Kodi has become one of the most popular and controversial applications available to consumers in the streaming industry. Everyday you can find a new article, YouTube video, tweet and Facebook post claiming how Kodi has been shutdown and will be gone forever.
While these posts, claims and videos can seem to be accurate, they couldn't be far enough from the truth.
Kodi is an open source application that does not contain any illegal or copyrighted movies, music or software with the initial install. However, because it is open source with the option to add additional add-ons created by non affiliated Kodi developers, users of the software that decide to add and use these third party add-ons could then have possibly turned Kodi into an illegal streaming software application.
Kodi has received an unfair guilty-by-association link with the third party developers causing many companies to point the finger at Kodi as the main issue resulting in the amount of add-ons that have been created allowing users to access content free that otherwise would have required a pay-per-view or subscription fee to access.
Kodi if used the way in which it is intended can be a great application to add to any entertainment center enhancing the users experience all while streaming content that is owned or legal to watch by the user.
ACCESS CONTENT YOU OWN
Do you have a library of movies and music that you own that you have purchased and are licensed to use digitally? If you do, when you are using this media with Kodi you are not using Kodi illegally.
One of the great ways to use Kodi is by allowing it to be the main central computer or device for all of your purchased and licensed digital media that you own. This can allow you to access your media in different rooms, on different devices and even at a remote location away from your home where your setup is being powered from.
SETUP A DVR
With an antenna tuner and computer you can setup your own DVR so you don't miss any of your over the air programming. This can sometimes be setup as well with your cable and satellite provider depending on what type of setup you have.
Kodi can be configured in a way that allows it to playback recorded television programming that you have set to record. Keep in mind that recording any copyrighted content can infringe on copyright, so be sure you are able to do so in your jurisdiction for the channels you are recording if using an antenna tuner and PC or other device as a DVR unit.
When you have Kodi setup as your media center allowing you to access your DVR, you now have the ability to stream it on all your devices in your house that has Kodi installed and setup to access the main device that contains the DVR content.
ACCESS LICENSED ADD-ONS
While there is a lot of mention about illegal third party add-ons, there are still a lot of add-ons that are licensed and legal to use.
Crackle, SoundCloud, Rooser Teeth are just a few add-ons that are perfectly legal to use when using Kodi on any device in any location.
You can visit Kodi's official website
for a complete list of add-ons that they confirm are legal and safe to use with their media software.
There are plenty of other ways to use Kodi without any fear of breaking the law. I only am showing a few ways as an example of how Kodi can be used without any violation or worries by anyone in any household.
Just ask yourself these questions...
- Should I be paying for this? I cannot believe I found this movie, it just came out in the theaters last week!
- This channel is so expensive I cannot afford it with my cable provider. How am I able to watch it free with this awesome add-on?
- How is it they have channels from Canada and I live in the USA? They are so awesome!
If you are asking yourself some of the questions or thinking some of the thoughts above, you are quite possibly either accessing content that is illegal, but streaming it legal in your jurisdiction; or accessing content that is illegal as well as streaming it illegal in your jurisdiction.
Some countries and regions have no penalties at all for streaming no matter what content you are accessing, while others do. It is up to you to determine exactly what the laws are in your area.
However, if you are accessing content for free or at a much discounted rate, you are likely streaming content that you should be paying for if it is a moral or legal thing, you probably should be ponying up the dime.
POSSIBLE ILLEGAL USES
When it comes to using Kodi, it is up you the end user to make sure what you are accessing is not breaking the law in your jurisdiction. For many this is as easy as black and white, meaning they know they can or cannot stream certain content.
For others it is a combination of the two and is a gray area. One way to help reduce the risk of any repercussions is by using a trusted VPN
to hide your location and encrypt everything you are accessing online including streaming.
THIRD PARTY ADD-ONS
The most common way users abuse the Kodi application is by installing third party add-ons that allow them to access content that has not been licensed for use with the add-on.
This is a very easy process that anyone with a little research can accomplish. This is also why Kodi gets so much of the blame for users accessing content that otherwise would require a fee even though there is no mention of how to do this from any Kodi team member or their official website.
Kodi users can easily Google, YouTube or even ask a few close friends and they are likely to find the secret install steps required to turn their Kodi device into a "Fully Loaded" device ready to access thousands of pirated media files that are all over the internet.
If you have been accessing content this way, you could quite possibly be breaking the law in your region and you should probably be careful of your activities when online, especially if you are not using a VPN.
HOSTING MEDIA ON PERSONAL SERVER
This doesn't get mentioned enough and is probably a bigger legal issue than simply streaming content.
With Kodi, you can setup your own server and add media files such as audio, videos, etc. You can then allow access to these files from remote users for free or charge them if you wish.
In doing this you have become a distributor of copyrighted digital media and are allowing your content to be streamed illegally from your server.
At this point you are committing the highest of all crimes when it comes to streaming digital content and could be prosecuted to the fullest extent.
This would also apply if the content you are allowing access to is content you have purchased or licensed digitally.
The only way in which you can have a server setup that is hosting media files legally is if it is content you created yourself or you have a license that allows redistribution of the content.
Kodi as a stand-a-lone application and it is perfectly legal to use in any country across the globe. The software itself contains nothing that infringes on digital copyright.
The software also has many benefits including convenience by accessing owned content from various locations, creating a massive theater center and audio setup that is far more superior of most paid applications that has the same features.
If used incorrectly and abused, it however can be used in a way that may not be legal.
If the media in which you are accessing would require a fee to access in any other way other than when using Kodi, you are likely streaming content that is copyrighted.
This can and probably does mean, it is either not legal for you to stream or the server hosting it is breaking the law.
Either way, the content is not licensed nor authorized by the rights owner.
Be sure you are confident the Kodi add-on you are using is safe and legal in your region before accessing the content it offers.