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.

  • TonyB

    Once again a news article leads with a misleading headline. I’ve been using Kodi since it was XBMC on an original Xbox and eveything I have done with it has been perfectly legal. It’s not illegal to use Kodi. Never has been. Never will be. The problem in the news is related to certain Kodi plug-ins! It’s like saying everyone that uses Windows will be threatened with prison – because /some/ people use it to run a program that downloads illegal torrents…

  • Bob Barker

    Unless and until Brexit, European law supersedes Britsh law….and European law states that :

    “In Europe, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that it is legal to create temporary or cached copies of works (copyrighted or otherwise) online.[1][2] The ruling relates to the British Meltwater case settled on 5 June 2014.[3][4]
    The judgement of the court states that: “Article 5 of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society must be interpreted as meaning that the copies on the user’s computer screen and the copies in the internet ‘cache’ of that computer’s hard disk, made by an end-user in the course of viewing a website, satisfy the conditions that those copies must be temporary, that they must be transient or incidental in nature and that they must constitute an integral and essential part of a technological process, as well as the conditions laid down in Article 5(5) of that directive, and that they may therefore be made without the authorisation of the copyright holders”

    Until Brexit, any attempt to contravene European law is complete and utter poppycock.

  • Richard Steiner

    Of course, Kodi is just the support platform (a media center/menu/player application that supports plugins). Specific third-party plugins for the Kodi media center are what enable illegal streaming.