Making a ‘pirate TV box’ is very easy. All you need is a computer (almost any computer will do), a copy of the free and open source Kodi (was XBMC) media player software, and some third party plugins.
And if you can’t be bothered to install third party plugins, never fear, because TVAddons has your back with a preconfigured version of Kodi loaded up with everything you need to access just about any streamed movie, TV show or sport event content, without the pesky details of worrying about copyright or paying for a subscription.
It seems that some people are even lazier than that, though, and prefer to buy ‘pirate TV box’ devices preconfigured, so all they need do is plug them in and slob out in front of unlimited free content!
Although Kodi can be installed onto a Raspberry Pi, most entrepreneurial sellers of ‘pirate TV box’s’ prefer to use cheap Android sticks, which do the job perfectly well. Unsurprisingly, in the UK these low-cost devices have become rather popular, with sellers such as GeekyKit Ltd openly selling them from their physical retail outlets. Equally unsurprisingly, copyright holders are not impressed.
Earlier this week, officers from the UK’s Trading Standards authority performed a series of raids on sellers of these devices (notably GeekyKit), seizing computer equipment and arresting a 38-year-old man under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act.
Given that there is nothing illegal about selling either Android devices, or Kodi software, it is unclear on what legal grounds the police have acted (or what crime the accused has been charged with committing.) Of course, we don’t blame companies such as GeekyKit for playing it safe under the current circumstances,
‘As you may be aware we were visited yesterday by Sky in conjunction with Trading Standards. Whilst we continue to investigate our position the stores will remain closed and support will remain suspended. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.’
‘DroidSticks have never sold any device with pre-configured Kodi add-ons or apps that allow access to free content. This has always been done by the user with use of a Kodi setup wizard. Until DroidSticks has more information on whether devices can be sold with setup wizards pre-installed Droidsticks will no longer sell any device with Kodi wizards/kodi add-ons installed.’
This means that users wanting an Android stick that gives them access to free content will need install Kodi from the Play Store (Kodi for Android is now in open beta), and follow the wizard instructions themselves (or just use TVAddons). Oh the inhumanity!