back to article Kodi-pocalypse Now? Actually, it's not quite here yet

With some in the media industries predicting an imminent "Kodipocalypse", a survey of more than 2,000 UK internet users suggests that simply being nice to those users who download illegal content – on Kodi or otherwise – isn't effective. The poll found that 22 per cent thought the threat of disconnection or court action would …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get it right

    Hmm some day I'll be able to get any show I want in a digital format to watch in a way I want to watch.

    As it is my crunchyroll sub doesn't give me access to everything they have because - geographical licensing restrictions.

    Netfilx or amazon video - not available in your country.

    And more or less the same for other services.

    So yes once the content producers get it right it won't be a problem.

    Of course them actually making stuff worth watching is another problem entirely - I haven't bothered even trying to get any content via alternate ways because there isn't really anything worth my time to sink in.

    1. John Sanders
      Pirate

      Re: Get it right

      Hmm some day maybe there will be anything worth to watch.

      For the last 2 years I have been just watching the occasional fail-army youtube video, reading books and playing video-games.

      Piss off entertainment industry, you produce 99.99999% boring PC garbage.

    2. David Webb

      Re: Get it right

      As it is my crunchyroll sub doesn't give me access to everything they have because - geographical licensing restrictions.

      And with Crunchyroll they don't region lock their posts stating which new content is available, so you start to read and go "ohh, that looks good" then they list regions "US & Canada"... carry on scrolling down "omg, they got that, I so want to watch that!" "US & Canada". Doesn't help even if you go via .co.uk they still show you bloody shows you can't watch.

      Still, $19.99/3mth is a good enough bargain just for Konosuba.

      /edit - then you get some toe rag idiot who uses their parents credit card to pay for their sub to tell you you're too old to use the site in the first place. It's good to vent.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Re: "too old to use the site"

        Tell them if they haven't seen Urusei Yatsura or Maison Ikkoku they're too young to appreciate anime.

        Speaking of Konosuba, watching that back-to-back with Re: Zero is a bit of a surreal experience.

        1. David Webb

          Re: "too old to use the site"

          Re : Zero is hard mode, though I'm sure there is a cross over out there. The anime that got me into anime are the 90's stuff though, Akira, GITS, legend of the over fiend (okay, I didn't know what hentai was at the time....). Back then C4 was actually airing anime, they did the 4 dragon brother kings one, the one where the prisoners had exploding neck things on so they had to go solve crimes, 3x3 eyes.

          Worst things with youngsters is that they cannot appreciate the original sailor moon series.

          1. billdehaan

            Re: "too old to use the site"

            the one where the prisoners had exploding neck things on so they had to go solve crimes

            Cyber City Oedo 808.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Get it right

      EU law - and case law are very that consuming streamed pirated content is not illegal, so I doubt whatever they do will make any difference at all. People will just install the addons themselves if they can't buy them pre-installed...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get it right

        "Most (78 per cent) recognise that "downloading copyrighted material without permission" is illegal."

        -----------------------------

        What countries is it illegal in? As far as I know in most countries using newsgroups, ftp, file lockers, streaming, nothing illegal has been committed by the person downloading.

        The copyright cartels are using their influence to try and make downloading illegal but we are not at that stage yet in EU countries at least.

        I wish media outlets would stop parroting the lies Hollywood spouts without verifying the claims.

    4. tmTM

      Re: Get it right

      " Get It Right From A Genuine Site portal. This encompasses a useful "Find Any Film" search engine."

      First attempt at using it and it's total rubbish.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get it right

      And you can't go by the name, either.

      'Netflix' is available in my country... but has way less content, and less interesting content, than 'Netflix' in the US. For a lot of people, the content is not worth it.... here.

    6. dan1980

      Re: Get it right

      There are three main barriers that remain.

      The first is not availability. This is obvious but the specific problem is not just whether some content is available in your country, but which particular service it is available on.

      If you want to be able to (legally) consume whatever TV shows and movies you want, you realistically have to pay for multiple streaming services. This is not only a pain, having to switch between them when searching for content, but also multiplies the cost.

      The second barrier is DRM. How this inconveniences consumers depends on the content but take, for example, digital comics. Marvel Unlimited is, I think, great value, but the app was rubbish. Apparently it is better now but, regardless, you are tied into their DRM system which means your reading experience is at the mercy of Marvel and whatever their executives and designers think is a good idea/will make them more money.

      But even just buying a Bluray from the store - you get home and put it in the player, all legal, and you are subject to not only multiple ugly and unskippable warnings but unskippable trailers* and even, in a recent purchase, an unskippable advertisement for how great Blu-Ray is. Not to mention the (often unskippable) animated introductions to the main menu, usually consisting of scenes from the movie itself. Unless you have a special player that allows you to skip these, it can sometimes be several minutes before you can actually start a movie you have paid for.

      The last barrier is Internet connectivity.

      Yes, almost everyone has Internet connectivity and yes, you need Internet connectivity to illegally download a movie. BUT, when you illegally download it, you can do so ahead of time and, usually, in a piecemeal fashion. Also, once you have downloaded it, you're good to go without any further connectivity.

      There is also a fourth barrier, which is the data collection that occurs with streaming services, but that only seems to be a barrier to a few, privacy conscious individuals. Sadly, most people have no qualms about telling everyone their watching/listening/reading habits - either not realising just how much profiling can be done from that information, or just not caring.

      Of course, not all of the above are issues for every type of media and service but they are all barriers that simply do not exist with 'pirated' material.

      * - Which amount to advertisements for the studio.

  2. frank ly Silver badge

    Confusion

    "In recent weeks, suspected infringers have begun receiving stiff letters from their ISPs."

    Is this a crossover from the sex & technology article? I'm with Virgin Media so I wouldn't be sure what to do.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Confusion

      And this is how I found out my flatmate had downloaded Spider-man 2.

      Seriously, if you're going to get caught pirating, at least make it a decent film.

  3. FIA

    You mention Kodi several times in this article, yet never mention that it's an entirely legitimate piece of software.

    It's some of the addons for it that are used for piracy.

    It's only a minor point, but I suspect the people at Kodi would be glad if you pointed it out.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Exactly, and El Reg ought to know better than to click bait it like this. Kodi is as much responsible for "piracy" as the an OS is. You add stuff to either to enable "piracy" but each, in and of itself, is designed for legitimate use,

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        I see lots of audis being used as getaway cars. Lets ban audi for supporting armed robberies.

    2. Matt_payne666

      Thank you for pointing this out.... I've been an avid kodi user since the days of the hard modded Xbox... its an excellent media device and never streamed any illegal content.

      its a shame that since the name change people have really been pushing it hard as as piracy box.

      1. billdehaan

        Kodi is responsible for piracy in the same way that knives and forks are responsible for obesity.

        I've been using Kodi for about two years. Previously, I had a WDTV box that died (since resurrected), and a cheap Kodi box was an alternative. Having over 20TB of content collected over the years (friends running a DVD rental place shut down and handed me and others spindles of DVDs), Kodi's indexing features were a major draw. Plus, having subtitle download built in was a major win.

        I got an Arnu box recently, and the nice thing is that their default CloudWords thingee installs only Kodi approved plugins. So I was surprised to see this Crackler thing, which is apparently Sony, happily dumping lots of old Sony movies and shows online, all for free, legit.

        The funny thing it, even with all the downloads available, I never use them. Still going through the backlog of old stuff...

      2. lorisarvendu

        " Reply Icon

        Thank you for pointing this out.... I've been an avid kodi user since the days of the hard modded Xbox... its an excellent media device and never streamed any illegal content."

        Although the software we were all running on the Xbox was technically illegal as it was compiled using the MS proprietary Xbox Development Kit ha ha.

  4. sz54c8

    Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

    You know, if TV services were available at a reasonable rate - say £20 a month for a decent wadge of premium sports and the very latest movies - I dare say streaming of illegal content would drop right down. But £100+ for a full Sky package is a chunk of change that puts a big dent in many a budget. When CDs were ridiculously expensive, music piracy was rife. Now that you can buy tracks for a much more reasonable rate, I'm of the opinion that it seems to have dropped off. Greed drives streaming of illegal content through Kodi, people who can't justify the exorbitant costs of TV packages see it as a reasonable option. Unfortunately the big media companies wouldn't dare to drop prices simply in the name of attracting a higher volume of subscribers - they'd sooner lobby to get anyone streaming illegally through Kodi sent to jail, probably.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

      "Greed drives streaming of illegal content through Kodi, people who can't justify the exorbitant costs of TV packages see it as a reasonable option."

      Yes, and that view, which happens to be mine too, seems to be born out by the poll reported in the article.

      "The highest percentage of Kodi users in the UK were in the 35-44 and 55+ age groups at 18 per cent each. This is compared with 3 per cent of 18-24-year-olds," industry newsletter RapidTV's Joe O'Halloran notes."

      People most likely to stream "illegal" content are the age groups most likely to have school age kids or are seeing retirement looming, ie those with the least disposable income.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

        It's really just because the 18-24 group doesn't care as much about sport, TV or films.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

          It's really just because the 18-24 group doesn't care as much about sport, TV or films.

          Yeah. They've got their hands full being addicted to porn.

          1. ta6rma

            Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

            "Hand", surely?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

              "Hand", surely?

              Speak for yourself mate. I need both hands!

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

      £20 a month for a decent wadge of premium sports

      Well, there's clearly considerable room to reduce the costs of professional sports players and the amount of money that is sucked out of provincial towns into overseas banks is economically damaging. However, the reason that sports subscriptions costs a large amount of money is that the people who watch professional sport are prepared to pay through the nose to do so. If you want the cost of TV sport to come down, stop subscribing to it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

      @ sz54c8. Spot on. Provide quality content at the right time, and at a reasonable price, piracy almost vanishes. Content providers : you are causing piracy, not the victim of it.

    4. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

      "Greed drives streaming of illegal content through Kodi, people who can't justify the exorbitant costs of TV packages see it as a reasonable option."

      Alternatively: "Greed drives streaming of illegal content through Kodi, people who don't want to pay for a product steal it instead."

      People can whine all they like about a product being overpriced, but that has never been a justification to break the law by grabbing it for yourself anyway. Copyright infringement and theft may not be exactly equivalent, but the logic behind them are the same - I want something, I can't afford it, I'm going to take it anyway. Particularly hilarious are the people who complain that the people producing the product don't get paid enough, therefore taking it for free and ensuring they don't get anything is justified. There's plenty of greed involved here, but it's not the big media companies that have the lion's share of it.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Maybe just drop your prices and kill illegal streaming? Not likely though

        logic is different

        Theft means the item is gone e.g. someones car gets stolen, they are majorly impacted.

        Digital copyright infringement does not result in any digital contest suddenly not existing, it just means someone has copied it without authorisation.

        Not the same as theft

        And the price (region locking issues) are why a lot of people do it. In the UK if you were a keen sport, TV and film fan, then to get all the content you wanted would be a silly amount of cash per month as you would need to subscribe several different services due to fragmentation (i.e. not all content on all services).

        .. and even then, typically no chance of recent US film releases in a legit way from UK due to staggered regional release stupidity which encourages piracy IMHO

        I do not consume much TV / film / sport (UK Freeview only) so not affected as made decision that could not justify costs of various non free services (plus lots of non video related activities to keep me busy) but can see the issues it causes those who do like lots of media content.

  5. Syntax Error

    IP

    Seems the Intellectual Property Industry have won in the UK. We really are being ripped off. You are losing your freedom on the internet to give and share.

    1. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: IP

      "You are losing your freedom on the internet to give and share."

      Not at all. If you want to commit several years of your life to creating media content then give it away free under a Creative Commons licence, no one will stop you. In fact many will applaud your bravery and there are several people/organisations doing just that.

      You can watch all the copyright free movies you want from Archive.org, including some good modern documentaries and the historical archive of recorded material going back to the start of the 20th century. If you like reading there are numerous sites, including Project Gutenberg that will provide legal, copyright free ebooks for your enjoyment. These include recent works by enlightened authors such as Charlie Stross who see that releasing copyright free ebooks hasn't hurt their sales and allows people who can't afford a book or have access to a public library to obtain reading matter.

      All of these works you can use and distribute on a share-alike basis.

      You can also go to a library, register for a reader's card and access copyright material legally for free or for a low rental.

      However, I suspect that your high ideals don't amount to much more than wanting to sit and vegetate in front of a Hollywood "Blockbuster" that you didn't pay for.

      1. An ominous cow heard

        Re: IP

        " If you want to commit several years of your life to creating media content then give it away free under a Creative Commons licence, no one will stop you. In fact many will applaud your bravery and there are several people/organisations doing just that."

        Right.

        But there's a world of difference between your "feed the struggling artists" argument, and the reality.

        Of any given revenue stream in the content distribution industry, how much actually reaches the writers, performers, what have you? And how much is sliced off along the way before it reaches the actual creatives, sliced off by the card processors, the big-brand distribution companies, and so on.

        Let's see some realistic numbers rather than generic handwaving and *then* we can talk.

        There used to be some interesting numbers on Tom Robinson's website, where his back catalogue was freely downloadable, about where iTunes revenue went, but last time I checked, they'd gone (both the free downloads and the iTunes analysis). Perhaps not entirely unrelated to his back catalogue being newly available through iTunes at that time.

        1. Lotaresco Silver badge

          Re: IP

          "Of any given revenue stream in the content distribution industry, how much actually reaches the writers, performers, what have you? "

          I have no idea and neither do you. However the fact that we don't know doesn't give someone the right (in law or morally) to take what they want for free or to distribute that material to who they see fit. The people who create the content have signed deals or employment contracts with the organisations that hold the copyright. They presumably did so happy that they got more or less what they wanted from the deal. The copyright holder is then free to sign deals to distribute the material with whoever they like in order to make a profit. In this copyright holders takes risks, spread risk across projects and try to balance their gains and losses as best they can. The people they employ are not undeserving of their reward in this process.

          We can argue about the relative proportions of risk, reward and the balance between "creatives" and those who support the creatives but so far it's the business model that works. It works in Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood; it even works in Pineywood. In fact the model isn't confined to the arts, it's pretty much how software publishing works and publishing in general. Yes there are admirable attempts to make an alternative of honesty payment and free distribution work but they aren't working as well as could be hoped for. People, it seems, are not that honest or keen to pay for media once they have viewed it.

          Perhaps you could give us your vision of how it can work if people just suck down on unofficial copies distributed through unofficial channels. Bear in mind that in the case of the Pirate Bay et al. The artists don't get a penny and the owners of the sites have been making large amounts of money. That's even less equitable than the official distribution channels.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: IP

            "I have no idea and neither do you. "

            Not really. In so far as Tom Robinson posted the figures for music downloads, I know. Others may have similar analyses for video content. If they exist it'd be great to see them. Maybe someone can be bothered digging them out even if you and me can't.

            "copyright holders takes risks, spread risk across projects and try to balance their gains and losses as best they can. "

            Not really. The megacorps carry no significant risk and yet get the lions share of the profit and the revenue. Where's the risk in publishing a Beatles or Beyonce tune? What's the balance of risk between a card payment processor and a creative? Why are the two paid roughly the same?

            "Perhaps you could give us your vision of how it can work if people just suck down on unofficial copies distributed through unofficial channels"

            No. That's the industry's responsibility, not mine, though piracy is not what I was suggesting either, but a few days ago I was asked to pay £50 for Coast series 7 (I'll wait, thanks) and I was also looking to catch up with The Thick of It which I missed till now (has been on some streaming services, couldn't find it recently) - again, I'll wait, thank you.

            What I do know is that a business is supposed to serve its customers, not vice versa. Here we have a whole *industry* (not just a handful of companies) serving themselves rather than the people who pay their wages. Cartel much?

            ..........................................................

            Those i9Tunes numbers from Tom Robinson, from an El Reg post vintage 2008

            e.g. https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/178758 or this one:

            "Macca may not need the money, but more importantly nor do the pigopolists. Pretty much all their costs for Beatles stuff are long since recovered, but the pigopolists still see plenty people buying Beatles stuff at full price so they carry on selling at full price. (Help DVD special edition: Amazon US $90/GBP40).

            Have a look at Tom Robinson's website to see where the money goes from iTunes, and for an interesting approach to "back catalogue" distribution where the rights have returned to the artist: "

            "iTunes downloads cost 79p per track.

            Writer/publisher get 6p,

            Performer 6-8p,

            Visa/Mastercard 7p,

            Apple 12p,

            Record Company almost 50p

            Sod that. Help yourself to my songs & share them with your friends."

            formerly at http://www.tomrobinson.com/records/music/index.htm

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IP

      When copyright is properly measured in centuries, it is no longer a way to protect and encourage creators, and all about corporate monopolization and commercialization of culture. Let's applaud the senator from Disney for his sterling work!

  6. Fazal Majid

    Shaming

    The end credits to X-Men Apocalypse had a message "This movie created 15,000 jobs", presumably to make people feel bad about pirating. I'm not sure how much of an impact this would have in a society rife with narcissism and self-rationalized bad behavior, the example being set from the above.

    1. Ol'Peculier

      Re: Shaming

      And presumably created 15,000 redundancies once the film was completed?

      1. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: Shaming

        "And presumably created 15,000 redundancies once the film was completed?"

        Do we get het up that in the IT industry that jobs are created to build IT systems then those jobs evaporate when the system is handed into operations? No. Because those people will be redeployed on other projects. That's the same in the film industry. People come together to create a movie, then they go on to other things, most of them seem to move to work on another movie. Some of them use the experience to get a job in another media business. I'd say giving 15,000 people work for a period of 2-3 years is good going these days.

    2. John Sanders
      Unhappy

      Re: Shaming

      If each movie created 15.000 jobs we'll all be working for the entertainment industry.

      Besides, I trust nothing that (((Hollywood))) says related to cost, profits or salaries.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shaming

        ^ anti-Semite

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_parentheses

        1. creepy gecko

          Re: Shaming

          AC - thanks for the wiki link. I had no idea of that punctuation usage. My eyes are now open a little wider.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            The very idea of job creation is fungible

            If I open a restaurant and hire 20 people, did I really create 20 jobs? A given area can only support so many restaurants at a given population/income level, so if my restaurant is successful a struggling restaurant down the street may shut its doors and 20 people will lose their jobs. I don't create any jobs by opening a restaurant, it is basically a zero sum shell game unless the population in the area is growing. And at any rate, if I choose not to open a restaurant in a growing area, someone else will see the opportunity for profit and do so, so those jobs would be destined to be created whether I took the initiative or not.

            I'd argue the only true job creation is when new industries are invented. When iPhones and Androids started becoming prevalent, they replaced dumb phones and those pre-touch smartphones that only a tiny segment of the population used. There were no jobs created in say mobile phone manufacturing, because smartphone sales displaced dumb phone sales. However, they did create jobs in the app industry, since it was for all practical purposes non-existent before the App Store and Play Store came along. Many thousands of developers make a full time living writing smartphone apps, a job that did not exist a decade ago.

            If self-driving cars come, that will be a new industry. It will take people to program them and those will be new jobs, so companies like Tesla or whoever starts selling them first will talk about all the jobs they are creating. Of course that technology will destroy many more jobs in the form of taxi/Uber drivers and truck drivers, so it won't really be job creation any more than my restaurant that put the one down the street out of business was.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Shaming

          >^ anti-Semite

          >https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_parentheses

          I didn't know Hollywood was Semitic. I haven't been to the American one, but the original was distinctly Irish and Catholic. I didn't know the Celts or St Kevin were Semites.

          As for targeting them for harassment, I get the feeling that the harassment is originating from Hollywood rather than the other way around.

          Seriously people, that's Trump-level communication. Racist punctuation and mathematical notation? If some loonies adopt the full stop as representing "the final solution to the Jewish problem" are we going to stop using them? Worse, are we going to give them publicity by ripping punctuation out of context, vilifying "unknowingly racist" full-stop users in obviously innocent circumstances?

          Do not pander to the terrorists. Do not pander to those who would use terrorism for their own ends. Ignore both of those groups.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Shaming

            I use full stops regularly. I've never used triple parenthesis in the form (((x))).

            You do know that the order in which you arrange letters determines the meaning people associate with the resulting word?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fragmentation is probably the biggest issue content providers have consistently failed to resolve. It's all very well saying that there are legal alternatives to piracy when it comes to TV, film, sports etc but when most of the content is split over let's say a dozen different platforms it becomes impractical for most people to afford all of them. You're always going to get some people who will go down the piracy road just because they don't want to pay for anything but if you give them a real, practical, affordable solution to legally accessing the content they actually want then I would imagine most people would opt for that.

    Even if you just take sports as an example, you'd have to pay close to £1,000 per year for a Sky Sports package + BT Sport (+ broadband) and if you support a Premier League team you'd be lucky to be able to watch your team maybe 5 times over a season on those platforms. Not surprising that people look for alternatives to that offering.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    When is a pirate not a pirate?

    > Most (78 per cent) recognise that "downloading copyrighted material without permission" is illegal

    Not to be confused with streaming content. Which the UK Trading Standards people tell us is NOT illegal. Given the number of people who can't or don't distinguish between "the internet" and "wifi" I can see some confusing times ahead.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Robin Bradshaw

    As an example of availability problems

    So the solution put forward to the "availability problem" (of the 2015 top five movies) is if a film isnt available on you netflix or Amazon Instant Video you should also subscribe to NowTV which will get me 4 of them, so who carries the fifth and how much do they want, so far thats £5.99 for basic netflix, £5.99 for prime video, £9.99 for NowTV and i still might not be able to find the film I want, and I have to pay that every month just incase i decide i want to watch a film.

    How much would it cost per month in subscriptions to ensure that for an arbitrary choice of film one of my subscriptions would have it? Or is there a services that individually or combined has this amazing coverage but you buy/rent per film? that would work too.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: As an example of availability problems

      This is a key problem (they "you must pay a subscription"), as well as the "not available on your device / in your region" issue. Many surveys of pirate content consumer find two common threads:

      1) Most believe that creators deserve some reward.

      2) Most cite access restrictions as a reason for torrenting, etc.

      While its hard to say Spotify or YouTube provide a decent or fair reward to artists, the appearance of such services has dramatically reduced music piracy. Same would go for movies if you could get them hassle-free and not dependant on where you live. But that geographical licence mind-set is so ingrained it is not moving as yet, just look how streaming services block paying customers using VPNs to avoid geoblocking!

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: As an example of availability problems

      Multiple subscription systems are the problem, not a solution.

      Every video streamer wants unique content as a USP, but that's just stupid. Video rental shops did not have this problem.

      BTW I just searched for Men in Black at findanyfilm.com. Not a terribly obscure work with a reasonably well-known actor. I got back one result for a TV show about traffic police and that was all.

      We need a new model for video rental. Streaming doesn't cut it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As an example of availability problems

        The link to Find Any Film that was posted was to the TV for the next 2 weeks page.

        If you go to the home page and search it will find the various MiB films and show the options for buying and renting.

        It doesn't seem to show what subscription packages they are in though, which is what I would want to work out if getting a Netflix or other account is worthwhile.

      2. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: As an example of availability problems

        Streaming is fine, but we need a way of making the content accessable to everyone.

        One-off payments for streaming is fine - you can shop around, and the odd movie works out quite cheap - then you want to watch a TV series - possibly one that is shown on free - tv, has been shown over and over many times, that has had repeats shown so many times that they are pretty much shown out of order now.

        What happens then? At least a couple of services charge per episode, and one series of a US show with 24 episodes can cost more than a monthly Netfix/Prime subscription.

        What we need for video, is pretty much what we have for music nowadays - one or more services (spotify, play music, iTunes) with _pretty much_ everything availiable - either the companies come together to produce a proper unified portal, or they have their own, but make sure that content is availiable.

  11. zaax

    Kodi is not illegal. Kodi is not illegal to use in the EU, and the last time I looked the UK is stil in ythe EU

  12. Haku
    WTF?

    Muddy waters.

    This Torrentfreak article UK Govt Refuses to Back Down Over Criminalization of File-Sharers (March 6, 2017) says that the government wants to bring online piracy jail sentences up to the level of offline piracy jail sentences; up to 10 years...

    But in another article, UK ‘Pirates’ Get 20-Day Grace Period After Each Warning (January 25, 2017) we're told that people in the UK who are caught using bittorrent to download copyrighted media will only get a warning email, and if they continue to pirate then they'll get another warning email but the next one won't be sent out within 20 days of the previous warning and no action will be taken beyond warning emails.

    Although apparently you won't get done for using Kodi etc. to stream copyrighted media you haven't paid for, however if you sell Kodi boxes in the UK you're likely to get arrested: UK Police Arrest Man For Selling 'Pirate' Kodi Devices (December 21, 2016).

    Talk about mixed messages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Muddy waters.

      It's not muddy waters at all as far as I am aware:

      Torrenting potentially uploads / shares and can make a permanent copy of something so is technically illegal, but is only a civil offence of copyright infringement if not done for profit. According to EU law, just streaming is not illegal at all...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have no more money to buy content...

    Because I just spent $100+ buying software to be able to play bloody Blu-rays on my laptop.

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: I have no more money to buy content...

      There is a VLC plugin to play Blu-ray... Much more cost effective.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The simple, yet still against T&Cs, solution to the issue of needing multimple streaming services to get all a decent chunk of content would be to share accounts with family/friends.

    Theres not enough on prime for me to justify taking out a subscription but I have a netflix sub, so I know my sisters prime password and she knows my netflix password. Covers most things off (Though at the moment the walking dead still needs to be downloaded as its the only thing that I watch that isnt on freeview/netflix - and theres no way Im getting a sky sub just for 40 minutes a week. I will but the season box sets though (Holding out for one big one when they finally wrap the whole show up)

  15. scrubber

    Shooting themselves in the foot

    While travelling I took my fire stick with Amazon Prime and Netflix installed, paid up and good to go. Got to hotel plugged in stick ready for some good Netflix exclusives or Amazon shows only to find that I am geoblocked. WTF!?!

    5 mins later, kodi installed alongside some addons and I can access what I wanted plus some other 'bonus' content.

    Now back home I faced with the dilemma of wether to continue to use my kodi addons to access content I haven't paid for. Ultimately I decided since I had paid for everything Netflix and Amazon offer in other regions I would watch anything that was geoblocked or otherwise not available in the UK but available elsewhere. I also have an unlimited cinema pass so I see no reason not to stream new releases either (saves me a trip to the cinema and dealing with kids). All-in-all I technically pay for all the content I 'illegally steal'.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just because something can be used for illegal purposes does not make it illegal.

    Might I point out that I use kodi with dvblink server for streaming tv from and on my media pc, both satellite and freeview legally.

    I have tried and am fully aware of all the illegal kodi builds and ways round tv using lines however I have no interest in them. It was just fun to try them out.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes if you want to have fun "trying them out" a search on "Wookie Kodi installer" is probably what you are looking for...

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Live streaming is killing homevideo

    I use Kodi

    I use it lots the reasons are as follows

    I don't want Sky, virgin, Amazon Prime, Or Netflix

    The reasons are manifold With Sky and NowTV I don't want anything to do with the caner that is News International and I will not deliberately give them my hard earned money.

    Netflix, Amazon Prime don't have enough recent content.

    They all charge too much money.

    If the companies involved formed a cartel and demanded that movie companies reduced the licensing costs for new movies and share the content equally across platforms at a more reasonable amount I would happily pay that.

    Just for the record I treat Kodi like the cinema, If I want a movie on there I enjoy I then go buy the original also. Bit like the old flexidiscs on the cover of music mags in the 80's

  20. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Seems a shame that Kodi is being singled out...

    It seems a shame that Kodi is being singled out as the poster boy for illegal whatevers when the Google Play store offers the Showbox app to download for free onto Android devices. As far as I can tell this seems to be much more prevalent from the conversations I overhear in my local.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We Keep going on about Kodi but what about Google Chrome

    That is an insane thing to report, correct? Of course, it's entirely genuine that you can utilize Google Chrome to pirate motion pictures and TV appears: simply look for any motion picture's name trailed by the words "streaming," "torrent," or "download." You'll discover a pilfered alternative on the front page fundamentally unfailingly. Yet, in the event that a mainstream media outlet called Chrome a piracy tool, you'd mock them for it, but do we no we allow it and so does the rest of the Western World.

    What is Kodi doing wrong if it is just a piece of software that puts all that Google does in one simple format

    1. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: We Keep going on about Kodi but what about Google Chrome

      "What is Kodi doing wrong if it is just a piece of software that puts all that Google does in one simple format"

      That's not what Kodi does. Kodi is a media player, which is open and extensible. The out of the box versions of Kodi do not provide any tools for copyright infringement. It just plays content and is limited to content stored on the local HD, DVD, Blu Ray, CIFS shares and DLNA streams. The issue is that because it is extensible some add-ons are available that are designed to leach copyright material.

      It's possible to buy pre-configured boxes (advertised as fully-loaded) that are configured to stream content from copyright infringing sources. I suspect most customers know this and it's what they want but I have encountered some clueless parents badgered into getting a Kodi box by teenage children who say "It's wonderful, I've cancelled Netflix and Sky because we can get brand new movies before they appear in the cinema." They then look very confused if one mentions that the heads bobbing at the bottom of the frame might be a give away that the content is a tad illegal.

      So, Kodi is doing nothing wrong but may suffer because third parties are doing something wrong. Eventually Kodi will fail because the human race is greedy and stupid and they can't resist grabbing things for "free" without thinking "How do the people who make this stuff get paid?" Kodi will be punished because no media content provider will collaborate with them or let them have access to code/keys. I wish it wasn't so.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    downloading copyrighted material without permission is illegal ????????

    "Most (78 per cent) recognise that "downloading copyrighted material without permission" is illegal."

    When did downloading copyright material (without permission) become illegal in the UK?

    There seems to be plenty of case law that says it's not illegal, and plenty of industry shills that would rather the law wasn't what it actually is.

    Making it available for download, now that's a different matter. Still not theft, mind you.

    But hey, it's 2017, and alternative facts are now mainstream, not just for content providers and their spokespeople.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: downloading copyrighted material without permission is illegal ????????

      "When did downloading copyright material (without permission) become illegal in the UK?

      There seems to be plenty of case law that says it's not illegal, and plenty of industry shills that would rather the law wasn't what it actually is."

      Making an unauthorised copy of a copyrighted work apparently is technically illegal - which is what you are doing if you are downloading and storing it. But only a civil offence of copyright infringement in the UK. So not worth worrying about it in itself. If you share it back to the internet though via BitTorrent or anything else potentially they could go after you for civil damages for distribution as I understand it which could be of more concern!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's paying who in the anti-Kodi campaign?

    Various local newspapers belonging to Mirror Group News have been running anti-Kodi campaigns (well, one co-ordinated campaign) for months now.

    They frequently report the involvement of police and Trading Standards in the anti-Kodi raids.

    Given the widely acknowledged near impossibility of getting the police or Trading Standards to get involved on behalf of Joe Public even where criminal matters are involved, how might one find out whether the anti-Kodi campaign is covering the costs of the police and Trading Standards resources which is being diverted from real work that police and Trading Standards really should be doing.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    None of the top five movies in 2015 by US box office takings are available for streaming in the UK as part of the subscription packages from Netflix or Amazon Instant Video." True, but four of the five are available legally in the UK for streaming on Now TV, the OTT version of Sky Cinema

    Sure. But not many people are going to want to pay five different subscription fees just to get at all the content they might want.

    But then today almost everything apart from first-run movies that are still in theatrical distribution and obscure out-of-print music is available legally in digital form – you just have to pay.

    That certainly isn't the case in my experience.

    The promise of online streaming is that you can watch *anything*. The reality is that you can only watch the things that are currently available on the service you subscribe to.

    I'm a Netflix subscriber, and to be honest I'm thinking of pulling the plug because while there definitely is a lot of content on there, it is getting harder and harder to find things I actually want to watch. In a couple of cases, I had a series or a film on my favourites list to watch later, and when I came to sit and watch them, they'd been pulled. Grrr.

  25. ZaphodsTechie
    FAIL

    Find ANY Film?

    Well it couldn't find the first film I thought of.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Find ANY Film?

      The film you are thinking of is probably on x videos. Try that.

  26. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Holmes

    > "The highest percentage of Kodi users in the UK were in the 35-44 and 55+ age groups at 18 per cent each. This is compared with 3 per cent of 18-24-year-olds,"

    Certainly, those who bought VHS, later DVD, then maybe even BlueRay and now want to watch their content on their TV, computer, tablet and phone, after paying 3 times for the exact same thing are certainly the biggest "abusers".

    Take me, for example, I have a plethora of content on DVD that I have ripped and copied to my NAS, however, there are some DVD's that I cannot easily rip & I'm too old to waste time trying different tools when all I need is a torrent, voila. I also have a collection of VHS, legally purchased back in the day, that wait for the tip ... easier to get those in mkv than to convert that to digital.

    Same for music, some I have on LP and flac .... I ripped all the cd's already .... took me months, literally, much easier to download off the intertubes ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Again, correct. People pay for the same thing, multiple times. Cinema, DVD / BR, Subscription TV, FTA TV. My other fave example is Match of the Day. Didn't see it Saturday night? Asleep during the 07:35 repeat on Sunday morning? You cant iPlayer it during Sunday. Why? No idea. You can however, torrent it in a couple of minutes in HD. Completely daffy. I've paid my license fee, so no-one is missing out on revenue. Make watching stuff affordable and easy, most people wont pirate.

  27. Patrician

    All the content providers need to get together and put *all* content online, available to *all* geographical areas in one place, somewhat like Spotify or Google Play Music. As things stand, I have a Netflix and Amazon Prime but if I wan't to watch Arrow for instance I have to take out a Now TV subscription at another £7.00 per month and so on for other shows on other streaming services.

  28. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    FAIL

    Amazon Prime

    I'm an Amazon Primer user so I tell you what "Media Industry", you ask Amazon to bump up Amazon Prime to say £125-£150/year but let us stream any content, BBC, movies, shows, indie productions, whatever we wish all direct from Amazon to our TVs in HD format and I'll gladly pay that extra £50-£75 without any grumbles. I have the cash waiting, just bump up the Direct Debit and you'll get no quibbles from me.

    Look, I don't want to have to buy 5 different subs to multiple streaming sites to get the content. I don't own nor do I wish to own a Virgin or Sky TV box, I just want to pay one source for my media and enjoy it. I don't want to keep it, I don't want to have to have a spare room full of DVDs or continue to maintain my 3 15TB NAS boxes, I just want to be able to find media at the press of a button and watch it whenever I want.

    So until that very unlikely pipe-dream happens, I refuse to give my money to any streaming service as none suit my needs. I will continue to buy obscure out of print DVDs off "Fleabay" and spend time lurking on malware infested torrent sites via Tor, to get my out-of-print media fix.

  29. bartmans99

    Unbalanced

    This is remarkably unbalanced reporter from someone who normally writes sharp but correct articles.

    What is a 'Kodistick' or 'Kodibox'? Kodi is totally legitimate software as pointed out in other comments.

    This only leads to Kodi being the next 'emule' or 'popcorntime' scare. Which only helps the entertainment industry in its FUD campaign.

    Kodi has nothing to do with the problem.

  30. likeitorlumpit

    Canadian guy here 55+

    I used Kodi for a time having fun trying new skins/builds but found too many buffering issues probably due to my slow internet at the time. I got better results with apk's such as Mobdro and Terrarium Tv which are free and gave me all the content I myself needed. I also have subs for Netflix (11.00 dollars canadian for 4 devices) and Curiosity Stream (8 bucks a month), and just recently bought a sub for SET TV (20 dollars a month for 3 devices) which I love. I have updated my internet since that time with no buffering problems. Streaming is legal here in Canada and in the US but not downloading the content that parts illegal so I was told, not sure about the UK. I use a box I got from DroidBox UK which came with barebones Kodi installed but I don't use.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ash vs Evil Dead

    I pay for Netflix. I pay for Amazon Prime.

    I was fucked if I was paying for Virgin Media as well.

    So I watched Ash vs Evil Dead on my Kodi.

    What a crime.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So DRM jail or we threaten real jail?

    Fits with UK's current stance on digital freedom, there is to be none.

  33. Roopee
    Thumb Up

    Kodi has other uses...

    I am a keen film watcher, mostly DVDs I buy used from Amazon Marketplace and elsewhere, but I also have a home brew 'Kodi box' (originally an iPlayer and get_iplayer box), just a quiet PC running Mint and Kodi.

    I found it can play Region 1 (US) DVDs, as well as our usual UK Region 2s, which saves a lot of work ripping. That's not strictly breaching copyright, but it is a way of getting round the artificial market segregation of region coding, so I'm all for it. It saves me money too, since sometimes the US version of a film is much cheaper, and sometimes it's the only version, or it's different. And no, I haven't flashed the DVD drive with a region-free ROM, or changed the drive's region lock, it's Mint and/or Kodi that's getting round it. It's an excellent video player btw.

  34. Ilsa Loving

    Questions they *don't* ask

    Every time I see surveys like this, no one ever seems to ask some very key questions like, "What are your opinions of media companies?"

    I can only assume it's because they don't want to here the answer, which would likely be something like "Media companies are money-grubbing bastards that want to eat their cake and keep it too. Media companies routinely penalize law-abiding customers who try to do the right thing, and even try to penalize *everyone* whether they infringe, don't infringe, or arn't even involved."

    In Canada we already pay a levy on virtually all digital media formats, on the assumption that they will be used for pirated media. They are ALSO continually pushing to have more heavy handed laws implemented in order to supposedly combat pirates.

    And at the same time, their profits are soaring despite the fact that media companies in general have produced virtually nothing for decades now that isn't shamelessly formulaic or a (sometimes multiple) franchise reboot.

  35. Munkstar

    Mmmm

    If your a Kodi user your not downloading your streaming. If Sky movies fills its vaults with crap how do you get to watch via streaming independent and foreign films? Buy dvds! The horror.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Sales of Kodi boxes to be banned"?

    In the last day or two, various mainstream(ish) UK rags (national and local) have reported that sales of Kodi boxes are to be banned and that the Premier League are among those driving this. We can't have BT's investment in footy being devalued can we.

    See e.g. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/government-agency-looking-ban-kodi-12726133 and others similar elsewhere.

    Many of the articles also contain a reference to a quote from a Premier League spokesperson quoted on BBC news. I haven't been able to find the relevant quote yet.

    "Until now, rights holders could only shut down individual streams, which could be re-established relatively easily, so fighting piracy was like a game of whack-a-mole.

    A Premier League spokesman told BBC News the ruling would allow it to target pirates in a more "precise manner"."

    Something rather fishy going on here (and I say this as a non-footy-watching, non-Kodi-using newspaper observer).

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