According to the CEO of FACT, or the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the sad part of this investigation is that the authorities will probably end up arresting an unfortunate user. This could be an individual that isn’t part of the initial perpetrators. So far, thousands of people have purchased and connected defective Kodi boxes to their TV sets. This is done with the intention to stream the latest movie releases and pay-per-view sports events for free!
The aim of the investigators is to catch consumers who’ve purchased these illegal Kodi boxes before they spread the problem by selling or sharing the content of their “fully loaded” Kodi boxes.
The aim is to collect enough evidence to create a wider probe, with the initial raids being part of that campaign.
Attention: Read before you continue
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What Are Illegal Streaming Devices?
Over the last few years, FACT has been focused on fighting the sale of illegal streaming devices. It doesn’t matter whether they come in the form of USB sticks or physical boxes. So long as the user is able to connect said devices to the Internet and share the content within online, they will become an investigation target. That’s because these boxes allow users to convert a regular TV set into a proper Smart TV.
Illegal streaming boxes are often called Android boxes or Kodi boxes. Sellers advertise them as “jailbroken” or “fully loaded” TV boxes because they come pre-loaded with third-party add-ons and a seemingly endless selection of content.
The truth is that a Kodi Box is a misnomer. Kodi is a type of software that offers open source media content that users can stream or download. Plus, it’s completely legal to download and use Kodi, granted you do so in its original form.
However, Kodi becomes illegal when it’s set up in a way that allows users to stream TV shows, sports programs and films for free. Most of this content requires a paid subscription of some form. So watching them without paying for them is by definition, illegal. Yet, that’s what people do when they access content through unofficial Kodi add-ons and apps.
Unfortunately, there are still plenty of websites out there that sell illegal streaming devices such as the infamous Kodi Loaded box. Most of them market these boxes on social media and dedicated online marketplaces. But, you can also find them from direct sellers, markets, shops and even through word of mouth.
What is a Kodi Box?
Kodi is a type of software that acts as a central repository of entertainment channels like iPlayer, Hulu and Netflix for example. It enables users to watch and access a whole host of online services straight from their TV. This is because the device can be connected to a TV set through an HDMI cable or direct installation.
So, Kodi is totally legal. But as with anything, people have found ways to use it in illegal ways by browsing pirated content. If you come across a merchant that tries to sell you a “fully loaded” Kodi box; beware. You might find yourself inadvertently impinging on copyright laws.
In fact, FACT has likened the buying and selling of illegal Kodi boxes to the phenomenon of buying and selling stolen jewelry. Both the buyer and seller are implicated in the crime and will come under fire in the investigation.
This means that if you bought a streaming box then you’ll be placed in the same category as the criminals selling it. The latest legislation on this matter states that perpetrators will be punished severely through lengthy sentences and fines. This includes individuals who’ve bought and sold the Kodi boxes. Will also include streaming sites and hardware sellers that advertise pirated materials.
If you bought a streaming box with illegal content, you could face up to 10 years in jail.
FACT and Kodi
FACT stands for the Federation Against Copyright Theft. This organization’s logo is often brandished on DVD and DVR cases along with anti-piracy messaging. FACT is an international organization that was created with the intention to represent and protect the rights of stakeholders that own intellectual property. FACT represents the interests of networks and channels like BT Sports, Sky Sports as well as well-known media and film companies. In conjunction with the police, FACT works to fight copyright infringement crimes like the listing of illegal content.
The group investigates any suspicious behavior that involves buying and selling material that contradicts the law. If you bought a streaming box from eBay, for example, a slap on the wrist punishment would be a suspension of the account you were shopping with or severe restrictions on your online activity.
Whether you’re using it on a Firestick, a Fire TV Stick or a regular TV set, if you bought a streaming box from an illegal source, you could face major penalties. Regardless of whether you bought such a box or not, use a trusted VPN to obscure your online activities and protect yourself from unsavory characters online. We recommend the IPVanish VPN. This VPN offers a wide variety of servers to choose from. It also uses cutting edge encryption technology to protect user data and identity.
Have you ever been duped into buying a fully loaded Kodi box? Let us know in the comments section below!