or premium pay channels” containing content belonging to Sky, BT Sport, and The Premier League.

Demanding an immediate end to “unlawful activity”, the notices added that “all infringing links, listings and information from webpages, social media and any other medium” should be permanently removed. If not, a criminal investigation might get underway.

A recipient of one of the cease-and-desist letters, Matt – founder of KodiUKTV – told us that if he’d have received a simple takedown notice at any point in the past, he would’ve been happy to investigate and take action if any add-on breached copyright. Instead, it appears that FACT went for straight for the jugular.

Part of the problem for Matt, at least from our discussions, is that he doesn’t believe he was doing anything wrong. His platform didn’t develop or host any add-ons but offered a tool so that Kodi users could download and install them from elsewhere.

“Ultimately it was at the risk of the add-on designers and end-users, should such add-ons contain possibly infringing content that we had absolutely no control over,” he explains.

Matt says that he contacted FACT within an hour of receiving their cease-and-desist notice with a request for more information. He also gave FACT a commitment that the site will not deal with add-ons or builds in the future. At the time of writing, he is yet to receive a response.

As a result and at least for now, his entire site remains down, which Matt feels is both disproportionate and frustrating since much of the content the site offered (guides etc) had nothing to do with any of the companies mentioned by FACT.

“We didn’t actually host anything for the add-on guys and we don’t make any add-ons ourselves. We just offered a place for people to put their add-ons to be installed by the end-user, which is very common for many repos,” Matt explains.

“This means we were just a hub for the community for help and guides. This was always my key focus for KODIUKTV – creating guides & voicing our opinion on issues within the community to help others.

“We do not want to kiss goodbye to the website and the community we have been so involved in over the past five years. We are hoping we can continue the website on a publication standpoint and move forward.”

The site was founded by Matt in 2014 after he found himself “tinkering” with XBMC (as Kodi was formerly known) on a Raspberry Pi, installing add-ons, and eventually coming up with a ‘build’

“I’ve always been interested in publications & running a media site. So once the community started to rise we needed a home for our guides and tutorials, our news, and even the odd giveaway over the years,” he explains.

“We grew at a rapid rate which gave me and the team a huge learning curve of what it took to manage and maintain a website/project of this size. We became the go-to for people looking for help.”

At KodiUKTV’s peak last year, Matt says it was receiving around eight million users per month, a figure that’s dropped a little this year to a still-impressive six million.

But with this growth has come problems, not only in respect of FACT and its clients, but with various claims against the site’s social media accounts, and even strikes against Matt’s personal pages that had nothing to do with the project. Now, however, he is hopeful that things can move forward.

Matt says he’s just a hobbyist doing what he loves, one that also cares about freedom on the Internet. He has no desire to get into a fight with big media companies and hopes this dispute with FACT can be dealt with quickly while keeping the community intact.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Confirmed: Supremacy Kodi Repo Was Indeed Targeted By Police

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/confirmed-supremacy-kodi-repo-was-indeed-targeted-by-police-190626/

On June 13, 2019, the Covert Development and Disruption Team of the UK’s North West Regional Organised Crime Unit arrested an individual said to be responsible for an allegedly-infringing Kodi add-on.

The unit revealed that the 40-year-old man was detained in Winsford, Cheshire, following an investigation in cooperation with the Federation Against Copyright Theft. The add-on was unnamed but was reportedly configured to supply illegal online streams.

When TorrentFreak tried to fill in the gaps, considerable circumstantial evidence pointed to the likelihood that the arrested man was connected to the Supremacy add-on repository. Today we are in a position to confirm that belief following discussion with FACT director general Kieron Sharp.

Since there are limitations on what can be discussed when a case is ongoing, we asked Sharp why the matter had been referred to the authorities. There have been numerous instances of add-on developers in the UK being served with private cease-and-desist notices so why was this case different and why did it warrant an organized crime unit getting involved?

“This was a decision taken by FACT who advised rights holders such as PL [Premier League], Sky, BT Sport and VM [Virgin Media] that police action was the most proportionate response to the level of damage and harm that was being caused by these entities,” Sharp explains.

“Other industry groups have used different tactics which are reasonable in certain circumstances, but FACT have the partnerships in LEA’s [law enforcement agencies] to enable this type of action to be considered.”

Sharp says that when FACT presented its evidence to the police, they considered the case serious enough to take action, which resulted in the individual operating as ‘Supremacy’ being arrested.

FACT’s director general rejects the notion that handing a case over to the police is the easy option, insisting that a referral to the authorities requires that an investigation takes place to particular standards.

“To get any LEA to act in these matters requires a high level of evidence. Given the pressure on LEA resources and many other priorities, FACT are very careful in which cases they will approach LEA’s with and have many other strategies for disrupting illegal activity which are used constantly,” Sharp says.

In the wake of the arrest, several other Kodi add-on repositories shut down, presumably due to fears of similar action. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by FACT, with Sharp noting that several strategies to disrupt piracy are deployed with the results taken on board.

“[I]t would appear, from their own comments, that the action has panicked the others. This is not uncommon but more often seen after a criminal conviction. It shows that action needs to be taken and that it can have an impact on the piracy problem. There is no one solution so a range of tactics have to be tried and implemented and the outcomes monitored,” Sharp concludes.

There can be little doubt that the involvement of the police in the shutdown of a Kodi repository and associated add-ons is somewhat of a game-changer in the UK. Where once a sternly-worded letter may have been a warning sign, there is now a worrying precedent for those engaged in similar activity.

What the final charges will be in this case, if any, remain unclear. However, FACT has a history of pursuing convictions under the Fraud Act, which can carry harsher sentences than those actioned under copyright law.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.