Luxembourg
18 May 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Kodi developer says it will remain “neutral”


Kodi, developer of the IPTV software media player of the same name, says it will stand by its neutral policy when it comes to infringing streams, despite a recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling.

The CJEU ruled in April that any media player marketed and sold with pre-installed software allowing access to pirated content infringes the copyright owner’s right of distribution to the public.

This effectively makes infringing streams, as well as “fully-loaded” IPTV boxes illegal.

Kodi (formerly XBMC) recognised the ruling but said it would stand by its neutral policy.

“We are developers and not the police, and we have no interest in acting as police for our own software,” it said in a statement.

The company said its platform would remain “as free and open” as it always has. Users should be able to use it as they want, “Kodi is and always will be just a tool, like a hammer, and how you choose to use that tool is up to you”.

It added: “We do ask that if you decide to use Kodi in a way that’s illegal, please leave us out of it. People who steal cars don’t tweet a picture of their stolen car to Ford Motor Co. We ask that if you watch pirate streams, that you not tweet us about those streams.”

Kodi said that, overall, it was “not particularly worried by this decision”.

“There are definitely slippery slope arguments about what can constitute a ‘communication to the public’ in the future, but the court seems to have made it quite clearly in its ruling that they view Kodi itself as something akin to Firefox or the internet, perfectly legal, while the links/add-ons specifically are the illegal IP.”

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