back to article Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Pay TV and other copyright industries are pinning their hopes that new prosecutions of “Kodi USB stick” sellers will thwart what they call an “epidemic” of streaming piracy. Last year, a wave of arrests were made in Teesside and Birmingham in England, with Middlesbrough shopkeeper Brian Thompson of Cut Price Tomo’s TV likely …

  1. Known Hero

    Said it before, will say it again

    Please provide us a streaming service we can pay for that doesn't involve rolling libraries or fucking about with what is allowed where.

    Spotify has proven the model works even if not perfect.....

    1. Paul 25

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      Oh god this.

      We have Amazon Prime and while it's a nice to have addon for a service I'd pay for anyway (Prime delivery is really useful for me), I can't imagine paying much for just the streaming service.

      The film library is pretty rubbish, with lot so of random holes, and a total absence of good older material.

      The music industry, on the other hand, have nailed it with Spotify/Amazon Music etc. I happily pay more per month than I ever used to for music on CD because if I want to listen to it I can pretty much guarentee it will be there. It's very rare for me to not find what I'm looking for there.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      Amazon, Netflix, Google Play, iTunes, Hulu, and HBO Now are some that immediately spring to mind. Have you had your blinkers on for the past few years?

      1. GaileF0rce

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        Sorry but Known Hero is absolutely right. Pick any of those streaming services you mention and then go and try to find a particular movie or television show. You can't. You have to subscribe to them all because the rights are all over the place.

        At least in the old days, you could watch all your sport on Sky and get all your movies from Blockbuster.

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        Amazon have random holes in the library, Netflix is much better but nowhere near as good as spotify. No idea about the rest, but what he's saying is that a Spotify for TV ( all programmes ) was available, he'd buy it, so would I.

        A dozen subscriptions to a dozen services not quite covering everything you want isn't the same thing.

        1. Ian 55

          "Netflix is much better"

          I have more films on DVD than Netflix has available to view in the UK. Netflix had, when I last looked, six Italian films. I have more than that from several individual Italian directors.

          It's embarrassing, in more ways than one.

      3. Lunatik

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        Did you not see mention of 'rolling libraries' and region lockouts?

        Imagine Spotify randomly added and took off albums every week, with only a tiny subset of what should be available streaming at any one time? Imagine knowing that you could stream Artist X in Germany and Sweden, but not here?

        I'm another in the 'happily paying £100/yr for streaming that I never spent on CDs before' and I also pay for Neflix and Amazon Prime, but with far less satisfaction. It's no coincidence that as soon as streaming services became viable the rationale behind torrents etc. just fell away.

        Yes, the music industry had a head start in that rights were already consolidated in large part to a small number of organisations, but this isn't a moon shot. The TV/film industry needs to keep moving towards the same kind of goal otherwise things like Kodi will keep popping up.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          Well I don't know where you are, but where I am songs suddenly turn grey in my Spotify playlists (only happens if you set it that way in settings, otherwise they just disappear and you probably wouldn't notice), entire albums disappear, and there are region lockouts too.

      4. Reue

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        And yet you'd need ALL of those to then still only be able to access 10% of what you can get through Kodi streams.

        1. John Lilburne Silver badge

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          "then still only be able to access 10% of what you can get through Kodi streams."

          There simply isn't enough time in the day to watch the 10% never mind the other 90%. The entire argument that I can't get X on service Y is bullshit. That you can't get steak and chips from a vegetarian restaurant, isn't an excuse to sneak into the local steakhouse and raid their freezers.

          1. Uffish

            Re: Raid the local steakhouse freezers...

            I would if they had bought up the exclusive right to sell steak in their area.

          2. Sooty

            Re: Said it before, will say it again

            There simply isn't enough time in the day to watch the 10% never mind the other 90%. The entire argument that I can't get X on service Y is bullshit. That you can't get steak and chips from a vegetarian restaurant, isn't an excuse to sneak into the local steakhouse and raid their freezers.

            it depends on what you want to watch, I'ev only recently installed the plugins into Kodi to do this, but I've used it for a long time to stream from my NAS.

            The other night I was reminded of an old film from the early 90's, looked up the name on imbd from the actor I remembered, searched and hit play, I was watching it a few minutes after the reminder.

            There isn't a legal service in existence that provides this level of service and this wide range of content. No-one is suggesting you'll watch 100% of the content, or even 10% but if the specific thing you do want to watch is at your fingertips, from the moment you decide you want to watch it, that is incredible service.

            Some of these films aren't even available on dvd/blu-ray! You want to watch the original starwars without all the cgi crap added to it, and you want to watch it now. you can!

            1. John Lilburne Silver badge

              Re: Said it before, will say it again

              "f the specific thing you do want to watch is at your fingertips, from the moment you decide you want to watch it, that is incredible service."

              Spoilt self-entitled brat.

              1. Rattus Rattus

                Re: "Spoilt self-entitled brat"

                Yes, that is an incredibly accurate description of film and TV distributors. Which is why they're still shooting themselves in the foot clinging to an obsolete business model.

                1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                  Re: Re: "Spoilt self-entitled brat"

                  That was very true ten years ago, and I used to read your comment everywhere ten years ago.

                  Since then, they've changed business model, by unbundling content from hardware, and doing OTT with cheap subscriptions.

                  But you're still clinging to the same comment.

                  Sad!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Said it before, will say it again

              "Some of these films aren't even available on dvd/blu-ray! You want to watch the original starwars without all the cgi crap added to it, and you want to watch it now. you can!"

              Blame that on rights clash at the time between Fox and Disney (Fox had the rights to the films but Disney owns Lucasfilm who has rights to the franchise--note that Fox had no say in the films since RoTJ; it was complicated). Since Disney bought out the Fox film library, that obstacle's been removed.

        2. 40k slimez

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          And its highly likely that those services won't work on those self same android boxes as they are rooted, which is a real PITA when you'r trying to watch stuff legally.

      5. GingerOne

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        "Amazon, Netflix, Google Play, iTunes, Hulu, and HBO Now are some that immediately spring to mind. Have you had your blinkers on for the past few years?"

        And they all have exclusive content that you can't legally get on the other services.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          "And they all have exclusive content that you can't legally get on the other services."

          Because NONE of them want to share. To them, sharing is surrendering. They want to conquer and become the Apple of the TV world. For them, the game's still afoot and most of them are still in the running, so there's no reason for olive branches at the moment.

          1. Mephistro Silver badge

            Re: Said it before, will say it again (@ AC)

            "For them, the game's still afoot and most of them are still in the running, so there's no reason for olive branches at the moment."

            On the other hand, till media companies find a way to collaborate, illegal Kody sticks will retain the Maillot Jaune in the foreseeable future. Oh, closely followed by torrents. And file hosting services. And the Dark Net. And Sneakernet. And...

            How was that story about a lad trying to plug holes in a levee in the Netherlands?

            If they don't find soon a way to collaborate and share their content, when they finally do it, it may be too late.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Said it before, will say it again (@ AC)

              "On the other hand, till media companies find a way to collaborate, illegal Kody sticks will retain the Maillot Jaune in the foreseeable future. Oh, closely followed by torrents. And file hosting services. And the Dark Net. And Sneakernet. And..."

              And frankly, while they bitch and moan because it's a cost they want to control, considering the networks are still up and running and still fishing out for new shows, I wonder if it's really eating seriously into their revenues. After all, they ultimately have to answer to owners and investors.

        2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          "Amazon, Netflix, Google Play, iTunes, Hulu, and HBO Now are some that immediately spring to mind. Have you had your blinkers on for the past few years?"

          And they all have exclusive content that you can't legally get on the other services.

          This, 100 x this.

          I'm quite happy to pay for streaming services, but what's lacking is a Spotify equivalent, where almost everything you could want is on one service, rather than being spread across multiple services that all cost.

          I've got Prime, and there's not much left on it that's of interest - either because I've already watched it, or because it wasn't of interest in the first place. Netflix I've stopped because, aside from the odd Netflix only series, there just isn't enough on there to justify the added cost (Prime at least gets me the delivery benefits etc).

          That's before we even start to think about services that might not be willing to accept subscribers where I am.

          Conversely, I could just hop over to TPB and *everything* is there. I'd happily pay for that level of legal choice, but there's still no way to do so.

          The app used to watch a service needs to have reasonable requirements too, take the BBC Iplayer app and the bundle of Adobe shit it requires (or required? Haven't checked in a while). I get that they want to protect their content, but it's taking the piss.

          Like someone else said, they need to stop whinging about illegal services and put some more thought into why their still so damned popular for Movies/TV despite apparently having seen a relative decline in Music torrenting with the advent of services like Spotify.

          1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

            Re: Said it before, will say it again

            But .. but.. you want them to compete on content and quality! and abuse of market share!

      6. fattybacon

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        I tried to sign up for this HBO Now and Hulu, they look great! Oh, and Crackle, that looks handy too.... oh wait... what does this $ symbol mean... oh... still Crackle is free.... oh.... not available in your country.

      7. JLV Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        AFAIK Amazon.com doesn't stream stuff to Canada and we're stuck with that stultifying dried-up hellhole that is Amazon.ca.

        Ditto with mp3 purchases on it btw.

    3. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      Spotify doesn't have a working business model. It is currently $1B in debt to investment bankers, is losing money monthly, and can't service its existing debt. Periodically it runs to ask the US government to make the bands that create its products cut the price.

    4. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      Or maybe support your DVD outlets so they can make a profit.

      Netflix reduces its film content because it isn't popular enough to warrant the bandwidth usage. Our last local DVD rental shop closed recently. I don't have streaming services included on my broadband plan and the cap isn't large enough to stream, so I have zero ways to get your content.

      So I don't.

      So you get no cash from me.

      Stop whinging about illegal systems, they are not the fault.

      1. Known Hero

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        @P Lee

        Your quite right, I retract my previous statement, as you are unwilling/unable to receive or pay for broadband that will support streaming I now change my statement to "Tough Luck everybody this one dude can't get it so nobody can"

        p.s. I'm not whining about the illegal systems, I think they are great !! I just want a legal version that I can pay for so artists writers film crews etc etc etc can get their money that they deserve.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          "I just want a legal version that I can pay for so artists writers film crews etc etc etc can get their money that they deserve."

          You might want that, I'd quite like it too however the majority would still use kodi because it's free, the majority of people dont give a fuck about content creators as long as they get to save £20 watching a streamed cam of whatever latest release they want to watch tonight.

        2. Alumoi

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          I just want a legal version that I can pay for so artists writers film crews etc etc etc can get their money that they deserve.

          Hmm, are you saying that Netflix & all pay the 'artists, writers, film crews etc etc etc' what they deserver? May I interest you in this bridge I have to sell?

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        All of the above responses to post #1 are just whiney bitching and justification for your kodi boxes.

        If you dont like the offer you dont have to task it - that dosent give you the right to pirate

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          If you dont like the offer you dont have to task it - that dosent give you the right to pirate

          Entirely correct. Except that as a content provider you have to understand that a proportion of the people you put off will likely obtain the content illicitly (just as a proportion will always go that route). Doesn't make it right, but ask yourself this - if n% of those who don't like your offering will pirate, why in the world would you cling to a failing business model rather than try to improve your offering (and so reduce the raw numbers that that %age translates to).

          That's before we even get onto the historic tendency of the companies involved to blame any drop in profits on piracy and demand draconian measures to try and thwart it. If we all stopped watching tomorrow, piracy'd still be blamed. Though, in their defence, certain companies have definitely improved in that regard.

          Ultimately, for things I might want to watch again, I'd rather have a copy under my control. which, for me, means a DVD because Blu-ray has been so crippled by DRM I've no idea if I'll be able to play them in 10 years time. Torrents are an easy route to achieving that too, so I can see why some go that way.

          For things I want to watch once, streaming services would be fine, if they'd sort their respective libraries out and stop all the exclusivity stuff.

          1. John Lilburne Silver badge

            Re: Said it before, will say it again

            "why in the world would you cling to a failing business model rather than try to improve your offering (and so reduce the raw numbers that that %age translates to)."

            For all the bullshit, over the last 20 years, there is no business model there is no business model that competes with "everything free". Neither Ad supported nor subscription services work. Ultimately no one that makes content can survive in a 'free content' eco-system.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        "Netflix reduces its film content because it isn't popular enough to warrant the bandwidth usage."

        ? Struggling with the logic here. Please help.

        If a film isn't popular and therefore doesn't incur much in the way of playout bandwidth costs, what costs/logic makes it vanish from the library? Yes there's the cost of storage space in the content distribution network. Surely storage space is a nearly negligible cost?

        Surely Netflix haven't negotiated the kind of deal where they pay the contents right holders for particular TV/movies/etc truckloads of money whether or not any significant number of people watch those particular movies?

        Surely that would be commercial suicide, no?

        I don't understand (obviously).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          "Surely Netflix haven't negotiated the kind of deal where they pay the contents right holders for particular TV/movies/etc truckloads of money whether or not any significant number of people watch those particular movies?

          Surely that would be commercial suicide, no?"

          That's actually how they work usually. The presentation licenses (and most other media licenses) are typically negotiated to a fixed amount, paid in advance, so a network has to be picky and decide if the potential return is worth shelling out.

      4. Inertia

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        What's a "DVD"?

        1. JLV Silver badge

          >What's a "DVD"?

          something you own, dear.

        2. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          What's a "DVD"?

          It's a flattened wax cylinder made of mirrors that is played with sparks instead of bamboo needles. It is more advanced than a Mutoscope because it allows the presentation of several hours worth of industry ranting about prates before you get to the bit with the lady in bloomers who shows you her ankles.

      5. 1Rafayal

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        P Lee, DVD is soooo 2008

    5. Lusty Silver badge

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      Completely agree, this is the kick in the nuts that the movie business needs to sort themselves out. 6 month exclusivity for cinema showings? I will NEVER go to the cinema to watch a movie just like some will always go, this is nothing to do with availability. All of the UK streaming services have the same crappy catalogue, and it never contains the movies you actually search for. Studios dictating usage rights to their customers (distributors, not movie watchers) - surely just set the price and let the market decide how to deliver your content? Cinemas around here are busy for a week following release and then have almost empty showings for the next several months, criminal waste of time.

      Piracy fixed the music business, and hopefully it will fix the movie business, remove their greed and let them make money (which many of us will willingly pay!).

      I've chosen not to use Kodi and the like, and was amazed at how simple piracy had become when someone showed it to me. Hopefully this is the Napster moment we've been hoping for.

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        " 6 month exclusivity for cinema showings? I will NEVER go to the cinema to watch a movie"

        Well, that is where the bulk of the profits come from, a streaming service showing new releases would cost a fortune to be able to compete with cinema revenues.

        I go to the cinema quite often, what's the reason you don't go? Is it cost? Because many cinemas offer memberships that are a flat rate and you can go as often as you like, for around £20 a month you can go to the cinema as often as you like... So really cost can't be a factor, so either you don't like the experience, or you just don't want to pay for the content you consume?

        1. MK_E

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          I used to have a Cineworld Unlimited subscription, then I moved house. Now the cost of travelling to the cineworld obliterates any savings from the subscription. Cinema near me now is a Vue and they don't seem to have that offer available. Which is a shame, 'cause with the unlimited card I would quite happily go and watch whatever happened to be on, even things I normally wouldn't bother with (and certainly wouldn't pay full ticket price for) since I'd already paid.

          When you factor in the fact that I could practically squeeze another entire movie in the time I'd spend sitting around travelling or waiting through trailers for the feature to start, now if I'm going to the cinema it's got to be for something I REALLY want to watch on the big screen.

        2. TheDillinquent
          Facepalm

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          If you've got a decent AV system at home WTF would you ever go to the flicks where there are noisy kids, overpriced snacks, poor seating positions, crowds, overenthusiastic aircon and a 15 mile round trip to contend with? Not to mention the multiplex lottery where you could end up watching the film you paid good money to see from the back of an auditorium with a screen the size of an iPhone.

          Whats more they won't let you smoke, drink beer, chat with your mates or snog your bird and won't pause while you can go to the fridge/bog.

          Cinemas are so 20th century!

        3. Kiwi
          Alien

          Re: Said it before, will say it again

          Well, that is where the bulk of the profits come from, a streaming service showing new releases would cost a fortune to be able to compete with cinema revenues.

          Erm, Popcorn Time? Kodi? Lots of others? They seem to be able to handle this stuff. A monetised version of PT could work quite well.

          I go to the cinema quite often, what's the reason you don't go? Is it cost? Because many cinemas offer memberships that are a flat rate and you can go as often as you like, for around £20 a month you can go to the cinema as often as you like... So really cost can't be a factor, so either you don't like the experience, or you just don't want to pay for the content you consume?

          I've never heard of that. Looks like the closest we have here is "Cinebuzz" which is a "loyalty program" where you "watch 6 movies, get one free". Some discount movies as well with their "movie of the week" - but what's the chances it'll be a movie I like, at a price I am willing to pay, at a time I am able to see it?

          Your $20/month is about the same as our standard movie ticket I think. Might still be cheaper on a Tuesday night, maybe $15 or something like that. One person, one ticket. And I've seen 2 movies advertised in recent months were I've thought "wonder if it's worth the effort seeing it in the theatres". Many movies I've seen have been the sort of thing you regret ever paying money for, and never want to risk something like that again - can you say "jar jar"? (might've been the last movie I paid to see, but probably was LOTR:ROTK - but the JJB factor means I doubt I'd go to a theatre again, just not worth the risk - certainly if I had paid to see any of the new star-wreck garbage I'd never visit a theatre again!)

          PS: My local cinema? The brand-new multiplex built at a huge shopping complex a few years back? That replaced or put the other multiplex out of business? Well, it's not there any more. A couple of the Wellington ones also broke, so I have to travel to see any new release.

    6. se99paj

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      Are you paying for a subscription service today? If you aren't then quit complaining

      You don't get anything for free in this world, so if you're not investing in a service don't come here complaining that the service isn't very good. Companies need money to pay for better services and need usage data to make sure they are showing the movies people want to see.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        >Are you paying for a subscription service today? If you aren't then quit complaining

        Many people I know have Netflix subscriptions. They also happen to be the same people with big DVD collections, and are also the same folk who will happily download/stream something from an illicit source if they can't watch it any other way. Oh, they might nip up to 20th Century Flicks - which has around 20,000 films in stock on DVD - but only if they're near Christmas Steps in Bristol, don't owe our Cap'n any late fees, aren't allergic to cats and have hauled their arse out of the Duke/Ship/Highbury/Vic etc in time. Sheeeiit, that rental shop even has some VHS cassettes of movies that haven't yet been released on DVD, and they will lend you a VHS machine free of charge.

        I would observe that my mates are now less likely to bother torrenting movies since using Netflix, so if the sub industry sorted it shit out and made every fashionable series available from one service they would see even less 'pirating'. But hey why should they bother - if a customer is paying their subscription, why would they care if someone is 'pirating' on the side?

      3. Cris E

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        "Are you paying for a subscription service today? If you aren't then quit complaining."

        Listen, the invisible hand that creates markets isn't a real thing. It's a fools game to wait around for companies to decide they've made enough money through exclusive contracts and lock-outs. As long as they can wring out more profit with the current model they won't make the next move to a broader coalition-style licensing model. The "invisible" hand that fixed music looked a lot like Napster and the Apple store. For video it's going to be more Kodi and a collapse of the siloed content into massive cooperatives that take less profit from far more numerous sales.

      4. Kiwi

        Re: Said it before, will say it again

        Companies need money to pay for better services and need usage data to make sure they are showing the movies people want to see.

        Option 1, my preferred choice - a pay system. Pro : Artists etc get some money. Con : Have to sign up to a lot of subscription services in the hopes of getting what you want, little option for a service that only charges if and when you watch something. Also, providers can buy the licences to some things and hold a show for as long as they have the exclusive license. If you want to watch Breaking Bad in NZ, but TVNZ holds the license and won't show it, tough - you can't stream it, buy it on DVD or see it in any fashion within NZ. Finally, the content on all streaming services is fairly limited for various reasons.

        Option 2: Piracy. Kodi, Pirate Bay, Popcorn Time etc etc etc. Pro : Virtually unlimited content, on demand, for free. You want to watch it? It's there now, for free. 20 year old series no one wants to show or sell because they're doing an ultra-shite remake using imbeciles for scriptwriters and un-trained monkeys for actors? There for the viewing in all it's original 4x3 glory. The only limits are some rarer things where no one else wants to watch them.

        Con : Nobody gets paid.

        Your argument doesn't work. The pay services provide SFA despite the amount of money they rake in. The free services give you more-than-you-can-conceive-of-eating on demand, for free.

    7. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      > Spotify has proven the model works even if not perfect.....

      I think the pluralsight model could work well if the rights holders had more than 2 years foresight. Basically your monthly fee gets divided into two buckets. The first (small) bucket keeps the lights on for the service. The second (relatively large) bucket gets distributed to the content producers in proportion to the amount of time you spend consuming each. So if you spend your whole month watching some David Attenborough miniseries and then flick on frozen for the kids, most of that second bucket would get paid to BBC and the rest to Disney.

      Sell plans by the hour if you like, it's fair, easy to track, transparent and solves the content monopoly problems where a consumer literally can't afford to purchase all the services they like because of exclusive arrangements.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Said it before, will say it again

      The industry will struggle as long as it's easier to pirate than it is to pay for a service.

      Thing is, I pay for the services, we have netflix and amazon prime - we gave up cable, satellite and aerials a long time ago and now use streaming boxes - legal ones, but Amazon.

      For the things I can't get on the two services we have, I use sickbeard - which is infinitely easier to set up and watch stuff with, than trying to vpn into a region locked service using a sideloaded app that isn't supported on amazon android devices... region locking and app support on android means we have a second class viewing system outside the US.

      They want more money, stop suing the tool makers, start fixing your model. DVD/VHS models don't work anymore, we have the internet, sort your bloody licensing model out globally.

  2. John Smith 8

    I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

    I've been using it since the xbmc days on a soft modded xbox. I have like 9 raspberry pi's running OSMC, but it's used as a wonderful media server for my videos and music, and I've got no interest in the external streaming of anything (except perhaps a bit of freeview upstairs in my house where I can't get a signal).

    Now due to it being a gateway to the streaming addons, it's in the copyright enforcers sights, despite it doing nothing wrong apart from having the ability to have addons.

    I know I'll get it even if they ban it, but bit by bit, they're killing off the ways to watch things unless it's through THEIR servers, in THEIR format, paying them YOUR money.

    1. 2460 Something

      Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

      Kodi have gone about this entirely the correct way though. They are (and always have) distancing themselves from any illegal activity, expressly asking anyone selling 'fully loaded' boxes to stop.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        What about Roku?

        I may be misremembering, but I think I saw a Roku video box on sale in the Asda supermarket with a shelf ticket saying "fully loaded". Should I go again and check? Or quickly buy?

      2. Joseba4242

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

        Is that "distancing" as in, for example, limitless.co.uk distancing themselves from piracy?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

      From looking at my local 'newspaper' website in the last few months, the Birmingham Meaning Evil (Evening Mail/Daily Post) already thinks Kodi is illegal. Weird. I believe they're owned by Mirror Group News at the moment, as are a variety of other local rags. Are the others as bad, or is this something worked out between the anti-Kodi crew, the police, and the publishers in Birmingham?

      Please note also that West Midlands police shut down (permanently) pretty much every hydroponics shop in the area in the last couple of years. Note also that yesterday's Daily Mail had a feature on using hydropinics to defeat this week's lettuce-shortage crisis. Way to go, WMP - you've stopped people growing their own lettuce (amongst other things). Nuff respect, etc.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

        Every day brings another reason to regret moving here.

        1. Nuff Said

          Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

          Where? The Register? The West Midlands?

          1. Graham Dawson

            @nuff said Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

            Brum.

            Had to move for work.

            I miss my bleak moors and dark, satanic mills.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

        "Please note also that West Midlands police shut down (permanently) pretty much every hydroponics shop in the area in the last couple of years."

        Just curious. Why? Marijuana concerns?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

        Well that is a surprise considering Growell Hydroponics is and has been operating in the west-midlands for at least the last 12 years without incident, not to mention the fact they are a national chain with 2-3 stores in the west-midlands, also incidentally they do not even destroy the equipment these days when found to be use to cultivate the devils weed

        So as to your claims of a permanent shutdown i call shenanigans, mainly as the equipment can be used to cultvate almost ANY plant and not just Cancer killing herbal remedies

        Anonymous cause they (el fuzz) left my kit that i brought from a combination of Growell Hydroponics, Seymour Greens and Fast Grow hydropinics to name but a few within the last few years

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

      "I have like 9 raspberry pi's"

      What's like 9? 8? 10? 8 Raspberry and a Banana? Or just plain 9?

      At least the greengrocer's apostrophe seems at home.

      1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

        "I have like 9 raspberry pi's"

        Much like the upward inflection that makes every statement appear to sound like a question, the word "like" is now de rigueur for anyone under the age of 30 years old. "Like" seems essentially to be used in place of a pause for breath. Having spoken it for so many years, many are now simply writing it in the communications too. It "sticks in the craw" of most people over 40, the verbal equivalent of speed bumps!

        I was privy to this little gem during my commute home the other evening: "Yeah, like, I'm like, I like him but he's like not like not even you know, like, you know?".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

          Not just those under 30, but those who are forced to live with those under 30, in my case my children. I find myself using 'like' several time in just about every sentence, in meetings, conference calls, telepresence with the big bosses in New York, everywhere. Cant stop. I'm 43, a middle manager and it makes me sound mildly ridiculous. Still, rather that than management-speak horse shit. Or 'reaching out' to someone instead of just contacting them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

        What's like 9?

        9.424777961 ?

        1. AceRimmer

          Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

          What's like 9?

          25

          It is also the square of a prime

        2. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

          What's like 9?

          9.424777961 ?

          int(9.424777961)

      3. Fink-Nottle
        Facepalm

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw greengrocers...

        > At least the greengrocer's apostrophe seems at home.

        Dear Mrs Trellis,

        I think what you mean is the greengrocers' apostrophe. Plural, not singular.

      4. John Smith 8

        Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

        What's like 9? 8? 10? 8 Raspberry and a Banana? Or just plain 9?

        I have:

        "3 raspberry pi 3 s"

        "6 raspberry pi 2b s"

        "3 raspberry pi 2a s"

        and

        "2 banana pi's (one broken, they are a bit shit)"

        raspberry pis.

        So, thanks for the pedantry, I'd rather use the word

        'like'

        So you can, 'literally', fuck off.

        1. emullinsabq

          Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

          I have 2 raspberry pi-like devices. Is that the same thing as having like 2 raspberry pi devices?

          [1 orange pi pc, and 1 orange pi pc plus]

        2. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

          So, thanks for the pedantry, I'd rather use the word 'like'

          I'd rather that you used the word "like" as often and as inappropriately as you like. By doing so you mark your post indelibly in a way that signifies "Don't bother reading further, it won't be worth the effort."

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

      What's going to happen next is the stick will be sold with a bare version of Kodi on it and the shop will give an address that you stick into Kodi which downloads everything else.

      That'll be when they decide just go for TV sticks loaded with Kodi.

  3. Haku
    Alien

    "a conspiracy needs two people"

    Well that nullifies a lot of the 'information' spewed by conspiracy theorists on the internet.

    1. RWNW

      Re: "a conspiracy needs two people"

      I'm pretty sure that if mankind didn't land on the moon, there was more than one person involved in the conspiracy to make people think that we have.

    2. Sampler

      Re: "a conspiracy needs two people"

      Not according to The Offspring...

  4. goldcd

    Home streaming is killing..

    I can't think of any of the previous "clampdowns" that ever did anything to help "the industry"

    I humbly think it's just a nice little money-maker for those eternally doing the clamping down, and gives the industry the misguided feeling that they can simply halt the progress of technology and consumption.

    1. Necronomnomnomicon

      Re: Home streaming is killing..

      As a former fan of thepiratebay, I'd normally agreed. But these Kodi things are shite. They make piracy easy enough for the average Joe, but the content quality is frequently "recorded on a featurephone from the back of a Kyrgyzstani cinema" rather than nicely compressed DVD or Blu-Ray rips. And if the site that your chosen piracy app relies on is taken down by the increasingly frequent ISP blocking orders, then you're left with a box that does nowt useful without someone tech literate to point it at a new website.

      Piracy is successful when it makes getting quality content easier than the legitimate sources. These things just aren't better than renting the odd film you want to see using iTunes or Google Play.

      1. GingerOne

        Re: Home streaming is killing..

        "Piracy is successful when it makes getting quality content easier than the legitimate sources. These things just aren't better than renting the odd film you want to see using iTunes or Google Play."

        Not just easier, cheaper is the biggest 'selling' point for piracy.

        Also, you can't stream live sport from thepiratebay like you can with Kodi.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Home streaming is killing..

          cheaper is the biggest 'selling' point for piracy.

          But always time limited, since if everyone pirates the content without paying for it no one has the money to make new content.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: cheaper is the biggest 'selling' point for piracy.

            No, I don't think so. Having the biggest catalogue of content is the biggest selling point for piracy.

            My friend has a Netflix account, but when he wanted to watch "Straight out of Compton" last week he ended up using a pirate site because it wasn't on Netflix. Spotify is just as limited in choice.

            1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              Re: cheaper is the biggest 'selling' point for piracy.

              Same here.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Home streaming is killing..

            "But always time limited, since if everyone pirates the content without paying for it no one has the money to make new content."

            Actually actors enjoy acting and the feeling of being noticed, before people paid to watch them there were always exhibitists more than willing to perform for free.

            There are plenty of amature dramics societies along with school plays etc that do not feel the need to dip into everyone's pocket. Fan films are increasingly compariable with the "professional" products since computer generated content and control has reduced the cost of sets, effects and editing.

            The reason for the high cost of movie production is all the hangers on inflating the price, if the cost was only what it took to make the film then it would be cheap enough for anyone with an internet connection to watch without promoting other freeloaders from profiting by copying

            Summary: there will always be exhibitionists, professional finish is now cheap, removing the overhead will not prevent anything other than the sanctioned or otherwise promoters from having to actually work for a living.

            Check out "Kung Fury", could be said to be equal to marvell productions and I contributed to it's production because the producer was genuine

            1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              Re: Home streaming is killing..

              Disagree. Acting/filming should be a viable business and career choice.

              I have a very talented acquitance that can't live from it, and needs a "day job" while collecting accolades, good reviews etc. Ridiculous.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Home streaming is killing..

          "Also, you can't stream live sport from thepiratebay like you can with Kodi."

          given that sports were largely free (minus tv license fee) before subscription telly and pay-per-view, i'd consider this restoring the balance.

          1. Kiwi
            Flame

            Re: Home streaming is killing..

            given that sports were largely free (minus tv license fee) before subscription telly and pay-per-view, i'd consider this restoring the balance.

            Yup. There's one sport I like, but so often Sky has the rights to it and won't broadcast it, not PPV not delayed not ever. So I have to either NOT support my national team in any fashion, or "illegally" cheer on these people who don't get much air time. Other channels used to air them as filler, but Sky NZ didn't like others having better quality broadcasts than them.

        3. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Home streaming is killing..

          "Not just easier, cheaper is the biggest 'selling' point for piracy."

          Actually - easier comes pretty high up the list as well.

          I certainly don't want to have to pay for multiple subscriptions - but I also don't want to have to search multiple sites to find the film I want.

          A local media server is so much easier.

          If there was a Spotify-a-like video service than I'd consider it - but there isn't, and there won't be for a significant while yet.

          ITV still only stream in SD (and frankly Youtube at 320p looks better most of the time) so there is no way to watch their content in decent quality without someone bouncing it off digital storage...

          1. Ol'Peculier

            Re: Home streaming is killing..

            That's if ITV ever show something worth watching, which for me is never. BTCC on ITV4 and that's about it.

        4. Necronomnomnomicon

          Re: Home streaming is killing..

          I agree. But these boxes are like £40 - £50, aren't they? If you don't know how to do your own piracy, is that an acceptable outlay for something that might stop working six months down the line? I just don't see these as being that great a deal compared to the legal alternative.

        5. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: Home streaming is killing..

          I am ok with paying say 5-30£ from content a month.

          30£ is more that they would get if I bought everything legal, and I think it is fair.

          Now, if I want to watch specific titles (movies/series) I find that I have to subscribe to whatever 10-15£ a month online service.

          So I can't watch what I want. Yes, I can watch more quality things than I have time for, but I cant really choose.

          I am stuck with a paid for service, youtube and torrent. Ridiculous.

      2. Savvy 333

        Re: Home streaming is killing..

        If what you say is true then why do I watch all the latest movies in crisp 1080 on kodi evey day

  5. Baldrickk Silver badge

    When there is an open service that you can pay for to access everything, then people will be happier to pay...

    Example - both Netflix and Amazon Prime have exclusives, If you _only_ want to watch two things, you have to subscribe to both to see them.

    If they could come up with one shared service, with all the content, and they received their money by content watched (like royalties to different artists/labels with music on spotify) it would be a much better solution.

    As it is, piracy is _still_ easier - like with some new computer games still requiring always on internet connections for no reason

    Disclaimer: I have access to both Netflix and Prime and can watch content on either. I don't condone piracy.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Not as bad as it was though

      At least the Murdoch stranglehold is being broken.

      We went Amazon Prime, and may go Netflix in future.

      Yes I did go to Amazon to watch their new motoring show, but there are plenty of good other programmes on there.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      If they could come up with one shared service, with all the content, and they received their money by content watched (like royalties to different artists/labels with music on spotify) it would be a much better solution.

      Ah, like a cable or satellite provider like Virgin or Sky you mean. Hang on...

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Not the same if the whole back catalogue isn't watchable.

        I have an expensive TV subscription, Netflix and Amazon and I still have to download stuff to fill the gaps. I have both Sky sports and BT sport and I still have to stream some football "illegally" because it isn't broadcast in the UK. Some programmes I have to download because they aren't currently available to watch anywhere ( eg: BBC programmes that aren't on Iplayer anymore ).

      2. Reue

        No, he doesn't mean like a live television service. He means access to a live television service AND the entire back catalog repayable at any time. Stop trying to compare the two difference services

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Sky and Virgin both do on demand.

      3. GingerOne

        "If they could come up with one shared service, with all the content, and they received their money by content watched (like royalties to different artists/labels with music on spotify) it would be a much better solution.

        Ah, like a cable or satellite provider like Virgin or Sky you mean. Hang on..."

        First of all there is the cost aspect - they are not seen as providing good value for money. And then there is the exclusives issue. If you want to legally watch Game Of Thrones when it is released (to avoid spoilers) then you must subscribe to Sky and only Sky, Virgin, BT, Talk Talk, no one else has the Sky Atlantic channel).

      4. Mage Silver badge
        Flame

        Satellite or Cable?

        So it's imaginary that to get all the football and rugby, that at one stage in Ireland you needed three subs?

        Cable is irrelevant anyway as it's in much fewer places than broadband, which in turn is much less coverage than Satellite.

        Also Netflix is RUBBISH at long tail.

        Actually I want to buy content I want (on disk), unless the streaming service has every content always. Also the subscription model is more profitable (cf Netflix or sky vs Sony) BECAUSE it's a rip-off. You pay the same all year even if you watch very little, or some months nothing. It relies also on Cable or Satellite or uncapped high speed broadband.

        I'm against Piracy, but "exclusives", lack of distribution, regional zoning (can be turned off on DVD, but not BD), regional releases, lack of long tail etc encourage it.

        Digital content should be available to purchase on media (or download to storage) and stream, forever once published. No distribution platform should have any exclusivity (Sky was forced to allow Virgin cable to buy re-distribution rights). Content should be universally available simultaneously, the cost of film prints for cinema should no longer apply.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Satellite or Cable?

          "Digital content should be available to purchase on media (or download to storage) and stream, forever once published. No distribution platform should have any exclusivity (Sky was forced to allow Virgin cable to buy re-distribution rights). Content should be universally available simultaneously, the cost of film prints for cinema should no longer apply."

          But copyright still applies, and copyright licensing CAN (and is legally allowed, thus why rental houses could exist at all) impose terms. It's a Hobson's Choice, basically: Take It Or Leave It. You either plunk down or Walk on the Sun.

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: Copyright Terms

            Frand should apply and no limitation on retail.

            You don't need to do a copyright deal (usually) to sell distributed books, CDs, Magazines, DVDs (either from a publisher or a wholesaler) in Retail.

            Smashwords is non-exclusive on eBooks and distributes to other retailers.

            Amazon will distribute your book, or eBook, but offers incentives to publishers or authors to give them exclusivity. That ought to be illegal worldwide.

            IMO exclusive to consumer via a SINGLE retail source is an abuse of copyright. Especially if subscription services are involved.

            I'm none too happy either about content sold via Amazon being offered on "prime" with the misleading on page advert that it's "Free". It's not, it's a subscription that devalues the ordinary retail product.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Copyright Terms

              "Frand should apply and no limitation on retail."

              FRAND only applies to PATENTS, and usually only standard-essential patents (SEPs) at that. Otherwise, you're interfering with free commerce.

              1. Rattus Rattus

                @Charles 9

                Free commerce certainly doesn't care about me, why should I care about it? Markets need to be constrained to serve the public good by regulation because they have proved repeatedly that unless forced they will only serve themselves.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: @Charles 9

                  "Free commerce certainly doesn't care about me, why should I care about it?"

                  Because without commerce, where would you get anything?

                  The other side of your argument is that regulations hamper business. Business can, have, and always will be out for themselves; it's part of the human condition, after all. And because of the way our laws are set up, no business can ever really be compelled to do anything. Worst comes to worst, they'll simply bail out. Remember that: people can and will walk away. Markets don't have to be fulfilled; in fact, if the supply and demand graphs never intersect, then that market CAN'T be fulfilled.

                  The TL;DR version: Interfere with commerce and commerce starts disappearing.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @Charles 9

                    "if the supply and demand graphs never intersect, then that market CAN'T be fulfilled."

                    Where do the supply and demand graphs meet for (say) cocaine, heroin, whatever?

                    There's clearly a market there. Circumstances clearly would be very different if there was such a thing as a "free" market with well informed customers and competing suppliers.

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: @Charles 9

                      Well, it can fluctuate, but the point is that they DO tend to meet. The trick with illicit drugs is that there's a high demand for them overall: enough users keep the market going. The quantity is kept low due to legal interdiction, which raises the equilibrium price (by pushing the supply graph upward). Drug suppliers probably could care less if their drugs are legal or not; if illegal, they'll stick with their illicit connection, if legalized, they have a first-mover advantage to create legal supplies.

                      But if customer expectations are SO low for the price of something that the highest they're willing to pay is less than the cheapest it can be made (say a nearly nonexistent Q in the bottom-left corner while the P graph starts some distance to the right), then you can have a situation where people demand music but aren't willing to pay for it: a potentially unworkable market. Now is this REALLY Q? Can't say, but it's a possibility.

      5. Kane Silver badge
        WTF?

        "If they could come up with one shared service, with all the content, and they received their money by content watched (like royalties to different artists/labels with music on spotify) it would be a much better solution."

        .....

        "Ah, like a cable or satellite provider like Virgin or Sky you mean. Hang on..."

        So tell me, how would I be able to watch shows like "Stranger Things" or "The Man in the High Castle" on either Virgin or Sky, seeing as they don't have the licence rights to broadcast/stream these shows, as these are Netflix originals.

        And since when are Virgin and Sky considered a "shared" service? I suppose you are thinking about how certain Sky channels are available on Virgin services, yes?

        I'm hanging on....

        Disclaimer: I am currently a Sky subscriber.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          The point is, if this ends up happening, you'll have a new intermederiary for streaming services who will end up just as hated as the traditional ones.

          However I doubt this will happen as it's easy enough to sign up to as many streaming services as you like, or just sign up to watch Stranger Things (perhaps the first month is free) then stop.

        2. DougS Silver badge

          @Kane - Netflix original content

          Are you seriously complaining that there is exclusive Netflix content you can't watch because you don't have Netflix? Why should Netflix be required to sell the rights to the competition? The whole idea is to encourage people to subscribe. Same with original Amazon Prime content, original HBO content, and so forth. If Google Music decided to make its own label and signed Lady Gaga, then Spotify and Apple Music subscribers shouldn't expect to be able to listen to her songs on their services. The whole reason they'd be paying her $ridiculous is because they'd hope the exclusive arrangement would cause a bunch of people to sign up.

          I do agree with those complaining about all the arrangements for back catalog stuff so I can't say "I want to watch Hitchcock's 'The Birds' and expect to be able to find it whether I have Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other services, like I can 99% of the time if I wanted to listen to some song from the same time period regardless of what music service I have. Missing out on new stuff that's exclusive is one thing, but exclusive rights to stuff that decades old is just stupid and counterproductive.

  6. Alex Walsh

    Always reminds me of this excellent Oatmeal strip on piracy. I saw plenty of chatter last week on Twitter from disgruntled Expanse fans when they found out the Netflix broadcast wasn't happening until the series had aired. Lots of people even tweeted Netflix to say they were going to pirate it.

    I've got Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions and pick up a Now TV pass when something I want to see is specifically on but they don't make it easy do they? It's as bad as the three different car park payment apps I have on my phone- so fragmented and poorly thought out.

    1. MK_E

      I know a lot of people who effectively stopped pirating games when Steam and GOG arrived on the scene and made it convenient (or even just POSSIBLE) to get hold of games that were otherwise difficult or inconvenient to get hold of legally, especially in the "don't copy that floppy!" era.

      Also a kodi box is just worth it for people who don't watch enough TV to justify the licence fee on top of a sky subscription. Hell, most streaming services work out cheaper than a TV licence, and give the option of watching what you actually want to without having to trawl through channel upon channel of whatever shite gameshows they're churning out as filler between the good stuff.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        @MK_E

        Yup, me for one. Piracy was pretty much my only source of games when I was a kid, and when I entered adulthood and had an income I found continuing to pirate was still the easiest way to get any game that wasn't on the shelf at my local game store... so almost all of them. Since discovering Steam a number of years back I haven't pirated a single game, simply because Steam makes it so convenient. Automatic patches and updates, back catalogue of damn near everything I care to look for, reviews, recommendations, frequent sales, communities for games, etc. If I think a game is too expensive for what it is I don't pirate it these days, I just wait for Steam to have another sale.

        I'd only consider pirating a game now if it simply doesn't exist on Steam. So I guess it's lucky for EA that most of the junk on their own store is too shite to even be worth pirating, otherwise their exclusivity would make their games the few I actually pirate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @MK_E

          Testify.

          Like I always say. Provide quality content, in a convenient, affordable and timely manner and piracy all but vanishes. Too many content provides are trying to protect their racket of trying to make people pay several times for the same stuff.

  7. GingerOne

    Be reasonable

    If TV wasn't so expensive there wouldn't be so many people looking to get it for free.

    Netflix is massively popular because it doesn't cost very much. People see £6 a month as a reasonable amount to pay for the service. Likewise £90 a year for Amazon Prime is reasonable value when the other benefits are considered beyong streaming services it includes..

    With Sky starting at £20 a month people are going to start looking at alternative ways to receive the content.

    Also, with more fragmentation (for example football being spread across Sky and BT) comes more incentive to stream 'illegally'. The apparent competition between Sky and BT and Virgin and Freeview/Sat doesn't lower prices and promote a better service for the consumer it makes it more complicated and means you are always missing something (Sky Atlantic is only available on Sky, BT Sports are included in BT and some Virgin packages but cost the earth on Sky.)

    Like with the music industry 10 years ago - the cat is out of the bag, the horse has bolted. Instead of trying to get people to conform to the old standard these media companies should move with the times.

    I know this won't be popular on here but the popularity of Google, Facebook, etc show that people are happy to be bombarded with adverts if it means they get services for 'free'. These media companies need to look at more 'legal' streaming for less money with more adverts to cover the loss in revenue.

    1. King Jack Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Be reasonable

      If the government really wanted to do something pro consumer they would ban exclusives. Sky, BT and Virgin would all carry the same content and therefore compete on price and quality of service. In the same way grocery shops and petrol stations compete. I hope illegal streaming kills them all.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Be reasonable

        Actually, grocery shops CAN stock exclusive stuff if they wish. That's how boutique shops work. It's just not the basic model for supermarkets which depend more on location than selection.

        Exclusives are tricky to regulate because it boils down to a simple matter of commerce, and commerce tends to flow better when it's not as fettered.

        1. Rattus Rattus

          Re: Be reasonable

          "Commerce flows better". Well so freakin' what? All that means is that the contents of the trough can be hoovered up faster by the executive snouts. Fuck 'em all, I hope streaming kills their businesses.

    2. Adelio

      Re: Be reasonable

      with 3 sky boxes and both sky sports & Movies I am paying circa £120 a month. Not a small amount. (1 of the boxes is going soon)

      Mt wife is constantly conplaining that she never watches most of the channels, and if only we could pay for just the ones we want it would be cheaper.

      As much as I agree with the number of irrelevant channels I cannot see Sky allowing people to pcik just the chanel they want and just pay for them. I am surethey would just put the prices up even faster!

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Be reasonable

        Besides, I don't think Sky or any other TV provider has much of a choice in the matter. Take the US. Most of the channels available today are owned by one of a few media conglomerates. For example, the premiere sports channel in the US (ESPN) is owned by Disney, which in turn owns multiple channels AND the major broadcaster ABC. In America, if you're a TV provider and you don't pack ESPN in your basic package, you're basically not a TV provider, and Disney knows this, so they always make it a Hobson's Choice. In order to get ESPN, they have to buy rights to the entire block: take it or leave it. And since they basically dare TV companies to Walk on the Sun, guess what the TV providers do in turn.

  8. Steven 1
    Pirate

    Games Up

    The Genie is out of the bottle for the content providers and he's not too keen on getting back in again - games up, they need to accept the rules have changed and adapt rather than try and stiffle the alternatives.

    People will generally pay a modest subscription rather than use a moody alternative but most people I know who have a Sky/Virgin sub aren't happy with the cost and are fed up with the drip drip price increases, invariably at some point these people will look for alternatives when either they just cant justify the subs or realise the alternatives are there.

    Granted they'll always be a certain number of freetards who wouldn't pay for it out of principle if they could get away with it but I'd wager that's a very small minority.

    Anyone in the industry who thinks they'll be on the winning side with this strategy should look at TPB. How's that blocking working out for you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Games Up

      "Anyone in the industry who thinks they'll be on the winning side with this strategy should look at TPB. How's that blocking working out for you?"

      Well, thanks to persistent blocking, the takedown of KAT and YIFY among others and a slew of malware copycats, TPB isn't quite as prominent as it once was.

  9. MJI Silver badge

    You need to ask why people do it?

    As usual it is punish and not learn.

    As usual the major reasons are ease of access, and value for money.

    People normally go for the easiest route as long as they are not being ripped off.

    Of course there are people who would obtain to avoid giving Murdoch money, that is perfectly understandable. But most people will pay for content if it is easy and good value.

    I do not consider a restricted satellite receiver with limited channel selections forcing users to pay more than they would like to watch what they would like easy nor good value.

    1. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: You need to ask why people do it?

      "But most people will pay for content if it is easy and good value."

      Where is the evidence for that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You need to ask why people do it?

        https://press.spotify.com/us/2013/07/17/adventures-in-netherlands/

        HTH.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: You need to ask why people do it?

        Where is the evidence for that?

        Well anecdotal only, but I can think of a lot of people who stopped pirating games once steam started going, and I know a few who don't even bother with mp3's they just stream spotify, including to their car.

        OK they probably do not purchase many games at the full price on steam, most wait till the price drops or there is a sale, but still it's revenue going to the creators and there's a lot who will buy older games that just aren't available in the shops now, or even just casually buy because they are a bargain price. I probably have two or three games I have picked up cheap but not got round to playing yet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You need to ask why people do it?

      People normally go for the easiest route as long as they are not being ripped off.

      Hell, I pay a monthly subscription to an Anime streaming service that isn't exactly authorised.

      Shed load of content, one place, with an API so you can easily put together something to stream on various devices, or in browser streaming if you prefer, all for a reasonable price.

      Of course, they don't have the overheads of _making_ the content, but the alternative is a bunch of (very) expensive subscriptions to multiple places, with differing levels of device support. Why would you go that route?

      With it all in one place, you can scroll through a single menu to decide what you want to watch, rather than having to switch between apps (and sometimes devices) if you don't know exactly what you fancy watching.

      I'd happily pay more than I do for it to be legit content, but it has to come from one service and let me watch it how (and when) I want to. Otherwise, what's the point? Might as well go back to live tv + dvr.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Court rulings...

    Both the UK Supreme Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union have ruled that viewing copyrighted content online is not copyright infringement.

    The CJEU have subsequently clarified that these EU copyright exemptions also apply to viewing and streaming videos online.

  11. 0laf Silver badge

    This action is only against those individuals/businesses reselling pre-configured devices which access copyrighted material. And even then it'll only be effective against those who sell within the EU using legal channels.

    It's not going to do anything to stop these boxes being sold from outside the EU (i.e. China) and it is still legal to configure these devices as an individual to stream copyrighted content.

    Sky has never appealed to me since the price just isn't good value. I've got Prime and I'm considering NetFlix as well. Most people I know with Sky are paying more like £50 a month and they all talk of dropping it all the time (although few ever do).

  12. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Canada has taken a different approach...

    Vancouver port of entry is effectively closed. Nothing is getting through.

    It's a complete waste of time ordering anything off eBay, if it'll likely try to come through Vancouver. For example, Kodi gadgets.

    EBay Canada might as well cease operations.

    1. Shmako

      "Sky has never appealed to me since the price just isn't good value. I've got Prime and I'm considering NetFlix as well. Most people I know with Sky are paying more like £50 a month and they all talk of dropping it all the time (although few ever do)."

      Dropped Sky TV a couple of years ago, saving nearly £50 a month. This was just basic TV inc HD, no sports or cinema. The difference has been spent on Netflix, Prime and an occasional 3 month NowTV card from the supermarket when the shows wife & I watch are on. Still get Sky Atlantic & Living content except for £5 a month rather than 10x that. Got fed up of the Sky TV bill going ever upwards, knowing that the money was being spaffed on a dick swinging contest over football rights with BT.

      A Fire TV box and an Apple TV covers us for Prime, iTunes, Netflix, NowTV and BBC and we're spending way less per month.

      Noticed that the NowTV Sports stuff is almost as expensive as it is via Sky TV themselves. Says it all really. Not condoning it but I can almost see why anyone with an interest in sports might not want to be spending £70 upwards a month on Sky & BT to watch the running, jumping and ball kicking.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Sport

        To be honest it is much cheaper to give up watching and do something else when a sport goes pay TV.

        To watch F1 live a few years ago, included in my licence, now could be around £1000. (not sure on fees).

        So I just gave up, ony took a couple of races to totally lose interest, the cars getting more boring helped.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sport

          Glad it's not just me, rally and F1 and not much else is my plan for Kody

    2. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: Court rulings...

      The issue isn't the watching of streamed video online. The issue is providing a service that enables the watching of streamed video online. If I sell you a Kodi box with the standard Kodi build on it, not a problem. I could install iplayer on it, not a problem. If I now install Exodus, or SALT and sell it to you I'm breaking the law as I have deliberately facilitated the means for you to watch pirated video streams. It's the selling of "fully loaded" Kodi boxes that is illegal. Notice, they're not going for the buyers of the boxes, they're going for the sellers, and that is where the law is actually doing this the right way for once.

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Court rulings...

      you've got to be fucking kidding right?

      That must be taken entirely out of context.

      What you have posted there is basically saying that streaming copyrighted material is legal.

      I can only assume it means "if you've paid the owner for it"

      i.e netfilx is legal

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Court rulings...

        If I remember the case correctly (and am remembering the right case) it all hinges on the fact you (as the user) are not making a copy.

        There's a copy in RAM, but that's incidental to playback, just as there'd be a copy made in RAM when playing back a legit DVD. The court decided that as that incidental copy was entirely transient (i.e. it's gone once playback is complete) that it didn't meet the necessary criteria. IIRC the industry lawyer tried to be a smart arse and claim that it should count because it might get written to swap. That's outside the user's control though so was also irrelevant.

        But yes, there were several cases that examined whether using streaming services constituted a breach of copyright law. Basically, as a user you're OK.

        Though as an operator of one of those sites you'd still be in deep do-do, so it's legal to watch but not to provide

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Court rulings...

          "IIRC the industry lawyer tried to be a smart arse and claim that it should count because it might get written to swap. That's outside the user's control though so was also irrelevant."

          I thought the lawyer got smarter and THEN said the copy could be RE-copied (either from RAM or swap) via an over-the-top function (such as a rooted device) and stored, or a screen-capture device used. IOW, the transient copy is enough leeway to allow a permanent copy.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Court rulings...

            Am i missing something here?

            Its ok if you dont make a copy???

            Thats like saying its ok to cut someones head off as long as you dont 5h1t down their neck afterwards.

            How could that possibly be right.?

            seriously?

            Its got to be an urban myth.

            Anyone got any shred of evidence that this absurd idea is true?

            People are getting too hung up on "loaded" boxes etc and wether the seller or the buyer is persued - youre losing sight of the real issue , which is both parties are guilty.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: Court rulings...

              Normally I wouldn't google it for you, but it was bugging me that I couldn't remember if I was remembering it right. Took 30 seconds to find ftr.

              This is related to a case that's currently going through to try and get a decisive answer - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/13/legalities_of_streamed_video_in_europe/

              Note the block

              Currently, under EU law, it is not illegal to hold copies of copyright-infringing content if it is held temporarily. The argument is that streaming is a form of temporary possession.

              The interpretation is based on an earlier case which was about whether users needed a license to do some other digital stuff (rather than specifically about streaming).

              UK Supreme Court judgement here here

              ECJ upholding it here

              People are getting too hung up on "loaded" boxes etc and wether the seller or the buyer is persued - youre losing sight of the real issue , which is both parties are guilty.

              The opening paragraph of the Supreme Court decision will correct you on this. "Broadly speaking, it is an infringement to make or distribute copies or adaptations of a protected work. Merely viewing or reading it is not an infringement"

              So, yes, it's "ok" (legally) if you don't make a copy.

              The person viewing might not morally be in the right, but they're not guilty of violating copyright as the law stands.

              Of course, all this may change in the future, but that's the existing case-law for you.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: viewing or reading it is not an infringement

                "The opening paragraph of the Supreme Court decision will correct you on this. "Broadly speaking, it is an infringement to make or distribute copies or adaptations of a protected work. Merely viewing or reading it is not an infringement""

                You know that. I know that. Lots of people know that, and have done for a number of years.

                Lots of people from FACT explicitly deny that reality, and for some reason the police and the Trading Standards people currently appear to be supporting the FACT people rather than supporting the law. Reporters in general are either unaware of, or are ignoring, the law as it stands.

                Why might that be? And how might it be corrected?

                Same goes for some commentards round here (though some may just be trolling). Thanks for the substantive clarification.

                1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: viewing or reading it is not an infringement

                  thanks for spelling that out for me Ben.

                  Its seems that there is in fact no effective copyright system in place at the moment, due a huge loophole.

                  glad im not a content producer

    4. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Court rulings...

      Got any links?

      Last I saw was the Sony case, where the court of appeal was very confident that viewing was infringement.

      And there was also some child porn case where viewing streaming content was considered possession and making (and if you make you must copy).

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "a conspiracy needs two people."

    So does a sale: a seller and a buyer. So if a sale is made it shouldn't be too difficult to argue that two people were involved.

  14. Spud
    Pint

    Ease of use

    Quite simply ... give me what I want ... when I want it and I will pay a decent price for it. Until you can do that then people will circumvent you. Put all the content into one basket and allow people to buy what they want, how they want it. If I want to buy sports for one month .... let me buy sports for one month for £1. That's £1 more than you'd currently get. Want to have one of the movie channels ... great .. here's another £1. Want 5 movies channels ... have £5 ... no contract. No lock in.

    You wouldn't want a bundled Madras, Vindaloo, Tikka Masalla and ,Dopiaza if all you wanted to purchase was a Korma because you don't like spicy curry !!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ease of use

      But the economics can still favor the status quo. All they need is a retention ratio higher than your model for it to work. You say you won't do it unless it's a la carte, but if people are pressured to subscribe because of their spouses or buddies, say for $20 a month, as long as there are fewer than 20 people who say no, they come out ahead. They're banking that their exclusive content (like say HBO and Game of Thrones) has enough draw to entice people to plunk down which makes up for the declines.

  15. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    I had never heard of these things...

    ...'till now. I may go and look at Babs Striesand's ranch later.

  16. Chris Evans

    They don't help their case.

    “Three or four cases have gone to prosecution,” Matthew confirmed.

    Making statements like that makes them look inept. Either a case has gone to prosecution or it hasn't.

    1. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: They don't help their case.

      “Three or four cases have gone to prosecution,” Matthew confirmed. - Making statements like that makes them look inept. Either a case has gone to prosecution or it hasn't.

      Shades of ACS:Law and the fragrant Mr Crossley. His threats against people always had some vagueness about the probability or possibility of prosecution. Ultimately it turned out when he was forced to reveal details that he hadn't taken any cases to court, just threats and bullying.

      TBH neither side acquits themselves well in this.

      The copyright holders, for the most part, look to squeeze blood out of a stone. They have a fear of losing control so don't like new, disruptive, technology. Instead of doing what they should to make legal use of content easy they try to preserve their old business model. What they don't seem to like is a business model that upsets their belief that they can sell any old crap to anyone and punish artists that they don't like by not marketing their content. They can (and do) also shaft the artists by entering into grossly unfair contract terms with unknowns. Having people choose what content they want to see and not having to go with artificial geographical, time and marketing constraints hurts the suits.

      The users who think everything should be free are, at best, naïve. If I create something and you decide to view my work then you should do so with a view to making reasonably payment. If you don't want to do that or if you think you have the right to distribute someone else's work then you will contribute to the death of that branch of the entertainment industry. Such people are in the same group as the restaurant owners who think they can get someone to provide free entertainment for "exposure" i.e. they are leeches.

      Kodi provides something useful which is the ability to view material legitimately from several sources. It is not axiomatic that Kodi=="piracy". I'm tired of the limitations imposed by other devices. I have both Humax and Samsung media boxes. Neither gives access to all of the *legitimate* sources available. The Humax can do Freesat + some on-demand and some streaming services. The Samsung can do Bluray and some on-demand and streaming services. But the Humax can't handle anything other than 4:3 or 16:9 properly. The Samsung randomly disconnects without warning especially from Prime and DLNA. Both have appalling user interfaces. Neither can access iTunes. I'd have to buy yet another box for that. I just want one box that can handle video well, that has an appealing rather than appalling user interface and that can be upgraded to access new services. The Kodi seems closer to that ideal than all the other tat.

  17. Daz555

    Home taping is killing music - well that's what I was told as a kid. Still seems to be here though. No doubt the movie and TV boys are making the same complaint today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Only the expenditures are bigger, the margins tighter, and the risks greater. It usually costs more to produce a TV show versus an album, and even more so for a mainstream movie.

    2. Alien8n Silver badge

      The music industry is killing music. That and the public's complete apathy for anything that isn't in the charts. It used to be that a reasonably good band would do well for themselves. Sell out a few tours, get a song in the top 40, make enough to retire. Today you can be constantly touring, one day you sell out a 1000 capacity venue, the next you play to 30 or 40 people. And at the end of the year you might have a few hundred pounds to split between you and the rest of the band. The cost of living has risen to the point that music is no longer valued as highly as it was. When was the last time you could buy an album for less than a fiver? Add to this the contracts that mean record labels are taking almost the entire income of an artist and there's no reason to start a band anymore.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        What could a fiver buy you back when an album was a fiver? Always consider inflation when comparing prices.

        1. Alien8n Silver badge

          Exactly my point, the cost of music has actually been fairly static now for years, if not decades. About the only sector that has gone up in price is live festivals and bigger bands touring. Iron Maiden this year is around £70 a ticket. Guns and Roses were over £100. Alice Cooper is charging £40 a ticket which I see as a fair price to pay for a larger act. I saw Magnum in our local O2 Academy for £25. Merchandise has also stayed fairly static for years, I was buying t-shirts for £15 a shirt back in the 1990s.The income channels for most musicians has shrunk to a fraction of what they used to be.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The TV companies have nobody to blame but themselves

    The TV companies really need to look at themselves and understand why people are using solutions like Kodi to get their TV fix. It's not as simple as they make out. While there are some that will just refuse to pay for television, getting rid of Kodi is not going to make them suddenly decide to give their money to Sky or BT. Attacking Kodi and their user base will not sort out the underlying issues.

    I for one, pay for a full sky subscription yet I still use Kodi from time to time. Why? Because the TV companies and broadcasters are taking the piss.

    We've been told time and time again that the more choice the consumer gets, the better it will be for them. However, that is blatantly not true. What has happened in the UK is that as the number of providers has risen with new entrants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BT and others, rather than being better for the consumer it is much much worse. No longer can you simply pay Sky and get access to everything. Now, you must pay Sky, BT, Netflix and the rest. Rather than being better for the consumer, it's costing us more. A lot more! And that my friends is the problem.

    Aside from the cost issue, the messing about that happens in the UK with regards to broadcast rights and when shows will be shown is crazy. It pisses true fans off.

    1. Rights are snapped up and then the broadcaster chooses to wait months before broadcasting it.

    2. New US shows are not picked up by the UK broadcasters. This leaves the UK consumers little choice. Even when they are eventually picked up say mid-season or after season 1 - see item 1 above.

    One very quick example - The way the Chicago Fire/PD/Med are shown in the UK is ridiculous.

    And don't get me started on sport. More and more sport is being split between Sky and BT which means you have to subscribe to both - if you are a true fan. What's going to happen when Netflix and others decide that they want some of this sport money as well.

    They way things are going, the use of Kodi and streaming in general is only going to get worse while the broadcasters continue to look at money instead of looking at how they can improve the situation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The TV companies have nobody to blame but themselves

      "They way things are going, the use of Kodi and streaming in general is only going to get worse while the broadcasters continue to look at money instead of looking at how they can improve the situation."

      As far as they're concerned, this IS improving the situation as they're encouraging a lock-in, more steady revenue, and better reports for the investors. Besides, streaming's going to run afoul of tight data caps.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scroungers

    Remember the days when they prevailed upon the DVD manufacturers to put regional coding so that DVDs from other parts (mainly USA) could not be played in them? TIll the Chinese cheapos came along (Bless them Chinese - They can teach a lesson or two to the supposed capitalists of the USA & Europe).

    NOW that streaming is becoming main-stream (Pun intended), they are crying a river all over again.

    Why shoud we (anyone) support their drug fuelled lifestyles for not much more entertainment, at ever increasing costs?

    The output has been pathetic for many years now. Even the music sucks. 80's were the best period.

    Sky would not have been so expensive (or rich) if it wasnt for the British worship of football as a religion. They make us pay all over again (whether we like football or not).

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Scroungers

      I did most of my growing up in the late '60s and '70s -- turned 60 last month -- so I tend to think the '80s were debatable as the "best"... though they did give us The Police, REM, UB40, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, The English Beat, and The Smiths.

      So, if not the best, still damn' good, I guess. But, then, I'm officially Old now.

      Inasmuch as the '90s gave us Nirvana, Green Day and Smashing Pumpkins, still -- yeah, pop started going to hell on a rocket sled after the '80s.

  20. Chris 125

    TV isn't expensive if you hunt around. Since I ditched Sky, they started sending me increasingly desperate letters - 25% off, 40% off, 50% off, 60% off and recently 60% off with £75 cashback.

    I ditched them because went with Virgin for a year since I played the two off and Virgin won with a £29 broadband and TV deal, but that offer has now dropped off my account so it's up to an eye-watering £52. So they can do it cheaper, but they'd rather not unless you refuse to talk to them.

    Solution is a NowTV smart box at £45 (including 5 months subscription worth that would normally cost £35), rolling price £7 a month giving me a handful of the better channels plus Freeview, Pause/Rewind and catchup apps.

    The trouble is, I've now got some weird convoluted process to watch TV depending on whether I want to watch free-to-air, the NowTV channels, or something on catchup. Actually this is something the dodgy plugins for Kodi did really well - integrating all your channels into one list. I don't give a flying thingie what channel I'm watching, I just want to see a list of what I can watch right now.

  21. Jan 0

    I thinks it's wonderful

    that these major league criminals are being locked away with the thousands of investment bankers responsible for our wrecked econo..... Oh, wait.

    Let's try again. Would the Spotify model allow me too watch Indonesian films in the UK? When is globalisation going to hit these streaming services?

  22. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    Interestingly I am in a situation where I am looking to buy the DVD's to a TV show I like (only 2 seasons). It isnt new (2001 I think) and I will happily pay for it. It is not available in any region on DVD. This isnt the first time I have come across this problem but I am so against pirating I am in the situation where I dont think I am able to legally obtain it.

    I can understand why some people pirate and not necessarily for the price. More content on offer, easier to access, quicker to access, etc.

    1. Uffish

      Re: looking to buy the DVD's

      Given that all the shops round here have stopped selling CD/DVD players I guess selling DVDs is last years business plan.

  23. Pat 11

    VPNs and TOR?

    Really? A quick search suggests you can just install Kodi on phones and PCs and add pirate plugins without any jiggery or even pokery.

    1. Seajay#

      Re: VPNs and TOR?

      Indeed you can. Add a chromecast and about 10 minutes mild jiggery and you've got Exodus on your TV.

      They aren't so worried about that though because even 10 minutes of mildly technical work is beyond the great majority of people so isn't going to make significant dent in revenues. It only becomes a problem when people are selling turnkey solutions on mainstream websites.

  24. andy gibson

    FACT on BBC today

    A representative from FACT was on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC2 this morning, relating to a morning raid where 5 people were arrested and 700 boxes seized.

    In it he said that "streaming was illegal", "Kodi boxes are illegal" and that the police would be looking at the accounts of the 5 arrested and going round and speaking to the buyers.

    Watch on iPlayer, scroll on to around 20 minutes in.

    1. NonSSL-Login
      Thumb Down

      Re: FACT on BBC today

      Disinformation and outright lies. Scare tactics too.

      If the police are going to waste time talking to people who buy Kodi box's then they really have turned in to the corporate police. Time the tax payer stopped funding copyright enforcement and let the media corporations use their own money via courts and private prosecutions like they are supposed too.

  25. Shaha Alam
    Joke

    "...and the unlicensed streaming services even have a slick EPG (TV guide)"

    how dare they, the bastards!

  26. M7S

    "watching licensed live TV in a pub or a friend’s house is an ethical alternative."

    Has anyone ever managed to get their local pub to switch from showing sport?

    You might in theory get an episode or so but to watch a series? Probably no chance whatsoever

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Re: "watching licensed live TV in a pub or a friend’s house is an ethical alternative."

      So, basically, the way my Dad and his pals used to watch ballgames or fights on TV back when Dad was just a young dude, in the late '40s and early '50s when TV sets were still a bit expensive for your average family -- get together and watch it on the TV at a local bar'n'grill.

  27. Grabber

    Clamping down individuals won't help!

    There is no point clamping down individuals will help.

    If the system really wants to clamp down on the kodi usage then it needs to be collaborative approach with the Major Online Retailers/Sellers/Wholesellers - like Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, Aliexpress, Alibaba. The day when the government and the law makers are able to convince these business from blocking these devices to be sold on their website you will then see major decline of Kodi devices being sold.

    On the other hand we are only talking about the kodi devices that are pre-installed.

    What about the devices that can be used to install Kodi on. The apps can be installed on most of the devices like - mobile, laptop, rasberry pi, Amazon fire stick, apple tv, chrome cast, you name it. These type devices can be configured for any kodi add-ons. To stop users from using these services you don't have to catch the small time sellers, simply work with the ISPs and block the application, same like Torrents, lots of ISPs have blocked it and I am sure Kodi can easily be blocked too.

    There isn't any point arresting and prosecuting a single local seller or users who watch them. Lots of sources on Kodi that is streamed requires some kind of subscription anyways - good quality content ones though

    On the other note - XBMC has never been illegal in the past so why Kodi.

    Torrent blocked, Kodi is popular,

    Kodi get blocked - Something else will come up.

    It is best to keep an open market so people have a freedom to choose and comfortably make choices. I watch movies in the cinemas as you get different experience all together, people who enjoy watching in cinema will always go to have an experience they enjoy.

    Cracking down individuals on kodi is no good and not going to help anyone.

  28. Slx

    Is this not an incredible waste of police time and public money on what is basically protecting a totally broken business model that can't be protected anyway.

    If they made *everything* available in proper streaming services, the vast majority of people would pay for them. I think Spotify, Apple Music etc has proven that most people will be legal if the content is available for a reasonable price.

    When you've a situation where studios are selling content to pay TV providers and doing exclusive deals where it's not available in certain territories for streaming, you suddenly have an issue where people will look towards illegal sources to get access to content that they otherwise have to jump through hoops for.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      But none of the networks want to give money to the enemy. They don't want to cooperate. They want to conquer. Plus they don't trust third parties to not go into the business themselves and try to usurp (like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix).

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    better things to do than waste time supporting rights holders

    would rather spend 2 hours in the gym than waste time or money supporting companies who think they are better than Trump. Netflix?? I used to have netflix until they tried to shove LGBwhatever on my list of shows. They are gone.

  30. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

    Why Don't You...

    ...turn off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead...

  31. tiggity Silver badge

    Just because it could...

    I have a "fully loaded" kodi box..

    When I got it nobody sold them NOT fully loaded.

    No idea how good / bad the addins are as I never use them, just wanted device I could plug into (non main) TV, into cabled ethernet and watch iPlayer catchup and stream things off PVR (also on network but in different room)

    Out of the box it does not explicitly encourage me to watch pirated stuff (I assume it's easy enough if I run the correct addon out of the many installed).

    I may not be typical but I do wonder how many people just use a kodi box in a fully legit way

    Had been using an old phone via wifi but wifi signal gets a lot of hammer from other devices in the house so with high wifi contention I wanted wired connection to guarantee iPlayer bandwidth.

    Just because it is possible to pirate stuff on a box does not mean it is going to be done.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Why Don't You...

      And when you get home, just sit there until bed time? Or is that when you post fist-waving comments on the internet about how other people spend their free time?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why Don't You...

        post was of the title song of BBC kids program try searching youtube for "BBC why don't you"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why Don't You...

      staying at home watching TV, turn it off it's no good for thee.

    3. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: Why Don't You...

      ...turn off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead...

      ITYM

      Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead?

  32. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    @Its OUR industry dammit@

    Essentially the title of the article asks a question that is best answered as follows:

    1) Intellectual property creators are no longer the real owners of such properties, there is a massive set of industries wrapped around taking that ownership away from the creators and then mining that property for every penny it's worth, and only possibly passing some of those pennies to the creators.

    2) This set of industries has been massively successful for an inordinately long period of time and has become complacent and self inflated.

    3) The end users have been provided a tool that makes at least one component of this set of industries redundant (distribution).

    4) In more than a few cases the creators have been provided tools that may strip away the original justification for some of the industries in this debate. Those tools are also being either taken over by or taken out by the industries in this debate.

    When it comes to pure entertainment, while there is a need for production companies, and technology companies to support Music, Movies, TV shows etc, there is *less and less* that these companies are absolutely needed. They've had a historical run of making tons of money, and sometimes loosing money. They have classically over paid executives, far too many layers and a penchant for excess. All of these issues have lead them to outright panic at the thought that there may be a day when they can no longer justify their existence. Thus they will take extreme measures at this time to ensure that all the tools they can buy will be arranged to ensure that they continue to make the fat salaries they receive.

    Kodi, while it engenders a culture of *piracy* per se, is not in and of itself a piracy tool. What they are most terrified of is that it will make the fat cat rights management industry a dinosaur by linking the originator directly with the consumer.

    I'm not going to say that I think it is the solution but it provides a component in the solution.

    And lets be utterly honest here. <Mr BigMedia> be it Sony, WarnerBrothers, Disney, etc, IS the m#$%@$%ing problem.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piracy led the way

    What.CD blew the socks off any and all 'legit' digital music sources in terms of variety, quality, and community. It was a gut wrenching loss when that cultural repository was slaughtered. Much of it simply obscure or rare stuff that wasn't available anywhere else.

    Similarly, TheBox.BZ was undisputed king of online UK telly long before the likes of iPlayer or 4od had any worthwhile offering. Money doesn't come in to the equation for either.

    As for films, if a good digital copy or stream is available then that's great. That does still leave the ethical questions around financing the US regime, though...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please please please just sell me DRM mp4 files at a fair price.

    Don't rip me off for something I can only play on limited devices for limited time, without ads, and I'll play nice.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So just to check

    selling Kodi hardware with plugins installed that list the same streaming content that is available via web pages, is what makes this somehow illegal? the kodi user is not involved in distribution unlike p2p because content is broadcast like radio instead it is the same as web with the search already done.

    So, if the interface was changed so the user had to type in what he wanted to watch rather than clicking a link in a list then everything would be okay? I ask as lots of "legal" boxes and smart TVs include youtube and browser apps that can access the same streamed content.

    If merely facilitating access to these streaming services is illegal when why are all the search engines providers, browser and system hardware makers etc also not similarly illegal?

  36. Samsepiole

    Ha I pay for Amazon and Netflix but let's face it 98 percent of the propagandized entertainment is total crap .You can talk about economic impact and intellectual rights yeah it's all very intellectual.Read a book let the dinosaurs die a silent death the will not be missed!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    So, media companies inflate the amounts they pay to sports to secure exclusive rights to televise matches, which they pass on to the punters in the form of increased subscription fees. When people then stream the matches, the media companies then complain about "losses" and "theft"?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Are you SURE they inflate the prices? Or is it that the sports know they have an audience and are jacking up their prices due to the high demand? Can your cite where the sports are taking in less than the media companies are claiming?

  38. Mark2410

    They only have themselves to blame

    I for years, used netfix paying them every month and additionally paying Unotelly for a dns redirect thing so I could get the US Netflix which actually had the content I wanted. I wanted TV shows, I didn't care at all about films.

    Netflix then decided that it would put up my fee and start enforcing geoblocking, taking away all the content I actually wanted. I asked Netflix and their response essentially was, our content providers are more important to us than your money is so go F yourself.

    If Netflix they can offer an inferior service to others just because what place I'm in then they have that right but if VW said yeah, your car, well you are only licenced to use the front two seats because your in the UK and not Germany, customers would not put up with it. If content makers want to stop piracy then they need to stop treating those customers like crap because they are in one place rather than another.

  39. Kiwi
    Pirate

    Providers are largely responsible.

    I want to watch a certain series. Problem. TVNZ or Sky or whoever has the rights to that show in NZ

    They won't show the program. They have the rights, so no one else can show it.

    They won't show the program. They have the rights and haven't shown it, so you can't buy the DVD's even if you want to.

    They won't show the program. My old ISP had a sort-of VPN system aimed at overseas visitors but the rest of us could also use it to watch stuff local providers weren't interested in showing. But the local providers sued them and got that stopped. How dare they provide a service to paying customers who wanted certain content!

    No wonder people are happy to get their content from other sources. Sky, TVNZ et al, if you won't want to show a program then don't buy the rights to it, let someone who will show it have it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Providers are largely responsible.

      "No wonder people are happy to get their content from other sources. Sky, TVNZ et al, if you won't want to show a program then don't buy the rights to it, let someone who will show it have it."

      Have you ever thought they bought it so that it won't be seen AT ALL? AND they're willing to outbid everyone else to keep it that way? For them, the price of keeping it bottled up is probably less than the losses they would incur if it ever got out.

  40. kevjs

    Give me the ability to download content DRM free and I'm in. I generally buy a DVD for around 1p (+postage) from Amazon or a £1 from the pound shops (Replay DVD usually), then once it's delivered rip it to my NAS Drive and never see the disk again - how much of the money I have paid has got to the studio/actors - sod all but this way of acquiring media is somehow more legal (depending on whether or not we are allowed to format shift this year) than torrents for some reason...

    Ripping to my NAS drive means it's present through the same UI as broadcast TV (Freeview and Freesat) and PVR recordings made via my DVB-T2/DVB-S2 tuners and no need to piss around with half a dozen apps and constant switching of AV Input. I'm also able to transfer content to my tablet (a service which EE offered in a cackhanded way for about a week before the tv channels cried foul) to watch when I've no internet connection (i.e. on East Midlands trains).

    As other commentators have also said offering a streaming service with a decent range of content would be useful - having to individually search Now TV, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Google Play Movies, 4od, Demand 5, ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer (etc etc) to try and find one particular show (which is inevitably unavailable) is a total ball ache, and even though Roku try it doesn't work reliably - search for a film, yay I can watch on Amazon prime, select it - go to Amazon's home page (why not the film?!), manually search for it and Amazon can't find it - wtaf?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its all about mind control

    The big corps want to decide what you watch, when you watch, how much, etc etc.

    They work a to a hidden higher up agenda and control your thinking and the thought processes too!

    Its all a media conspiracy.

    Why do you think America voted Madman Donald? Media power. Cant believe the population is so dumbed down.

    But, yeah, they have the power hence the gumption to enforce their belieifs and agenda.

    And we all compulsorily pay for fussboll !

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Role of the police (and Trading Standards) in these raids?

    What, exactly, is the role of the police (and Trading Standards) in these raids?

    What laws (if any) are they enforcing, and given the other demands on police time, why are the FACT people more important than the other places the police perhaps should be?

    Same question to Trading Standards, who also appear to be involved. Trading Standards haven't enough time or money to go after Whirlpool subsidiaries re flaming tumble dryers that have killed people, but suddenly TSOs have enough time and money to support the Premier League rights holders?

    Is any money changing hands in this picture? At or near Association of Chief Police Officers Ltd level, for example? Yes I know ACPO Ltd isn't called that any more, but...

    Interested readers need to know.

  43. Andy 97

    Most of would pay...

    for the ability to see exactly what we want.

    I have a paid subscription with a non-UK OTT sports provider that shows all PL football matches.

    I'd rather not have to mess around paying some dodgy 'gas-rich' country's broadcasting arm money, but I like football and they have a service I can watch it on.

    The rights holders only have themselves to blame, people will always find a way to get what they want.

    *I also have Sky and BT Sports subscriptions.

  44. Seajay#

    Frantic self-justification

    You can get a subscription which allows you to stream pretty much anything you want legally; sky will do that for you for £80/month. Obviously that's far more than Spotify because films cost a lot more to make than albums do.

    Maybe you now realise that you don't want to spend £80 / month because that's quite a lot but you do want to watch the occasional film. No problem, rent them individually via itunes / google play.

    It used to be the case that legal streaming was really inconvenient / impossible and that a lot of films weren't available at all or weren't available on subscription or weren't available as single purchases. That is no longer the case, you can no longer use that excuse.

    Face up to the fact that you're using Kodi / torrents not because of any moral reasons and not for convenience but just because you like to have stuff without paying for it and you think it's unlikely that you'll be caught.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Frantic self-justification

      While I dont disagree with the general notion of pirating <anything> hurts the system over all, several of your assumptions are way off.

      1st Sky's selection is crap and there service is more crap they rarely if ever have the show I want to watch and half the time when they do its buy only e.g. that 80 ... PS its actually more like 150 but whatever that sub fee that just gets you into the store and a selection of crap you didn't want pluss a few bits that you did want. Sky is a major part of the problem or rather is a manifestation of the problem.

      Region locked content & exclusive rights e.g. where in you cant get the show by any given means because Sky has the rights but you cant get it from Sky because its not showing now or at all. Then then there is the just basic issues with Sky services, the hardware ... which you have to have to use it, is junk cobled together mostly open sources code by the way running on a hacked up nix platform, that abomination is reason alone that I wont use Sky ... I might bother with them if at least it was reliable but no its a turd.

      Now Amazon, Google Play, Netflix, etc. ... yes all solid offerings that can more than easily fill the need ... however that exclusive rights problem that in many EU cases Skye owns erodes the available content on these services to ... you guessed it a wad of crap. ... Now for buying a movie absolutly Amazon or Google Play they have a wide selection that you can buy but you cant subscribe to Google Play in many places thanks typically to Sky and the sub you can get is widdled down to the worst possible selection.

      So no the main reason people that stream that I know is that they cant get the content they want by any other means. Kodi, torrents, etc. isn't the first thing they try in fact its the last thing they try and only reluctantly after getting frustrated with every other attempt at finding a given show, event, movie, etc.

      The world has changed, people move around so the notion of geolocking/region locking is dead yet a lot of the media industry still does this and this only exists (in most cases) to enable exclusive access e.g. so Sky can be the only one to pipe something into you.

      Now the notion of exclusive access, region locked, etc. etc. enables price fixing, price discrimination, and other generally illigal or at least imoral antitrust issues. ... legally this doesn't apply to media in this context but the reason these topics are illigal (its bad for the public and is somethign the public doesn't want) is why you see Kodi, torrent, etc. with such a large strong community.

      Fortunetly a fix is in sight, we are seeing less and less of the exclusive distribution crap, we are seeing less and less of the region locked crap, we are seeing more and more direct/streamed distribution channels (legit, questionable and out right pirat happy) ... once the industry catches up and accepts that an Amarican, living in Japan at the moment with an account they created while in UK expects to be able to watch the Brazilian show there friends told them about is a normal thing and stops feeding creatures like Sky in favor of more widely available channels like Google Play, Amazon, NetFlix, etc people (in the mass majority) will use thouse paid services over the more hack, less stable and potentially illigal solutions they feel they must resort to now. This will also mean more competition for these services which will help keep the prices from getting stupid like they did for cable TV for example where the very same ... you get it from us or not at all allowed them to rediculesly inflate prices... still does in a lot of places.

  45. skpManiac

    Greed and Global restrictions are why people stream for free!

    If all these companies didn't charge so much then people would pay a monthly fee - I am currently on Amazon Prime and up to now there is only 1 TV show I have actually watched all the way through, that was Goliath, the movie selection is pants in my opinion!

    The music side however if great with a very wide selection of music, but many new albums we have pay extra for.

    These actors, singers and companies involved are still making billions, when an actor can afford his own 777 and an airport in their garden, or go and buy a full Island as a retreat then they have no right to moan they they do not make enough money - on top of that the money it costs our Governments to fight piracy could be put to much better use like stopping starvation and helping build homes for the homeless - the possibilities are endless - but its just pure greed by all these big companies that are driving these camp-downs!

    I do agree that businesses should NOT make money off the backs of the movie/music industry but just let people at home it do themselves and stream and let stream.

    The only real solution as I see it for an onli8ne streaming service that can offer everything for a fair price - but we all know these massive corporations won't do that because it will stop them making their billions!

    I'm sure will rip my post apart but this is just my opinion as I sit here thinking about it :)

    Have a good weekend guys, and enjoy your Kodi Streams lol :p

  46. kpmbrink123

    The future of copyrighted entertainment is already a dying industry and rampant piracy is just the effect of technology eliminating safe means of distribution. Instead of fighting it every step of the way, and creating enemies of the very people you intend to sell to; why not look for other ways to move a product? Video games turned to FTP models (which is a double edged sword.) While they are re-cooperating profit lost to piracy, they are also alienating the art form video gaming used to be. Music has chosen to do digital distribution and vinyl as its primary distribution methods. Vinyl being more of an enthusiast product; digital distribution still has gaping holes because once something is paid for once, it can be loaded to P2P sites for mass distribution without the artist seeing a cent. Millions, if not billions spent by interpol, the FBI, and other major police forces have discovered the piracy scourge is nothing more than a hydra; cut off one head and 3 more spring up. (An observation of Kickass Torrent and The Pirate bay.) Lets really think about what piracy really is. For years the media and entertainment industry has gouged buyers. The media industry thought it could plug all the holes in its leaky profit boat by turning on the public; which has lead to publishers like Warner Brothers and Sony being given the reputation of Greedy Bastards. This in turn gives people less inclined to buy media more of a "divine purpose" to steal media from corporate sows. From the very beginning, these companies put pop icons on a pedestal and created products out of people; charging an arm and a leg for merchandise. The revolt is in the form of people choosing to still consume their products but shafting them for their arrogance. The movie industry has been dominated by 250 million dollar pictures that are unoriginal and aside from a big budget; leaving the audience longing for a better film. The response? People no LONGER TRUST the media and their offerings to be of quality. People pirate because they cannot trust that their minuscule budget they have for entertainment will give them a quality experience. Until the media industry starts re-thinking their strategy; the whole entertainment industry is going to be a volunteers only space. Meaning, just like many of the earliest composers; we will see penniless artists creating works of beauty for nothing at all. The industry itself killed this art by over commercializing and bastardizing its beauty with hooks and ropes to bait you into buying yet another britney spears album, or a zac efron poster. Rather than thinking about how to entertain you, they chose cheap thrills and empty gratification as their delivery.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "The revolt is in the form of people choosing to still consume their products but shafting them for their arrogance. The movie industry has been dominated by 250 million dollar pictures that are unoriginal and aside from a big budget; leaving the audience longing for a better film."

      If that were true, cinemas would be in decline, yet the box office numbers are bigger than ever.

  47. lodendsg

    1st off ... in responce to the 'no reason to use Kodi Sky has it all, that some one posted (paraphrasing)' no ... Sky doesn't have what most want ... Sky's offerings in most places is a diluted mudpuddle of crap feed to you on a box of junk e.g. little or nothing you want on an unstable service through an unstable platform (Sky Box)...

    The base issue with Movie and TV is the slow adoption of a world wide market. Not that music, book and game are perfect solutions but they have at least embraced if not somewhat reluctantly in some cases the notion of digital distribution and as a result you can buy, sub, rent, whatever the content you want regardless of where it was made, where it was made for, where you are from or where you are ... for the most part.

    The way it will end up is that digital distribution will be the common form. You will be distributing globaly e.g. your customer may be an Amarican, sitting in an appartment in Tokeyo loged into an account created while they where in the UK and they are watching a show in Porteguess done by a Brizzilian studio ... in fact that sort of thing is not uncommon now.

    The market for media is global, there is no room for notions of regions and exclusive distribution is just a tool to enable price fixing/discrimination which in other industries would be outright illigal. That is the big reason you see a so much piracy. Most of the people I know that resort to Kodi ... which frankly is a shaky clunky little beast to work with ... is becuase they want to watch or finish watching something that isn't available where they are at the moment and cant be had through the media monopoly that holds the area they are in at the moment.

    Just as soon as the rights holders stop serving up exclusive distribution rights to companies like Sky and start supporting multiple digital distribution channels like Google Play, Netflix, Amazon, etc. we will see a massive decline in amount of piracy as most people are simply to lazy to use a hack solution when a fair priced one that is actually stable and has what they want is sitting right there.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "The market for media is global, there is no room for notions of regions and exclusive distribution is just a tool to enable price fixing/discrimination which in other industries would be outright illigal."

      Yes, there is, in fact. In some countries, content some would find entertaining or at least acceptable would be considered illegal if not subversive (and thus extremely troublemaking). As long as countries have laws which they will back up to the hilt, global distribution will not happen because they'd sooner see the world end first.

  48. Alex74874

    Hulu or Netflix or Kodi or whatever, it's not worth the price at all.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry, just wait a bit longer....................

    As the title suggests if you wait a bit for another Kodi update or two it will die on its own, the developers are seeing to that. As a streaming media player it is absolute garbage. If it was a commercial product (without the pirate streaming), no-one in their right mind would pay for it. Even if released as 'Free and open-source software' (FOSS) it would struggle; it falls over if you look at it, pun intended. The only reason that so many people put up with it is for the 'free' content. When these new updates arrive the program will become so unusable it will kill itself.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who say any of kodi or any streaming is illeagal?

    how is streaming illegal? no one make money from Kodi streaming so if no one is making money how is it piracy or anything else? It's not!!!

    And just because multi billion dollar corporations say it's illegal doesn't mean it is!! It just means they are buying everything and makeing it illegal as always!! Open your eyes and see the world for what it is!! A ponsey sceam from the us government the top to the Mcdonalds employer the bottom!! They all take every dime for every hard working person in the world everyday!! So what it has been that way for hundreds if not thousands of years!! Pull your head out and quit riding the sheeple bus, get on the people bus!!

  51. itsmejerry04

    Kodi itself is legal

    The short answer is that Kodi itself is legal, but watching pirated content on Kodi is illegal. Just like Windows Media Player is legal, but watching pirated content on Windows Media Player is illegal. See here https://kodi.ninja/, if you’re interested.

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