Kodi says it will keep its software free and open, and has encouraged people to keep using it, amid a piracy streaming crackdown in Europe.

In April, the EU Court of Justice that the sale of media players deliberately pre-loaded with links to copyrighted content is illegal.

Kodi says its team is pleased with the decision, but will not prevent users from accessing pirate streams through its software.

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“Even though pirate streaming appears to be illegal in Europe, we still stand by our neutral policy,” wrote Nathan Betzen, a Kodi community and project manager, in a . 

“We are developers and not the police, and we have no interest in acting as police for our own software. Kodi will remain as free and as open as it always has. Feel free to continue using Kodi however you want. To us Kodi is and always will be just a tool, like a hammer, and how you choose to use that tool is up to you. 

“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.” 

The company says it does not condone piracy. 

“All we say is do whatever you want with it but do not connect our name with these addons and boxes,” Kodi told The Independent.

Kodi itself isn’t illegal, but third-party add-ons enable users to access illegal streams through the open-source software.

This has led to the growth of a new market for devices pre-loaded with Kodi and add-ons.

, and Police Scotland claims that “criminal gangs” have now started selling them.

In his blog post, Mr Betzen said the Kodi team was “pleased” with the EU Court of Justice’s ruling against media players pre-loaded with Kodi and add-ons for illegal streams.

“Pirate box sellers are a real problem for users, because they provide users with constantly breaking messes, vanish, and then expect Team Kodi to provide support to users who are confused about what Kodi is, where their ‘free movies’ are coming from, and all of the issues related to this problem,” he wrote. 

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