200 sellers of media players configured for piracy have ceased trading, according to an anti-piracy group.
The devices, which are being widely referred to as “fully loaded boxes” despite having nothing to do with Kodi, are often pre-loaded with the open-source software and a number of third-party add-ons that enable users to illegally access copyrighted content, like TV shows, films and sports fixtures.
The popularity of such devices has exploded over recent months, and .
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Protection Rights Entertainment Industry Netherlands (BREIN) has told that around 200 individuals and companies selling such devices have shut down since April, when the EU Court of Justice made it illegal to sell them.
According to the group, the majority of them had only been selling ‘pirate’ media players, through dedicated sites and major platforms like Amazon, Facebook and eBay.
Incidentally, all three of those companies recently banned the sale of products that enable buyers to illegally access copyrighted content.
“Typically we send an explanatory letter with a cease and desist undertaking. Everyone gets the opportunity to settle. Most take it,” said BREIN chief Tim Kuik, who revealed that the group contacted 150 of the 200 sellers directly.
If a seller refuses to comply, Mr Kuik says “willful infringement is assumed and this means no more warnings”. If a settlement isn’t reached, the case will go to court.
“Providers who settle with BREIN pay up to 10,000 euros. Those who continue can count on a multiple of that. There’s a raw deal for those who think they’ll just get a warning. That time is now over.”
Kodi this week said it doesn’t care if its user base drops as a result of sites and repositories that promote the use of illegal add-ons shutting down.
“Team Kodi (the unpaid volunteers who create Kodi and manage the Kodi name/brand for love not money) have never manufactured a ‘Kodi Box’ and we do not supply media content,” it said.
“People who have been selling ‘Fully Loaded’ devices on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, etc. or provide ‘IPTV Streaming’ services with impossibly $cheap subscriptions to improbably $large selections of Movies, TV shows, Live Sports, etc. are not affiliated with the Kodi project. They are criminals who profit from piracy.”