Kodi pirate movie streams now face legal action even if they’re hosted remotely

The fight for the integrity of the Kodi media streaming platform continues at speed, with a new crackdown targeting those that facilitate access to pirated material, regardless of whether or not they’re directly hosting it. 

With streaming having become the new anti-piracy battleground, and Kodi’s third-party add-ons regularly offering access to pirated materials, the issue of where to lay blame has been a point of contention. 

While those who host pirate content have always been a target for IP protection groups, a new precedent has now been set, which sees those that aggregate access to remotely hosted pirated material potentially facing legal action too.

Stealing streaming

The people behind Dutch service Moviestreamer are one such group now under fire. It charged users for access to an interface which made it incredible easy to locate illegal streams hosted all over the web – but crucially didn’t host content itself. It even offered a ‘VIP’ tier for easy access to the best quality illegal streams. 

It came to the attention of Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN. Though it failed to bring legal action against Moviestreamer on the count of it selling an illegal product, it has been able to take the company to court for providing access to the streams, placing it in breach of copyright law. 

With Moviestreamer charging for access to its unique interface, built with capabilities to serve illegal content, its position as a ‘middleman’ was no defence, especially as a dialogue with BREIN had already been opened. It now must cease operations immediately, and faces a €5,000 daily fine up to a maximum of €500,000 if it fails to do so, as well as legal costs.

It’s a similar situation that has previously hit torrent websites like Pirate Bay, and sets a new, tough precedent for pirates: offering access to copyrighted materials, whether hosted locally or remotely, could land you in big trouble should the local authorities choose to pursue you.