Streaming giants join forces with Hollywood to tackle the Kodi box problem
Image/Photo Credit: TickBox
New media and old media have joined forces to sue a maker of Kodi boxes for mass infringement.
Amazon and Netflix have teamed up with the MPAA, a trade group that represents all the major Hollywood studios, to file a lawsuit against the makers of the TickBox device.
The media companies claim that the TickBox device, which is an Android box that runs the popular Kodi software, and marketed as a device that can replace the user's Amazon, Netflix or Hulu subscriptions, is being sold as nothing less than an easy way to access pirated content.
Kodi powered media boxes have become increasingly powerful thanks the versatility of the open source Kodi software. The software allows access to a huge array of third-party plug-ins, but some of these plug-ins have been known to allow access to pirated content. Some have taken advantage of this and sells pre-packaged Android boxes with Kodi and piracy plug-ins installed, selling these boxes (widely, but perhaps inaccurately known as Kodi boxes) to users looking for a easy and cheap way to access content (some not aware that the content provided is not authorised).
The makers of these Kodi boxes, however, claim that they have done nothing wrong by packaging plug-ins made by others, and that no content is ever hosted by themselves, and that no content is ever downloaded (as content is streamed).
The makers of the Kodi software have tried to distance themselves from the piracy controversy, going as far as threatening legal action against piracy plug-in makers and Kodi box sellers that include these piracy plug-ins.
But up until now, Hollywood have yet to take serious legal action against Kodi box makers, and the likes of Netflix and Amazon have never involved themselves in this kind of legal action, even though these companies are also now studios, producing their own content.
In their lawsuit, the MPAA alleges that the TickBox allowed users to easily find movies that have not even been released on home video yet. The MPAA claim that a member's movie, 20th Fox's 'War for the Planet of the Apes', was easily found via TickBox's "In Theaters" section, a section devoted to helping users find movies that are still playing in theaters.
TickBox's makers are unlikely to respond to the lawsuit, but their own official website makes the claim that the box is "100% legal". The FAQ on their website also users of the box will be able to "see almost every movie and TV series ever made" and that they will "never [need to] pay to watch any of them".