back to article UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Last week in the High Court, Justice Arnold agreed to a request from the Football Association and the Premier League, and supported by the BBC, amongst others, that broke new ground, technically and legally. The order, which has the support of the major UK ISPs, is unusual in several ways. It permits the ISPs to block access …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Defendants

    What do you call it when the defendants in a case don't actually defend, because the ruling is in their self-interest?

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Defendants

      I'm not sure there is anything to defend. I'd be very surprised if the providers of these "infringing streams" haven't already put measures in place to circumvent, either by design or as a workaround.

      Ultimately I have a feeling that this mass rush to spend as much as possible on sporting rights will end up eating itself anyway as more and more people realise that they are just not worth the money.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Defendants

      "because the ruling is in their self-interest?"

      How is something that encourages people to use ISPs other than the big 5 that don't have these blocks in their interest?!

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Defendants

      An excuse.

    4. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Defendants

      I don't know what you call the defendants but the case is usually called a test case

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Defendants

        One football subscriber is worth several broadband subscribers.

      2. sal II

        Re: Defendants

        "How is something that encourages people to use ISPs other than the big 5 that don't have these blocks in their interest?!"

        They are all also TV providers and sports packages are much more expensive than broadband.

        Also in many areas there is no alternative

      3. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: Defendants

        "How is something that encourages people to use ISPs other than the big 5 that don't have these blocks in their interest"

        I'd imagine the smaller ISPs might have a change in stance on this when they find non trivial % of their users all streaming the same content from a foreign server at the same time bringing the network to a grinding halt.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Defendants

          "I'd imagine the smaller ISPs might have a change in stance on this when they find non trivial % of their users all streaming the same content from a foreign server at the same time bringing the network to a grinding halt."

          Like Netflix, Apple Play and Amazon Video you mean?

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: Defendants

            @TheVogon

            "Like Netflix, Apple Play and Amazon Video you mean?"

            No not at all, bandwidth being sucked up by netflix etc will be fairly constant and predictable, what we are talking about here is streamed live football which has a massive following who will all want to watch it live.

            So if (say) plusnet usually have 25% of their bandwidth being sucked up by streaming services and then suddenly find that Saturday afternoon for 90 minutes that % jumps into the high 90s do you not think that will have a knock on effect?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Horses for courses

              "streamed live football which has a massive following who will all want to watch it live."

              Sounds like the ideal motivation for ISPs and others (router vendors?) to finally get IP multicast working right then, surely, rather than letting it gather dust because "no one wants it"?

              1. d3vy Silver badge

                Re: Horses for courses

                "Sounds like the ideal motivation for ISPs and others (router vendors?) to finally get IP multicast working right then, surely, rather than letting it gather dust because "no one wants it"?"

                Yeah I agree that would be a great solution. But then you're back to running a paid subscription service that people wont pay for while theres a free stream available too...

                Unless you are suggesting multicasting the pirated/unlicenced streams that fixes nothing.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Horses for courses

                  "running a *legitimate decent quality at a sensible price* paid subscription service that people wont pay for while theres a *carp quality marginally legal* free stream available too..."

                  Spot the difference?

            2. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Defendants

              "do you not think that will have a knock on effect?"

              Nope. Football will be negligible versus all the other streaming that's going on....

    5. Doc Ock

      Re: Defendants

      >What do you call it when the defendants in a case don't actually defend, because the ruling is in their self-interest?

      A Cartel

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Defendants

        "cartel"

        Correct. Real competition is a wonderful thing. BT vs Sky vs Virgin is not competition. They consume themselves, get fatter, and continue to consume each other. Ditto Power providers, rail franchises. If the competition isn't real, there's no point in having these endeavors in the free market at all. All of the above need real aggressive regulation. Which as of today, doesn't exist.

        1. Spit The Dog

          Re: Defendants

          Correct - The good ol' U.K.and U.S.A. They love the free market, they hate competition...

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: Defendants

            "Correct - The good ol' U.K.and U.S.A. They love the free market, they hate competition"

            We are not talking about competition though are we - If this was competition we would be talking about licencing rights for the games.

            What is happening is someone, somewhere is re-broadcasting a subscription only service to people without a subscription. Thats not competition.

            If you were in the business of developing software and relied third party components that you needed to licence (for a fee) and I came along with my software which does exactly the same thing but is cheaper because Im using a hooky copy of the third party components you'd be pissed off wouldnt you? regardless of how much money you were making I would be taking *some* of your sales.

    6. choleric

      Re: Defendants

      >What do you call it when the defendants in a case don't actually defend, because the ruling is in their self-interest?

      A fixed match.

    7. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Defendants

      Most streams still worked just fine here last 2 Saturdays in a row....

      I found that "Hotspot VPN" is a handy free way of unlocking anything else and works for Kodi on both Windows and Android. (The Windows Store version doesn't work - download it from their website).

      The free version is limited to USA servers only, and pops up occasional ads on web browsing. Works just fine for video back to the EU though. A quick speed test showed 30Mb/S back to the UK - not bad for free...

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Defendants

        Just found out Hotspot VPN free version also has limit of 250MB / day Android / 750MB Windows. Still, it's free...

        Apparently an average football game stream needs about 450MB.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh

    If the only thing this prohibits is feetsball then (at least in my case) i can carry on regardless!

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      "If the only thing this prohibits is feetsball then (at least in my case) i can carry on regardless!"

      As opposed to hand egg that they play in the colonies you mean? Good luck using say Twitch on a Saturday afternoon then as some streams use that now!

      imo the streamers will just switch to CDNs and other mixed services if they don't already use them, which a) have hundreds of servers, and b) carry so much varied content that blocking them would have way too wide an impact...

    2. mr_souter_Working

      Re: Meh

      "feetsball" - i like it

      lump this and all the other sports in a barrel and shove it into the sea.

      i could not possibly care any less about if any sport is on any form of television, provided i am neither obliged to watch it, nor pay for it. if Sky/Virgin/BT/et al want to gouge the people that want to watch it, that's their issue. I don't think the BBC should be squandering out license fee and trying to outbid any of them.

      1. rh587

        Re: Meh

        imo the streamers will just switch to CDNs and other mixed services if they don't already use them, which a) have hundreds of servers, and b) carry so much varied content that blocking them would have way too wide an impact...

        Yes, that was my first thought. How soon before someone starts bouncing it through AWS or Azure (if they aren't already), and we see over-blocking of unrelated services. They say overblocking is a "low risk", but it's an arms race - they've been able to run exposed servers so far, now the ISPs are running short-term, transitory blocks they'll run and hide behind Cloudflare/Akamai/<CDN>.

    3. Halfmad

      Re: Meh

      I prefer the term "Sniperdeathball" as that's what it looks like when they dive.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      Yep personally I don't care it they block feetsball either.

      Now if they are smart instead of blocking from the start they will monitor the streams carefully then block them 5 minutes into the second half just to piss off the people enjoying the pirated content and make them want to cough up for a subscription next time.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I take 2 things from this.

    1. That someone needs to distinguish between people running the software Kodi, pre-installed on a stick with plugins for accessing football matches.

    2. The football season ends in May.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: I take 2 things from this.

      Unfortunately I think the *next* season starts in April :(

      Countdown to proxy shift and VPN access in 5..4..3..2..

      Not entirely sure that nearly two hours counts as 'a few minutes'

    2. paulm

      Re: I take 2 things from this.

      2. The football season ends in May.

      Unfortunately, the next season starts in June.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I take 2 things from this.

      I think you misted an '.. and ...' in point 1. i.e. Who are you distinguish between?

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: I take 2 things from this.

        I learnt that the authorities are totally unaware that vpns and alternative dns servers circumvent all the above.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I take 2 things from this.

          Not new, the goal is to try and stop most people from doing it forgetting that they're forcing the proles to learn. Lessons from history, when banning prostitution everywhere but in a swamp, the local folk set about draining the swamp and building a town there. People are far more industrious than the authorities give them credit for.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: I take 2 things from this.

            "forgetting that they're forcing the proles to learn."

            The proles didn't learn to find and stream questionable content or to by-pass blocking mechanisms. They learned how to buy a device that lets them click menu items that does it for them, in some cases without even realising they are doing something that may be illegal. It would actually be nice if they were learning about this sort of stuff because then they'd be more concious of security on t'internet and be more aware of the state sponsored data slurping, spying and monitoring that RIPA and Snoopers Charter 2.0 allows for people like GCHQ and your local traffic wardens.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I take 2 things from this.

          "I learnt that the authorities are totally unaware that vpns and alternative dns servers circumvent all the above."

          I think the authorities are aware that Joe Public neither knows nor cares about "techy stuff" but can easily buy a "fully loaded Kodi device", plug it in and use it, as was reported in the article. If and when these devices are available cheaply, are plug'n'play and come pre-set with alternative DNS and/or VPN clients pre-configured, then something new may have to happen, but for now, Joe Public will likely be stymied for at least the start of the season. It all depends on if patches/fixes/workarounds are pushed to affected device from the iffy repos, assuming the sellers bothered to set things up properly in the first place.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: I take 2 things from this.

            " and come pre-set with alternative DNS and/or VPN clients pre-configured,"

            Already do. Try the "Mega" Wookie community build for KODI for instance. Several default service providers that you just need to insert subscription details for...

  4. 2460 Something

    Inevitable.

    This decision was going to happen at some time, but it isn't foolproof by any means or suggestion, no matter how 'under wraps' they want to keep their methodology, it most likely will form around a mixture of packet matching, deep packet inspections and tcp/udp connections.

    For those that have setup the systems themselves, the great game of cat and mouse begins. For those that bought a pre-packaged one, they will either adapt and learn enough to change source, or use an alternative 'service'.

    Easiest circumvention though is to just get your service provided by an ISP that isn't listed, failing that set up a VPN tunnel to circumvent interference.

    Where there is a will, there is a way. Of course by far the most appropriate methodology would be to charge a reasonable amount for subscription services, time and time again it has been demonstrated that when given an easy to use, appropriately priced, legal service, most people will switch to it rather than suffer the hassle.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Why the obsession with Kodi?

    One-legged patch wearing types with birds on their shoulders can go direct to the streaming websites too.

    Never has a media player with a custom UI and a Python interpreter come in for so much unwarranted stick.

  6. Chris Hills
    Big Brother

    1984

    This is a test for real-time censorship. I don't like where this is going.

  7. nijam Silver badge

    If only there were a way to block all football streaming, not just the pirated stuff.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Short term 'fix'

    Won't the people providing the footy streams just switch to a distributed tech instead? That is going to be more difficult to block at source, as it is streamed from all the individual watchers of the stream.

    As an example, the ShowBox Android app (which tends to be installed on a lot of the pre-configured Kodi boxes), can already stream directly from torrents. You have the option to stream direct from a server (typically 6 servers to pick from), or from a torrent stream.

    The only issue I've seen with the torrent streams is it took a little longer for them to buffer (presumably as it's not just streaming from the start, but fetching multiple blocks, and it needs a few before playback can start).

    I've no idea if any of the Kodi plug-ins do this yet (not used it myself for a couple of years), but if not, it's likely only a matter of time.

  9. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

    Curious argument

    They claim that the money received by FAPL goes to clubs, facilities and the wider community. Would love to have seen them nailed down to show what percentage actually reaches that 'wider community' rather than being funneled into pay packets at the club.

    I should say though that I have a vested interest here....the more that football is bought up by Sky/BT et al, the less likely I will accidentally have it appear on my TV.

  10. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Heavies

    throwing their weight around... Or are they fattyfattyboombolatties?

    Nothing like groups with big cash and influence getting their way....

  11. Avatar of They Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I discern a few more things from this.

    1. Football is definitely a business, not a sport.

    2. ISPs should be banned from sponsorship.

    3. More sport (so called) should be free to air and NOT paid for subscription.

    4. The law can be bought.

    Not that I care 1 tiniest of ioatas as I don't like football and don't use Kodi.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing's free

    I can see how going to a website might compromise your PC but what is the benefit to the people who run the servers. Do the Kodi add-ons contain other forms of malware/spyware?

    Asking for a friend :)

  13. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Will it work?

    No.

  14. Forget It
    Coffee/keyboard

    Conflict of interest

    anybody?

    1. Apemantus

      Re: Inevitable.

      Agree about keep it simple and affordable and they will pay up not pirate. Actually have some competition, so consumers have a choice which broadcaster to select for a game too.

      Also a kick in the teeth that you pay the subscription, to see football, can't see all your teams games and also get adverts stuffed in your face at every available moment despite paying the bloody sub!

    2. Jo_seph_B

      Re: Why the obsession with Kodi?

      Exactly. Although in some ways Kodi must be loving all this publicity. Their name could end up being the next hoover at this rate! Ok, maybe a stretch too far but you get the idea!

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Why the obsession with Kodi?

        > Although in some ways Kodi must be loving all this publicity.

        Quite the opposite (at least publicly). Where they've identified people selling "Fully loaded" Kodi installs, they've threatened to use their trademark to prevent those sales.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why the obsession with Kodi?

          Also one of the add-on rules

          "The add-on must not violate any known copyright laws - if in doubt, let us know and we'll look into it for you"

          1. Kiwi
            Pirate

            Re: Why the obsession with Kodi?

            Also one of the add-on rules

            "The add-on must not violate any known copyright laws - if in doubt, let us know and we'll look into it for you"

            It is (currently) possible to use "unofficial" repositories for add-ons. Though as always with unofficial software, especially where people are potentially doing dodgy things to get around stupidly exorbitant subscription fees"copyright restrictions", use at your own risk.

    3. Known Hero

      Re: Nothing's free

      Nothing bad going your way*, Just a bunch of freeloaders providing a service for free that is generally of better quality than the big boys that actually earn money for it :/

      There was a story about one of the streaming add-ons being used to create a DDos tool, although it was a generous description of the act.

      https://torrentfreak.com/popular-kodi-addon-exodus-turned-users-into-a-ddos-botnet-170203/

    4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Short term 'fix'

      Keep that under your hat, please.

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Inevitable.

      "most likely will form around a mixture of packet matching, deep packet inspections "

      That's very very unlikely. It would require enormous processing power and would impact performance at a large ISP, and streams could simply use HTTPS to stop it. The article also says that no new hardware would be required and that the block is per server. It will likely be DNS lookup blocking and maybe IP filtering too. Using Google DNS stops a lot of the current filtering of TPB, Kickass, etc...

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Inevitable.

        > It will likely be DNS lookup blocking and maybe IP filtering too.

        More likely the latter (though DNS filtering is already in place), primarily because TFA says

        permits the ISPs to block access to servers (such as those accessed by third-party software addons), rather than a website.

        Which I suspect means they mean blackholing the dest IP.

        Though, if I were a pirate provider, I'd switch from RTMP to HLS (or Smooth Streaming, or Mpeg-DASH, so long as it's HTTP Adaptive doesn't matter) and use cloudflare with HTTPS to avoid this.

        You'd still have the DNS lookup blocking to work around, but that's clearly not working given that the media companies seem to be trying to move on from that.

        > Using Google DNS stops a lot of the current filtering of TPB, Kickass

        Which ISP are you with? A certain large (used to be a monopoly) used to (dunno if they still do, I'm VPN'd nowadays) intercept queries destined for 8.8.8.8 and answer them themselves.

    6. Velv Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Curious argument

      It's called trickle down economics.

      Rich footballer buys a Bentley, dealer can afford to send kids to private school.

      Private school employs new PE staff to teach kids to play cricket.

      PE teachers spend time in the pub watching the football on TV.

      Pub pays extortionate fee to broadcast football.

      Sky/BT pay even higher prices for the broadcast rights.

      Footballer gets a higher pay packet.

      Simples

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Curious argument

        Maybe I'm a bit fick guvnor, but that sounded more like "swirl around". I didn't see much sign of "trickle down".

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Curious argument

          You het a job cleaning the toilets in the pub.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Short term 'fix'

      Some addons already use torrent type P2P-Streams for live sports streaming. This obviously could not be blocked so easily but they could block the sites the addons scrape for the initial information. From the tests I have done with some MMA events, the quality can be near perfect HD without issues.

      I assume there is a grey area in the law with this type of streaming as well as each person only has a part of the entire performance at any time and no one in the swam is actually seeding 100%. Speculative invoice trolls would likely have issues using their tools on this kind of moving stream too.

      Beyond the testing I don't actually use Kodi for streaming anything except from my local network but it still frightens me to see what is virtually a pretend court case so that parties with vested interests can block for profit and then claim they had no choice because of a court decision.

      Sky, BT and Virgin think the uptake in more people taking up sports channel subscriptions is worth the effort.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1984

      "This is a test for real-time censorship. I don't like where this is going."

      Well spotted.

      We've had all the "think of the children" blacklist/whitelist stuff and it's not yet provided the desired capabilities.

      So Mr Farr and friends in high places in the UK and elsewhere are moving on to the next stage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 1984

        The next stage will not work

    9. Pat 11

      Re: Short term 'fix'

      Isn't the issue with torrrents that every downloader is also sharing, which puts them in a much worse legal position than simply streaming?

    10. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Why the obsession with Kodi?

      I don't disagree with you, but I think it's to essentially anthropomorphise the issue by giving the "villain" a name.

      Napster was pretty much the same with music sharing (although they got shut down by virtue of hosting the files rather than being peer-to-peer) and The Pirate Bay for torrenting

    11. Halfmad

      Re: Why the obsession with Kodi?

      Latest media obsession, expect Rory Kettle-on Jones on the BBC to catch up in about 6 months and still manage to get a few mentions of Apple in whilst writing about it.

    12. Peter 26

      Re: Short term 'fix'

      A lot of the streams are via AceStream which is really just a torrent which downloads in order as much as possible so you can watch it "live" (about 30 seconds delay). Displayed usually via VLC using the network stream option.

      The other ones are HTML5 or flash which just show in the browser. (With a million adverts on top) I think most of the Kodi plugins use this method.

      From what I have read you need a special plugin for AceStream which is not compatible with all hardware on top of the already special plugins you need to watch the illegal content via Kodi.

      There is two things that can be blocked, the web page or server which lists the streams. (A good place to start), or the actual streaming servers for the flash content.

      Either of those should have a significant impact on the low lying fruit, the people who just bought a box with no idea how it works. Nothing is going to stop the VPN.

    13. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Nothing's free

      > I can see how going to a website might compromise your PC but what is the benefit to the people who run the servers.

      For some of them, it's not the server operator who actually created the plugin. Instead they set up an (unlicensed) website, loaded with ads and providing the stream. Someone else comes along and creates a plugin that can watch the stream in Kodi.

      Some run a "all-you-can-eat" subscription, so you pay £n a month (where n is a small number) and they have various streams on there.

      I've not used them more than having a quick look so there might be other models too

    14. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: I discern a few more things from this.

      I agree with you on point 3 but only in respect to international sport. Most football, loathe it or hate it, is a private business. The businesses have a perfect right to milk the shallow minded for their cash. Sport between nations should be free to air. Besides, keeping most of it on paid for services means I don't even have to suffer the unpleasant moment of seeing it when channel hopping.

      Which brings me on to the other part that should be regulated, service providers should be required to offer major sports as clearly defined and separately billed packages. You cannot get Sky, even the most basic package with no sport channels, without some of your money going to the FA. If I want a package without cretinball I should be able to get a package that does not fund other peoples watching of cretinball. Back in the late 90's the basic no sport package used to be £8/month, then they did the first of their £billion deals with the FA and my bill went up to £30 for no more channels. And my contract got cancelled. There's some good original content on Sky1 now, I'd pay for that if I were only paying for that.

      1. peter_dtm

        Re: I discern a few more things from this.

        Round the start of paid subscription TV in South Africa MNet sold sports packages - Soccer, Rugby, Cricket - that is you paid to watch a sport not a naff channel pumping feetsball (thanks !) or cretinball regardless of the fact that I ONLY want cricket and rugby (and sailing but who the hell shows that). MNet did rather well with that outrageous concept !

        I refuse to pay for cretinactorball - it is over priced cheating and you'd have to go to Hollywood to see worse acting.

        I want a box that allows me to pay for services from companies NETT of their sponsorship tax fiddles. Why the hell does my car insurance premium; or bank charges; or broadband costs provide money to crap I have no interest in ?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: I discern a few more things from this.

          "I refuse to pay for cretinactorball - it is over priced cheating and you'd have to go to Hollywood to see worse acting."

          I'm reminded of Dr Johnson who, when complimented by some ladies on leaving naughty words out of his dictionary replied "So you looked for them".

      2. D@v3

        Re: if you only want sky1

        Try a NowTV subscription. Sky1, and several other 'entertainment' channels, catch up and box sets, £10pm i believe

      3. davemcwish

        Real cost of sports subscriptions

        Re: @Gotno iShit Wantno iShit comments

        Has anyone done an analysis of the cost of Sky/BY/Virgin subscriptions assuming that wendyball/a.n. other sport subscribers paid the full rights costs themselves and weren't subsidized by other pay TV subscribers and BT/Virgin line rental/call costs ?

        1. James R Grinter

          Re: Real cost of sports subscriptions

          I saw some numbers shared recently by an analyst for US based cable and sports- calculated as the sums paid to the sporting bodies divided by total cable subscribers. The payment per subscriber, that's regardless of whether they actually had that sport in their "package", was huge!

          Here it is, https://twitter.com/asymco/status/839495399052308480

    15. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Curious argument

      I don't think much filters down to the grass roots clubs. Certainly nothing came my way, although TV money from our one televised match did pay for a new stretcher and a nice bonus for the players.

      I suspect that the various courses that the FA runs are subsidised, so that's one route.

    16. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1984

      A test that will fail

    17. Andrew Jones 2

      Re: Short term 'fix'

      @ac

      Using distributed streaming would most definitely not be the solution - getting back in to the peer2peer system would mean all watchers would be uploading parts of the copyrighted material and thus be guilty of copyright infringement. That might be preferable to the authorities of course - but suing hundreds of thousands of watchers/uploaders and worse - proving who in each household is actually guilty would be a rather large operation.

    18. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I discern a few more things from this.

      "1. Football is definitely a business, not a sport."

      Correct. And it makes far too much money. Proof? Those ridiculous transfer fees.

      Answer? Tax it into oblivion. Should make it possible to fund social care AND abolish self employed NI to boot. Sorry, feets.

  15. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Blocking 3pm kickoffs is just vindictive. There is no legal way to watch them on TV.

    1. Symon Silver badge

      Go overseas?

  16. Doc Ock

    Good luck blocking torrent based streaming technologies such as Acestream.

    Here is a thought, perhaps so many people are interested in televised football is because they can pirate it. Make it too expensive and there will be an exodus from football of supporters and the revenue generated in the football world will decline. Don't underestimate what piracy can contribute to legitimate revenue streams elsewhere, an audience is still and audience where advertisers are concerned.

  17. creepy gecko

    VPN?

    I don't use Kodi and have no intention of doing so; however I'd be interested to know if the use of VPNs by the great British public would bypass the blocking of the streaming servers by the UK ISPs.

    1. Jo_seph_B

      Re: VPN?

      VPN would bypass this as they won't be able to see the destination in the packet.

      The only saving grace for the obviously cash strapped Premier League, is that setting up the VPN adds some complexity and also free VPN's capable of delivering the content at the speed required are limited and normally paid services. Which lets face it is what people are trying to avoid in the first place!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: VPN?

        It isn't only people avoiding paying for it. There is nowhere in this country that you can legally watch 3pm kick-offs live, so supporters who can't get to games and want to see the game can't just pay for a Sky / BT subscription and magically get those games. Kodi, Acestream etc are the ONLY way to watch those games currently.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: VPN?

          Untruth!

          Kodi isn't the only way to view a 3pm kickoff. You can just, you know, go to the game.

          1. Jason 24

            Re: VPN?

            You really can't just "go to the game" particularly for the bigger clubs they are very strict about who can get in. Want see Liverpool vs Man Utd? Then you had better have been to 5/10/15/20+ other games the previous season to even get a look in at the tickets for that.

            I think most peoples biggest bug bear is having to pay both BT and sport full whack for half of your teams games.

            How about you both air all games and compete based on punditry/coverage. I know I don't want to hear Michael Owen so would count BT out.

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: VPN?

      I think you've discovered a problem with this:

      They're going after the low hanging fruit. Those who watch these streams on a basic level. The ones who will Google "Tottenham vs Man Utd Free Live Stream" and unwittingly download software to do so.

      Basically, those in society who don't know how the internet works and how easy it is to use a VPN.

  18. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Slightly off-topic...I'm looking at those numbers for the amount of money that broadcasters have thrown at rights for showing Premier League matches.

    Absolutely ridiculous Monopoly-money sums...no wonder the game is so full of overpaid prima donnas

  19. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Likely to be as successful as the Pirate Bay block...

    ... so not at all. Will they ever learn? No.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    BT/EE, Sky and Virgin Media approved the request,

    In other news, Saudi Arabia approves the banning of cars that are able to do more than 5 MPG.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: BT/EE, Sky and Virgin Media approved the request,

      Actually, the Saudies have used their oil money to massively diversify because they are playing the long game, having seen the writing on the wall. The F.A., not so much. The F.A are more like Hollywood and have yet to realise there is new technology already available and in use. The music industry were dragged kicking and screaming by "piracy" into the world of new tech and now have models which include both all you can eat and (relatively) cheap individual tracks. Some TV is now available in all you can eat, but from a restricted buffet table. Individual items are still, on the whole, too expensive and to get a good all you can eat range you need to pay for multiple buffets. The incumbent broadcasters, the F.A and sports in general don't seem to have a clue about how to operate in this area.

  21. IsJustabloke Silver badge
    Meh

    So they don't think...

    the extortionate prices they charge has anything to do with falling subscriptions and attendances?

    I don't watch football but I know people who do and they stream it because it's the only affordable option for them when it wasn't an option for them they didn't watch it.

  22. ColonelClaw

    'The actions requested by the Football Association and the Premier League (unfortunately abbreviated to "FAPL" in the judgement*)'

    I think the word you should have used was "appropriately"

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better headline would be 'UK Court orders massive uptake in VPN and user education'.

    The cited paper's attitude to VPN is interesting too -' for every 10 additional visits to blocked sites before the blocks, a consumer increased their visits to VPN sites after the blocks by an additional 30%' - the researchers also acknowledged couldn't track the actual number of VPN sites visited so only counted usage once.

    There doesn't seem to be any accounting for users with VPN who could access the blocked sites anyway - in their defense it's probably as when they did the research 2.5 years (which must be about about 50 in Internet Years) ago there weren't so many cheap/hi-speed services.

    VPN providers on the other had are already way out in front - Kodi performance is a key indicator on most of the comparison websites. AdWords seem to be doing pretty well on 'kodi vpn' searches currently too.

    1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      FAPL

      Isn't that what fanbois do?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      So, will this become known to history as the beginning of The Great FAPLling?

  24. Drefsab_UK

    what do they expect

    I myself dont care about football but my lad and missus do so I pay for the sports on Sky and BT sport, but I also use streams, why because even though im paying for 2 active pay services to watch the sport I still dont get all the matches (Saturday 3pm kickoffs are not aired on any channel).

    What I want as a paying customer is to pay for a service once and then have access to watch all the matches as that doesnt happen I have to use other sources. No legal alternitive drives people to use streams.

    This isn't just true of football, I pay the full fat Sky subscription (moves and sports), I pay for netflix and spotify but I still download / stream pirated sources when what I want to watch/listen to isnt available on what im paying for.

    1. Syntax Error

      Re: what do they expect

      Its the IP industry taking the piss. If this business model is to continue it would be far better if supporters paid to just see their team's games. I'm a Burnley fan. I'll pay to watch Burnley's matches. That'll do fine. However, the "Premier League" wouldn't like it because clubs could then sell their own rights individually to the public.

      1. Clive St Helmet

        Re: what do they expect

        Plus you'd soon grow bored of a Premier League won every season by Manchester United and their worldwide legion of fans... Oh.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With the money I've saved by piracy streaming, I can actually afford to go to the odd game. Think on football clubs.

    1. Wilseus

      "With the money I've saved by piracy streaming, I can actually afford to go to the odd game. Think on football clubs."

      I doubt the clubs care. I believe they only make about 5% of their money on ticket sales.

  26. Peter Galbavy

    There's a danger of legal "feature creep" here. If the broadcasters convince the establishment that unmanaged media players are the root of all piracy and that only approved / licensed ones should be legal then they get even more lock in and you will have even less access to content you may well already have a license to view (I have ripped almost all my DVD/BluRays to a local server for convenience etc.).

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      There's a danger of legal creep in any ruling or injunctive relief. That's not good enough cause to not make a ruling or we would never have any on that basis alone.

      I sympathise with those resorting to streaming services because official providers are too expensive, because they paid huge amounts for rights, because they want to make themselves a monopoly in provision of coverage, while the sports have taken advantage of that willingness to pay ridiculous amounts.

      But the fact is, if one tries to get around it by dubious or illegal means, those who own rights will come gunning for the people doing that and the people aiding and abetting them. The greater the effort to avoid paying, the greater their efforts to ensure people do.

      Having an addiction to sport does not justify illegality. Resorting to dodging subscriptions isn't going to work long term. If people want to get things changed they have to find a way to achieve that change. Courts aren't there to say whether things are fair or not, they can only apply the law and lay down rulings as deemed appropriate.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. AegisPrime

    Value?

    “This undermines the value of FAPL’s rights and, if unchecked, is likely to reduce the revenue returned by FAPL to football clubs, sports facilities and the wider sporting community,”

    And who decides the 'value' of FAPL's rights?

    Clearly the streamers aren't being offered a compelling product/price point by the rights owners.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Greed is the root of all the problems.

    These major companies (that's what these are after all), just want more and more money and to hell with everyone else.

    At some point, people hopefully wake up and go FU.

    How is the 2022 Commonwealth games going BTW?

    How many cities are bidding for the 2024 Olympic games again?

    Massive cooperate greed is slowly coming to bite them in the arse.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Greed is the root of all the problems.

      Olympics. Another case of pay TV sticking their oar in.

      At least we have BBC coverage until 2022

      After that, no idea, but no BBC would mean millions of people would not watch who currently do.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't stop me...

    But I remember something a while back that Cisco acquired

    FRIEND MTS

    https://torrentfreak.com/cisco-develops-system-automatically-cut-off-pirate-video-streams-161021/

    This must be what they have been trying to keep under wraps.... being able to stop streams in real-time...

  31. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    "incentivised"

    Andrew, really? ;-)

    I think this may end up being a pyrrhic victory. Confidential parts for court rulings are not something you want to see very often. Time for an FoI request, methinks.

    But this just a game of whack-a-mole. Until I read an article about it I had never thought of using Kodi for streaming stuff: together with a Pi it makes a great little media server for my TV so that I'm not at the vagaries of the manufacturer for software updates, codec support, etc. Now a lot more people know about it. I haven't streamed football matches for many years – I found I had better things to do with my afternoons – but I remember that even then there were other options such as getting the streams from different satellite signals and would expect these to become popular alternatives again.

    As for blocking: well this might the be the step that encourages the mass adoption of IPv6 as I reckon trying to block anything based on that could turn out to be rather hard.

    But at the end of the day: there is a risk of pricing themselves out of business. If things become too difficult and or too expensive, people may end up deciding it isn't worth it, even for something as emotionally charged as football is for many people. FCUM

    1. An nonymous Cowerd

      Re: "incentivised" THIS!

      Until I read an article about it [being banned/blocked] I had never thought of using Kodi for streaming stuff:

      I just bought the Leelbox for twenty quid , as streaming is defined as NOT ILLEGAL, I watched some great programs [not sport] that would have been very difficult to see/find otherwise - e.g. Peruvian TV playing a Bel Canto opera recital, don't get that form of content on the broadcast media, often, 'appen.

  32. Cameron Colley

    So, are all ISPs affected, or not?

    I see a few comments above along the lines of "Then boycott the big 5...". Does that mean you know for a fact that no other ISP will be opbliged to do this? I was under the impression that most ISPs were, in fact, BT resellers -- am I wrong?

    For this, and previous rulings regarding " adult" content can "Small ISPs" really ignore the rule of law?

    I'm happy to see evidence to the contrary but my reading of this is that it applies to all either because the "big 5" provide all or because it's a precedent.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: So, are all ISPs affected, or not?

      From the link in the article; "FAPL seeks an injunction against the Defendants ... requiring the Defendants to take measures to block, or at least impede, access by their customers to streaming servers which deliver infringing live streams of Premier League footage to UK consumers".

      From that it would appear to be an order only applying to those named defendants.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: So, are all ISPs affected, or not?

      "I was under the impression that most ISPs were, in fact, BT resellers -- am I wrong?"

      On the whole, yes, you are wrong. Non-BT ADSL ISPs are reselling access to the BT network but will often have their own kit in the local exchanges and their own servers at the the exit points. Essentially, most of them are just buying bandwidth on BTs national infrastructure.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Court rules that only highest paying distrutors have right to remove internet access without proof

    Where is the proof that block sites are distributing their content illegally , given that this is future event then there can be none.

    Where is the evidence that anyone who did watch the content without paying would have done so if the content was not availible for free.

    This ruling is in actuality a blanket block of internet access the public had to pay for because some remote site "might" possibly distribute their content outside their jurisdiction, unless Judge is a prophet then there is no proof at all. Effectly ruling that distributors have the right to censor our internet without proof of anything at all.

    Next they will be blinding anyone who's windows over look football pitches, satallites will need to be shot down and attendee's memorys wiped incase they talk about the match or worse still remember the action without paying a fee

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Next they will be blinding anyone who's windows over look football pitches

      I'm pretty sure that ones already been through the UK courts, some considerable time ago. My recollection is very vague though - I'm thinking it might have even been cricket not footy. Citations welcome.

      1. Kiwi
        Big Brother

        Re: Next they will be blinding anyone who's windows over look football pitches

        I'm pretty sure that ones already been through the UK courts, some considerable time ago.

        We've had that here for various things including Cricket, Street race circuits, and even the thugby. Things like attempts to ban people from using any balconies or other parts of their home that overlook the field/track, banning people from being on rooves during the event ("elfin safety" of course, despite all the times the homeowner had done it before without issue, and all the times done since without either issue or the local council/event marketers etc even raising an eyebrow let alone a court case!)

        Oh, and I believe there may've been some issue with people having objects visible from the field/track that named brands who were NOT paying for advertising space. These of course had to come down under threat of legal action (if this actually happened and is not a figment of my fevered memory)

        Yup. A mans home is his castle. Except when it overlooks a sports event, then it belongs to the marketers and the council. Your lounge overlook the field? Better stay in the bedroom. Or does your bedroom overlook a field? No sleep for you till the game I over, and I don't care if you have to drive a busload of kids to school in the morning and need your sleep, you'll be infringing our copyright and up in court on charges if we catch you!

  34. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Interesting

    Talktalk ran an ad today saying 'unlimited'... then are involved in a plot to restrict, aka LIMIT access to certain services. I see many many 'stuff your effing contract' statements in their future

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck trying, but really must look at the outrageous cost to legally watch all the football.

  36. ukhozi

    First off they are not "Kodi boxes", they are mini computers running Android which can run many, many apps including an 'open source' app called Kodi.There are alternatives to Kodi already.

    Second, there is no way this can work, simple VPN works for me as I became increasingly aware of the spying done by many 'agencies' in the name of "security". If the FBI CYBER CRIMES SECTION CAN'T STOP / BLOCK SOME SERVERS I am darn sure things will continue much as now.

    Personally I haven't watched soccer since Sir Stanley Mathews played 'proper' football, shoulder barges, body blocks big heavy leather balls covered in dubbin same as our boot.and all.

  37. Syntax Error

    Freedom

    They continue to erode your freedom in the UK so you can prop up the intellectual property industry. Poor old premier league. Things are even dodgier in the UK when you wonder why a government agency (BT) are putting millions of pounds into the pockets of the likes of Wayne Rooney.

    1. Sadie

      Re: Freedom

      BT were sold off some time ago (1980s IIRC)

  38. Daniel Voyce

    Wait

    So Kodi apps often just links to live streams on various "Live Streaming" websites - are the ISP's planning on blocking all of these websites just because football is on? I use them, a lot for things not related to anything sporting and would be massively pissed off if my access was restricted to them because of it?

  39. Kiwi
    Holmes

    Hmm..

    “There is increasing evidence of football fans turning to streaming devices which access infringing streams as a substitute for paid subscriptions to services such as those offered by Sky and BT.

    Years ago in a much better age before we had this paytv guff, we used to get live sports for free. While not as much, the players got paid, and the managers etc still got their truckload of cash. I recall that some of our Kiwi players were doing so well financially there was a public outcry, all before payTV hit our shores.

    Then the likes of Sky came along, making it much harder for poorer and even not-so-poor people to get to see the sports they love. Subscription packages where you only want the cricket but have to have 24 channels of thugby (at twice the cost of the cricket you only want) and another channel of crap you'll never watch, all at stupidly exorbitant prices.

    This undermines the value of FAPL’s rights and, if unchecked, is likely to reduce the revenue returned by FAPL to football clubs, sports facilities and the wider sporting community,” he noted, along with evidence that live attendances fall too.

    Unfortunately these same scumbag pricks (Sky etc) are also making it difficult to enjoy the game, as are the venue managers. Lots of people love the Basin Reserve in Wellington, a nice open place with generally good atmosphere and not-to-bad prices at the stalls. Compare that with the cake tin, horrible seating, stressed atmosphere, very exorbitant prices at the bars etc (and no chance to bring in your own drinks or food, which you can sometimes (not always) do at the Basin). I know a lot of people who've been to events, even non-sporting events, at the cake tin who say "never again". Security staff who will search people (forcefully) if they think they might have an unlicensed drink, and oh, those expensive seats? Well sorry, your shirt has a tiny logo that's not one of our sponsors, so fuck off and don't come back, even though it'll never be seen on camera. No refund. A lot of this is at the hands of those corporates like Sky who don't want to have someone else's logo show up on screen, even if it's only a tiny dot that no one could recognise, unless said firm has paid for it. The prices are stupid, the quality is poor, and the atmosphere sucks farts from dead seagulls.

    Attendance hasn't dropped because of live streaming. Attendance has dropped because it's a nightmare to go. It's not like they don't know this either, every year as more and more people don't bother to show up they get told why. I've heard lots of "security guards' behaviour is a problem" and "seats are horrible" and "access is horrible (moving around the venue eg seats/toilets/drink&food stalls)" and "prices are terrible" and "I can't even bring in a bottle of forumla for my baby!" and so on, I've never once heard "I can live stream it for free".

    I'm pretty sure the problematic management policies also exist at other venues, which would explain why other venues also suffer. I mean, when the game was still live on free TV, we still had venues sold out, almost every game. So when we had "nation-wide free streaming" (so-to-speak) of the game the venue would still be sold out. Now we have management making attendance painful, numbers have fallen. People stop going because they hate the experience of being there. I know that when I have the choice of watching at home on a large TV or watching a game at the Basin, I'll go to the Basin and enjoy the live experience. Watching it at home doesn't even come close to what you get with a well-managed event at a well-managed venue. It's not the steaming that's killing attendance.

    Now Sky et al make it hard for people to see games (sometimes going to court to try and stop fair bidding on larger events, like when we had the Cricket world cup over this way Sky wanted to be the only ones to have it and tried to stop other broadcasters being able to bid!).

    So.. My suggestions. 1) For the attendance, make the atmosphere better (or bulldoze places like the cake tin if management aren't willing to play ball) and 2) make Sky pay full prices for the game but make them give it to every one else for free, even if they have to pay at their expense to give people TV's to watch the game on. Alternatively, a dose of HSLI to some of the Sky execs might make others think a bit more about how they treat not only their customers but also the rest of us who don't want to be their victimscustomers. You'll see record attendance, the broadcasters can still make a mint selling adspace because a LOT MORE PEOPLE WILL WATCH instead of finding other things to do, and all round everyone will be happier. Except maybe the cake tin managers who stayed in their offices when it was being bulldozed (what, I can dream can't I?)

    Certainly got the FAP part right.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Hmm..

      Since Sky hoovered up (most) cricket covearge in the UK (I am not a Sky subscriber, cannot justify the expense, nor do I want to give cash to the Murdochs who unduly (IMHO) influence the UK already with their press / TV pushing certain political agendas ), my viewing / interest in cricket has dropped dramatically. I used to watch quite a lot when it was on free terrestrial TV (primarily BBC)

      The last (UK county) cricket I saw was not on TV (as Sky only for that) but in person at the ground.

      Although I do occasionally attend the odd day of cricket, it's far less often than when lots of cricket was on the BBC, as with so much other entertainment on offer (& limited free time), cricket very much out of sight = out of mind.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Hmm..

        Cricket?

        I heard of that once.

        There are young people who have never seen it, and have no idea who are involved.

        A great way of getting a sport into obscurity.

        1. Kiwi

          Re: Hmm..

          A great way of getting a sport into obscurity.

          NZ's news media are bad at that. Every day, 365 days a year, will be at least 15 mintues of the news hour on thugby or thugby players. NZ hockey team wins a major international tournament? Well that the hockey team exists won't even get a mention because Dan Carter just farted and we need to devote time to that! Blackcaps just won a tournament against Oz but hey, we've only had 30minutes about the last thugby game that was 6 weeks ago, better make space for more thugby!

      2. Kiwi
        Thumb Up

        Re: Hmm..

        cricket very much out of sight = out of mind.

        Yep, that's probably another factor in falling attendance at matches.

        Hell I used to attend a lot of cricket, local stuff and the odd national or international game. Even a lot of indoor stuff if people I knew were playing (I was a supporter, not just a watcher).

        Sky and their ilk make people stop watching sports and stop supporting them. People move on.

        Oh, fully agree sky and agendas etc. Though NZ's mainstream news sources are pretty poor anyway. I think they could train the rest of the world in "fake news" and "bias". and "twisting the facts beyond all recognition"..

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those in favour say; aye

    Coming soon: The great British 'Eye Tax Act of 2018'.

    Have an eye, two maybe?

    You'll need to pay tax on them soon.

    No more peeking at free footy for you!

    The eye-detector vans will be out and about on match days.

  41. Shovel

    big whoop

    No bfd. Soccer is almost as boring as professional darts

    1. Kiwi
      Holmes

      Re: big whoop

      No bfd. Soccer is almost as boring as professional darts

      There's a ton of sports and other things I find boring. Almost all sports actually, bar for Cricket and some motorbike racing (would rather be riding than watching). But if other people enjoy it and want to spend money on it, that's their business.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No where else to watch it

    Of course, maybe if the FA bought itself into the 21st century and actually allowed Sky et al to broadcast games live, at 3pm on a Saturday, on British TV, then there wouldn't be as much of an issue. The streams that are being pirated are filmed by Sky (generally) and broadcast in other parts of the world live.

    But not here. No. The FA want us to go and support our local Town FC instead.

  43. SteveTM

    1: Who still watches football - aren't they just less skilled and seriously overpaid than players of 20yrs ago.

    2: VPN, DNS etc etc hahahaha.

    3: I say get some people at the actual matches with 4K GoPros and just stream it via Periscope!

    4: Greedy TV companies and overpaid players - the best thing everyone could do it stop subscribing and tuning in to these matches!

  44. the-it-slayer

    Why don't the broadcasters sort this issue out by not going to court and...

    Actually make the subscriptions...

    a) affordable.

    b) if (a) is true and users don't want to pay monthly, then make games available cheaply on PAYG (no, NowTV isn't cheap at 15 quid a game?)

    c) allow the host broadcasters to sell internationally (therefore bigger outreach to international subs and just say to other nations; take or leave the right to broadcast on traditional TV).

    d) if (a), (b), (c) are true, it'll make the desire to get dodgy Kodi devices less so and then weeding out the sellers of the kit when demand is low.

    A lot of you probably don't care about football, but if we look at any other media consumable over the internet; piracy is probably down because access to music, movies and TV shows can be done on-demand and subscriptions are cheap because of iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Netflix blah, blah, blah.

    Sports is pretty much one of the only that refuses to adapt/change their model. To expose what the courts can ask ISPs to do is a scarier thought than paying through the roof for a sports subscription.

    1. Kiwi
      Trollface

      Re: Why don't the broadcasters sort this issue out by not going to court and...

      piracy is probably down because access to music, movies and TV shows can be done on-demand

      Yup. Used to be when I was visiting some mates we'd often be pirating something just to have something other than LiveTV to watch. But now that we've found Popcorn Time we don't pirate..Er, oh wait nevermind...

      (Oh, and if you rent/buy a DVD from a proper source and invite a couple of friends around, you're probably "pirating" it these days!)

      1. the-it-slayer

        Re: Why don't the broadcasters sort this issue out by not going to court and...

        Keyword - "probably".

  45. Frank Fisher

    I remember the best part of twenty years ago when I first wrote about the IWF being able to lean on ISPs to block alleged child porn content, backed by Home Office muscle but no laws, that this was the slippery end of an unregulated slope - and I was called paranoid. Anyone calling me paranoid now? The courts are saying because the *architecture* is in place, why not force people to use it?

    Footie today, Wikileaks tomorrow.

    1. Kiwi
      Childcatcher

      Anyone calling me paranoid now?

      Looking at the downvotes, some short-sighted (pun mostly not intended) people still think that way.

      But it's quite logical, especially for those in the UK. Once TPTB get a power they rarely miss a chance to use it, and they don't give it up easily. The more people get used to "just accepting" these things the more "things" they have to accept.

      Am reminded of the SW movies... "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause"

  46. enormous c word

    A New Sport

    Maybe its time to find a new sport for armchair fans to obsess over. Too much money poured into TV, clubs and players has ruined it...

    1. Howard Winter
      Happy

      Re: A New Sport

      "Maybe its time to find a new sport for armchair fans to obsess over. Too much money poured into TV, clubs and players has ruined it..."

      NO! Leave Dwile Flonking alone!

  47. Potemkine Silver badge

    Morons everywhere

    Football: a sport of morons, played by morons, watched by morons, ruled by morons.

    1. the-it-slayer
      Thumb Down

      Re: Morons everywhere

      Morons like to moan about it as well.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's the thing - I have Kodi and all it's nefarious add ons.

    So even though I could watch as much football as I wanted, for free, I don't bother. It's dull. Last season in the Premiership was an anomaly and yet I still didn't care enough to want to watch it unfold.

    Ditto F1.

    The big TV providers bleat on about how much they're losing, but they've failed to recognise that their product is no longer as attractive as it once was.

  49. dave 93
    Facepalm

    Next Kodi update will include built in VPN/Proxy...

    ...or some other way of masking requesting IP addresses.

    Opera browser has this facility built in for free already.

    1. Kiwi
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Next Kodi update will include built in VPN/Proxy...

      Opera browser has this facility built in for free already.

      Not for long. The NZ ISP "Slingshot" had a built-in VPN service aimed at people from overseas who were either visiting NZ or had recently moved, so that they could keep up with shows from their homeland that weren't being shown here (companies love to buy exclusive rights to stuff and never show it nor allow it on DVD, or run it at stupid hours, or cut entire episodes from the season, or claim it's "all new" when they're on their 5th repeat this month/it was shown in the US 4 or 5 years ago, not to mention the 15minutes of ads every 15.5 minutes)

      So being wonderful corporate citizens they were, Sky banded together with someone else and took Slingshot to court and fought a very expensive legal battle that saw this VPN service axed.

      Might not be long before the Opera devs find the wonderful people at Sky are coming for them.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Along with those people who are saying there is no legal way to watch 3pm matches without physically being at the game - one of the shows I have to acquire in other ways - is called The Fosters. It's an American drama - it's currently in it's 4th season. No UK channel has broadcast it yet, Netflix doesn't carry it - Amazon doesn't carry it. There is absolutely no way to legally watch it in this country.

    AC because you know.

  51. Roger Mew

    If you get a good VPN then you can go to india where these UK things are actually available...for nothing. The ISP cannot "see" what you are recieving, just that it is moving stuff, not even what, it could be a home movie, skype, etc.

  52. Chronos Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Lazy-arsed, slovenly journalism.

    PLEASE stop referring to streaming plugins that source copyrighted material as "Kodi." Kodi is an open source media centre and organiser. Using the logic of the article, most web piracy should be referred to as "Chrome pirates." See how my finger is on the pulse there with browser rankings?

    As for the bootnote, well, they would, wouldn't they? It's pretty obvious to me that this crap is overpriced nonsense to help some Lexusists with their share dividends. I'm quite happy to pay for Amazon Prime. I'm not prepared to pay increased line rental to subsidise bloody football broadcast rights grabs or increased licence fees for the utter tosh the BBC broadcast now. Not that I'm affected by this at all. Football is about as interesting as watching paint dry and the F1 coverage is still on RTL on 19.2E free to air this year.

    1. The Vociferous Time Waster

      Re: Lazy-arsed, slovenly journalism.

      And they aren't "hackers", they're "crackers" goddamit.

      Don Quixote

      1. Chronos Silver badge

        Re: Lazy-arsed, slovenly journalism.

        Yes, it may well be tilting at windmills, yet just letting it lie will give us exactly what we now have with Bit Torrent, where legitimate uses of, let's face it, a MUCH more efficient content delivery system for things like disto ISOs is stigmatised by buffoons using the term incorrectly.

        Kodi is a media centre. The problem is a combination of tvaddons.ag and morons on eBay selling perfectly good media streaming devices loaded up with plug-ins from that repository, half of which don't work and the other half connecting to transient, illegal, compressed to hell rubbish.

        The very first thing I do to any Amlogic box I get near is root it, remove the shit and associated update processes (read "infection vectors") and install a clean copy of Kodi from the official builds. Then you can safely install the apps for content you are actually entitled to use, such as Amazon, Netflix et al without the risk of joining the merry Mirai tribe.

        For more advanced people, an SD card with LibreELEC on it works far better for legal uses such as streaming from local NAS or a PVR than trusting the shonky Chinese Android build.

        And yes, this is late. I've been busy. Just call me Mr Necromancer.

  53. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Technically very easy

    Given the short block periods a false positive isn't that much of a problem and you don't even need to block the game from the start. Just wait for the game to start and watch for spikes in streaming content then advertise a route to null0 into your network. Drop the route after 90 mins and wait for the next game.

    It is more effective to drop traffic during the match than before because if you do it before the punters have time to find an alternative - watching it legally becomes a lot more attractive when you have missed the end of a few games.

    The significance here is the fact it is IP rather than host name blocking - it's a blunter tool but harder to circumvent because you can use an alternate DNS provider but you can't use a different routing table.

    1. The Vociferous Time Waster

      Re: Technically very easy

      (Yes, if you use a VPN you are effectively using a different routing table)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019