Kodi add-on users have received a surprising boost as copyright holders continue to crackdown against online piracy.
Kodi software is perfectly legal, but third-party developers can produce add-ons that provide free access to pirated and illegal content.
These Kodi apps allow users to stream premium content, like paid-for sports, movie channels and TV shows for free.
And it’s these illegal Kodi add-ons that are being targeted by ISPs, government agencies, broadcasters and rights holders.
One such instance of copyright holders fighting back came after New Zealand company My Box NZ launched a set-top device back in 2016.
The firm sold Android devices which were loaded with Kodi and other third party add-ons.
The ‘Kodi box’ cost £132 and offered customers access to TV shows, films and live channels without any ongoing costs.
This led to My Box NZ founder Krish Reddy being sued by Sky TV in New Zealand, who are separate to the UK telecommunications giant.
Reddy said his operations were legal and that his lawyers had no issues with his business plan.
However, that did not stop New Zealand’s Sky TV taking him to court and seeking damages of around £720,000.
The case was heard in an Auckland court last month, but now it has taken a surprise turn.
Reddy has said that a Chinese investor is seeking to buy his business for a staggering £6.50million, TorrentFreak reported.
The My Box NZ founder said: “We have to thank Sky. If they had left us alone we would just have been selling a few boxes, but the controversy made us world famous.”
Reddy refused to name the Chinese investor offering to buy up his business.
But he added: “It makes no difference to them whether we win or lose, because their operations won’t be in New Zealand.”
Reddy will now be wrapping up his operations within the next 90 days and My Box NZ’s six employees will be made unemployed.
He also revealed that if My Box NZ does lose its legal case against Sky, the company that is buying his business would be liable for damages.
It’s unclear what has motivated this unnamed business to snap up My Box NZ, or whether they will continue the business model Reddy enforced.
If the latter is the case then it is good news for fans of Kodi add-ons.
Research has suggested Kodi – which offers access to thousands of channels – is being used in more than five million UK homes.
Kodi users may be tempted to try and access an illegal stream for the David Haye v Tony Bellew boxing fight tonight.
However, they’ve been warned that it is in no uncertain terms illegal to access such streams.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, FACT CEO Kieron Sharp said: “Whether it’s a re-stream on social media, a piracy site, or using a device, box or stick connected to your TV, avoiding the official provider to access the fight is illegal.
“FACT is leading the way in combatting digital piracy and working with PIPCU and industry to crackdown on illegal streaming and to hold those behind them accountable for their actions.
“It is getting harder and harder to watch live sport illegally and so boxing fans should be aware that if they were planning to watch the fight this way they are breaking the law.”
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