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    Streaming Pirate Content Isn’t Illegal, UK Trading Standards Says

    This is a discussion on Streaming Pirate Content Isn’t Illegal, UK Trading Standards Says within the P2P / File sharing forums, part of the General chat category; https://torrentfreak.com/streaming-p...s-says-170306/ Every day millions of people use PCs, tablets, phones and Kodi-style devices to stream pirated content, but is it ...

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      Streaming Pirate Content Isn’t Illegal, UK Trading Standards Says

      https://torrentfreak.com/streaming-p...s-says-170306/
      Every day millions of people use PCs, tablets, phones and Kodi-style devices to stream pirated content, but is it illegal? According to Trading Standards, local UK authorities tasked with investigating commercial organizations, if users only stream and don't download, they're likely exempt from copyright law.

      In online communities where piracy is discussed on a regular basis, several base questions continually raise their heads. What’s the best and quickest torrent client? What is the largest torrent site? Which streaming platforms get movies quickest? But perhaps the most common questions asked, particularly by newcomers to the arena, surround the legality or otherwise of consuming media online without copyright holders’ permission.

      With torrents (where the user not only downloads but also uploads) sharing copyrighted content is illegal in the majority of countries with strong copyright law, such as North America, Europe, Australia etc. There are plenty of cases that have ended badly for uploaders, hence the rise of VPNs.

      These days, however, people are increasingly asking questions about streaming copyrighted content. Whether that’s to a PC, tablet, phone, or Kodi-type device, streaming is becoming increasingly popular and thus questions about legality are on the rise.

      Streaming is without a doubt a safer option than using torrents since there is no uploading (distribution). Without this crucial element, it is almost impossible for a user to be tracked and if they can’t be tracked, they can’t be punished or even warned. It’s notable that the UK’s piracy warning scheme, for example, makes no attempt to reach people who are streaming content, because it’s impossible.

      So, in practical terms (if people have no problem with potential ethical issues) streaming illegal content is almost 100% safe. No one has ever been prosecuted for merely streaming content and with the rise of Kodi devices (which almost exclusively employ streaming), it’s not difficult to see the problems faced by copyright holders.

      Dozens of headlines in mainstream news articles suggest that people who misuse Kodi could get into trouble. But these articles often blur the distinction between sellers and users, where the former is probably breaking the law and the latter operates in a gray area. Interestingly, however, we now have a voice in authority daring to say what most anti-piracy outfits will not.

      In an article discussing Kodi, Derbyshire Council Trading Standards begin by noting the problems faced by sellers.

      “Kodi is a legitimate piece of software and the developers do not support its use for illegal purposes,” a spokesperson said.

      “Derbyshire County Council trading standards officers believe it is illegal under copyright legislation to sell Kodi boxes installed with those add-ons that facilitate the illegal streaming of copyrighted material – although there are court cases pending elsewhere in the UK that will provide further clarification.”
      However, most people aren’t sellers, they’re users, and according to Trading Standards, they likely have little to worry about, despite industry claims to the contrary.

      “Accessing premium paid-for content without a subscription is considered by the industry as unlawful access, although streaming something online, rather than downloading a file, is likely to be exempt from copyright laws,” the spokesperson added.

      This statement certainly carries some weight. Although in a different region of the UK, Trading Standards is the driving force behind the prosecution of Kodi box seller Brian Thompson who entered a not guilty plea in January. He’ll face a trial in a couple of months but it now seems more clear than ever that his customers and millions like them around the country are not breaking the law, a position that’s shared by the EU Commission.

      But while people guzzle on the latest movies and sporting events for free, moves are underway to try and close these loopholes. In February the UK government launched a consultation into IPTV and Kodi-enable devices, to see how the law could be tightened up.

      The consultation is in its very early stages but there appears to be an effort to target not only sellers but also end users under titles such as “fraudulent reception of transmissions” and “obtaining services dishonestly.” Only time will tell how this will play out but for now at least, it appears that Kodi and other streamers are being given the green light.


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      Re: Streaming Pirate Content Isn’t Illegal, UK Trading Standards Says

      All sounded good until you get down towards the bottom and see "moves are underway to try to close these loopholes" thats what will happen i guess, what do you think?
      His name was nut, Mr P Nut.

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      Re: Streaming Pirate Content Isn’t Illegal, UK Trading Standards Says

      Nothing will/can change too much whilst the EU precedent is in effect. However I doubt they will wait 'till Brexit, I expect ISP blocks on all the streaming sources very soon, as that will defeat most of the firestick buying mensch. That will last them 'till brexit kicks in then UK law kicks back in and people will start being prosecuted and there will be a lot of factory reset firesticks on the bay. If in doubt VPN VPN VPN. Just use your internet normally like me? VPN VPN VPN... use it before you need a license for it.

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      Re: Streaming Pirate Content Isn’t Illegal, UK Trading Standards Says

      Kodi box shock - Man forced to pay £250,000 as pressure for total Kodi UK ban mounts

      Kodi box shock - Man forced to pay £250,000 as pressure for total Kodi UK ban mounts | Tech | Life & Style | Express.co.uk
      KODI users warned as man arrested for selling "fully loaded" devices that allow premium sports and movie channels to be viewed for free.

      The Kodi crackdown continues.

      After a number of Kodi arrests were made last month a man accused of selling "fully loaded" boxes has now been fined a massive £250,000.

      Malcolm Mayes, from Hartlepool, sold IPTV boxes, sometimes referred to as ‘Kodi’ boxes or ‘Android’ boxes, which had been modified to allow the users to freely view content that should otherwise be paid for.

      Mr Mayes targeted pubs and clubs when selling the devices, falsely claiming in national magazine adverts that they were ‘100% legal’.

      He sold the boxes for around £1,000 each which enabled his customers to stream live ‘pay to view’ content, including live Premier League football, free of charge.

      National Trading Standards conducted a test purchase on a device sold by Mr Mayes and found the box had been adapted so as to allow ‘pay to view’ programmes to be viewed free of charge.

      Following his guilty plea Mr Mayes was sentenced to ten months in prison (suspended for one year) and ordered to pay costs of £170,000. A Proceeds of Crime Act order was also made against him for a further £80,000.

      Speaking about the conviction Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said: “Mr Mayes knowingly sold these illegal boxes which breached copyright law, misleading small businesses by falsely claiming that these devices were legal. I hope this conviction sends a clear message that criminal activity doesn’t pay.

      “I would also warn any person or business selling or operating such a device that they are in breach of copyright law. National Trading Standards will continue to protect legitimate business and pursue those who breach copyright in this way.”

      Ian Harrison, Trading Standards & Licensing Manager for Hartlepool Borough Council added: “The cost of this case has been significant to Mr Mayes. In pleading guilty he has accepted that it is illegal to sell a device that allows the free viewing of ‘pay to view’ television. This is common sense and should be obvious to anyone.

      “Mr Mayes should not be seen as a Robin Hood type character. In selling these devices he was not stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. He was stealing from the rich to make himself richer. Many of the pubs and clubs that bought his devices lost significant amounts of money when the devices failed to operate as promised.

      “We will continue to target those traders and individuals who make their living from selling counterfeit goods or in other ways allow intellectual property to be stolen.”

      The news of this latest arrest comes as Kodi boxes continue to be placed under the spotlight.

      These boxes have become hugely popular in recent years with many cutomised to play premium content for free.

      Kodi software isn't illegal but streaming content without paying for it is.

      The UK's Intellectual Property Office is trying to tackle copyright and fraud caused by these hugely-popular streaming boxes.

      Following a growing number of complaints from right-holders and broadcasters, the UK's Intellectual Property Office, or IPO, is purportedly holding a number of meetings to decide whether the law needs to be changed to tackle the popularity of Kodi boxes.

      The IPO has called a consultation and is asking for input from a number of groups with experience of investigating and prosecuting offences related to these streaming devices.

      In a post about its consultation about Kodi Boxes, the IPO writes: “Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) boxes (also known as set-top boxes, Android TV boxes or Kodi boxes) are small plug and play media servers, originally designed to allow consumers to stream legitimate content (locally stored or legal online content).

      “Despite the legitimate use of this equipment, software is widely available (illicit Kodi extensions being the best known) which connect the boxes to illegal content through streaming websites, file lockers and BitTorrent trackers.”

      This recent change has riled copyright owners and those whose business relies on the official, paid-for distribution of copyrighted content.

      “Broadcasters and content owners have voiced concerns that, although a range of existing legislation applies to the sale and use of these devices (as well as the provision of illicit content streams), the legal framework does not provide sufficient tools to tackle this growing threat,” the IPO adds.

      The consultation will close on April 7th 2017.

     

     

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