With the recent European court case ruling so-called ”fully loaded Kodi boxes” illegal and the growing belief Kodi is designed for piracy, people are asking a number of questions: Is Kodi legal? Is Kodi safe to use? Is watching movies on Kodi legal?
Let’s take a look at the growing confusion around Kodi’s legality and answer the age-old question: is Kodi legal?
What is Kodi?
Thanks to Kodi’s open design and support for add-ons, developers have been able to extend Kodi to do more than its Team Kodi intended. Part of this is streaming movies and TV shows from both legitimate and questionable sources and this is why people ask is Kodi legal?
What is a “Fully Loaded” Kodi box?
The other part of the problem is so-called “Fully Loaded” Kodi boxes – a term that’s appeared in the media recently due to some high-profile court cases.
A Kodi box is simply an Android TV box or other compact media player that can run Kodi.
However, the term “Kodi Box” is more often used to market “fully-loaded” Android TV boxes – cheap Android TV boxes crammed with various add-ons that may or may not work and often sold at a significant markup over the real hardware price (often 10 times the price or more!).
These manufacturers capitalise on people’s innocence, claiming that they’re able to stream movies and TV shows for free.
The reality is they’re using pirated streams, leaving you with a massive legal bill if you’re caught and no support if anything goes wrong.
Thanks to these sellers trying to make a quick buck, Kodi’s name has been dragged through the mud.
Is Kodi Legal?
Kodi is 100% legal software, with plenty of legitimate uses for streaming media, listening to music and more.
Here’s a few reasons why Kodi is legal:
- Kodi doesn’t provide content
- Kodi is a neutral platform
Kodi Doesn’t Provide Content
As mentioned before, it’s important to understand that Kodi is media player software that’s capable of playing movies, TV shows and more from a variety of sources including streaming videos online from sites like YouTube.
The videos are either stored locally (like your own movie files) or streamed from online sources such as YouTube using Kodi add-ons.
Team Kodi doesn’t provide ANY content at all.
It’s depressing to see how many people hassle Team Kodi on Twitter asking them where to stream certain movies and TV shows or why a particular unofficial add-on doesn’t work when it’s got nothing to do with them. They got so frustrated that they released an official statement.
Kodi is a Neutral Platform
Kodi has always provided a flexible platform that users can do with as they please.
Kodi’s capabilities can be extended through add-ons, adding new features and streaming sources.
Team Kodi support an official repository of legal Kodi add-ons which let you stream from legitimate sources such as YouTube, Crackle and more.
However, other developers have created hundreds of unofficial Kodi add-ons that’ll let you stream from some legally questionable sites.
Other developers have created KODI add-ons that’ll let you stream from legally questionable sites.
While these add-ons work with Kodi, it’s important to note that they’re not developed or supported by Team Kodi. Kodi is simply the platform they use.
This is no different to someone driving a car. Whilst someone can use a car to commit crimes, cars aren’t illegal as it’s got plenty of legitimate uses. If someone does something illegal using a car, it’s the person who committed the crime that’s held accountable, not the car manufacturer.
Why Do People Think Kodi is Illegal?
As a result of people thinking Kodi supports unofficial add-ons that stream pirated content, as well as unscrupulous Android TV box sellers marketing their devices as “Kodi boxes”, people have begun to assume Kodi and piracy are the same.
Recent court cases in countries like the UK have added to the spotlight, with the UK banning fully loaded TV boxes from sale and Amazon instituting a similar ban on their platform.
However, these cases have nothing to do with Kodi and Kodi boxes, as the issue is how they’re being marketed as they’re sold as devices with easy access to pirated content.
Kodi is legal software as it doesn’t provide any content at all and is not advertised as such. Kodi has plenty of legitimate uses and its flexibility, customisability and media prowess has made it the most popular HTPC frontend of all time.
What is the Best Kodi Box?
If you’re wanting to stream movies using Kodi, there’s a number of Android boxes that would be perfect.
If you’re wanting the best Kodi box based on Android, you can’t go past the NVIDIA Shield. With the most powerful CPU and GPU of all Android boxes and excellent Kodi support thanks to NVIDIA’s Diamond Sponsor status, it’s perfect for streaming using Netflix, Amazon Prime, Kodi and more.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, check out my Best Android TV box guide for more recommendations.
Get the Most out of Kodi with a Quality Kodi VPN
In order to get the most out of Kodi, I’d recommend protecting yourself with a high quality VPN for Kodi.
Investing in a VPN for Kodi allows you to:
- Access Geoblocked Content: Services like Netflix and YouTube offer different content to different regions for a long time. Some services may even be blocked overseas. Getting a VPN allows you to bypass these geographic restrictions and access far more content.
- Avoid Throttling: It’s no surprise that some ISPs will throttle high bandwidth users (like those streaming movies) to reduce the load on their networks. A VPN masks this traffic, making it far more difficult for your internet provider to restrict your service.
- Protect your Privacy: Using a VPN with Kodi ensures that your private information remains private by encrypting your internet traffic.
Our recommended VPN for Kodi is IPVanish. IPVanish’s plans offer protection for up to 5 devices simultaneously, a zero log policy and 7-day money back guarantee. For more information about IPVanish, click here.
Is Kodi Legal?: Conclusion
As you can see, Kodi and Kodi boxes are legal. It’s not the software or hardware that’s an issue – it’s what you do with it that can get you into trouble.