A change to the UK law, more accurately to the Digital Economy Bill, could mean a bad time is coming for illegal content users in the UK.
Open Rights Group is behind the proposal to make the Digital Economy Bill more specific since the UK’s government is trying to use the Digital Economy Bill in order to increase penalties for persons behind the illegal websites allowing people to watch and/or download copyright-protected material.
The problem is that the Government’s bill proposal includes criminalizing any infringement where money has not been paid for copyrighted content or any case where it is proven there’s a “risk of loss” for copyright holders.
The term “risk of loss” can be interpreted in various ways, since the phrasing is quite ambiguous according to the Open Rights Group who already warned the Government a couple of times about the issue.
Copyright trolls, companies (often legal) that send legal warnings to users suspected of illegal download of copyrighted material, can use ambiguous word of the law to send warnings to people who never downloaded illegal content, or to people who only consumed the content (since even consuming can be interpreted as risk of loss) even though they can’t be charged according to the Digital Economy Bill.
Internet troll companies can threaten users with 10 years of imprisonment (a penalty for criminals behind pirate sites), even ask large sums of money from them, and those that aren’t familiar with the law could give money to the companies. If the Digital Economy Bill passes unchanged, it could lead to a surge of warning emails from copyright troll companies.
Since the UK has seen a massive surge of Kodi users the new bill will target all users who stream illegal content through Kodi boxes, and there are millions of illegal streamers. The problem for Kodi users is that they frequently use the media device to illegally stream domestic television channels such as Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BBC Worldwide, meaning that those warning letters will probably swarm them after the bill passes.