Is Kodi Safe and Legal? You are Being Monitored while on Kodi
- Salman Ahmed
- February 23rd, 2018
A huge debate is surfacing between developers and users whether is Kodi Safe to use or not. While some consider it to be a secure software, others worry about its legality.
To settle the debate, we put Kodi through various tests and discuss the risks. Similarly, our analysis leads us to provide an alternative way to use Kodi safely.
As for Kodi being legal, it is completely legal and an open source software. However, same cannot be said about the add-ons that run on Kodi. Various add-ons are developed by third parties, which might not be legal everywhere in the world.
Although they provide a huge variety of movies, seasons, live sports, and much more, the methods adopted to display this content are very much in the grey area. This is why various Kodi repositories get shut down left, right and center.
The risk is rising for developers who create Kodi add-ons, as legal actions are taken by organizations to prevent copyright infringement. This has led to the permanent closure of multiple repositories. Therefore, the crackdown is increasing day by day, which is creating a great threat for the developers, but is Kodi safe for users?
Kodi itself is safe and one of the famous streaming software nowadays. Moreover, it works fine on different popular TV devices such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Firestick, Android TV boxes, Windows, Roku and much more.
However, safety concerns raise when a user uses third-party add-ons and builds on Kodi, which is illegal in most of the regions of the world. The reason why user uses third-party add-ons on Kodi is due to massive amount of pirated content these add-ons provide. That is why these third-party add-ons stop working once the legal authorities notice them.
As we mentioned above that Kodi software is completely safe and legal but the legality and safety issue rise when the user uses third-party add-ons with it. However, the officials do not ban these third-party add-ons such as Exodus based on regions laws and regulations. Therefore, let’s see “is Kodi Exodus Safe and Legal in Different Countries.”
Pirated content or downloading licensed content without paying for it is illegal. However, no such policy or case provide proof that anyone gets caught for streaming or downloading pirated content is the USA. It means streaming and downloading content is illegal in the US, but there is no such strictness on breaking it.
The other legality issue comes from ISP authority as they make their own rules. It means if streaming and downloading pirated content is legal in the US, although if it’s against the ISP rules, then it automatically banned the service in your area.
Recently, UK legal authorities fined hefty amount on those sellers who sell Kodi boxes by claiming that they are licensed with third-party add-ons. Moreover, the official UK authorities stated that those sellers who are selling Kodi boxes with third-party add-ons are doing illegal act according to laws and regulations.
There are very few cases have been seen regarding police tracking down sellers and users for streaming and watching pirated content on Kodi. However, the authorities and UK are taking strict actions with the help of local internet; provide who watches pirated content on Kodi in the form of emails and letters. And in case if the user still watches pirated content on Kodi, the provider choke the bandwidth.
According to Law Professor (Michael Geist) “The law exempts temporary reproductions of copyrighted works if completed for technical reasons. Since the most streaming video does not involve downloading a copy of the work (it merely creates a temporary copy that cannot be permanently copied), users can legitimately argue that merely watching a non-downloaded stream does not run afoul of the law.”
Moreover according to the Canadian professional law enforcers realizes that tracking Kodi users is one of the most challenging tasks to do, especially when services like VPN for Kodi are available in the market.
So far, except UK, there is no country where a person is fined and charged with a crime that stops them to use pirated content on Kodi. However, all those Kodi users who live in Australia, it is still changeable weather watching pirated content on Kodi is legal or not.
However, in 2015 an amendment was passed which gives the right to ISP and local internet service provider to ban the websites that offer pirated content.
As a user of Kodi, you don’t need to panic if you know what you are doing. But there are several risks which arise due to using third party add-ons on Kodi and might create trouble for you. Here are the risks associated with Kodi for users:
One of the biggest threat to Kodi users is malicious add-ons, which leads to the question, is Kodi safe. The genuine Kodi application doesn’t contain any content and the official repository is also very limited.
Most of the users use add-ons provided by third parties. These third-party un-official add-ons often contain malware and hidden files that can infect your device.
These malicious add-ons have the ability to steal data and gain privileges to login information, install botnets, viruses, and malware on to your system. Not to mention, some of these add-ons work on P2P protocol, hence putting your privacy at risk.
It is not surprising that various famous Kodi add-ons stream from legally questionable sources. It can’t be a figure from where these third-party add-ons streams, it might be Live IPTV or Torrent who knows!
Due to copyright trolls and entities which are working on the backhand, may monitor IP addresses and links of Kodi users. Once they collect the information about IP addresses, they can then inform the internet service provider. For this ISP could take few actions. They can ask the Kodi user to pay the compensation amount on the behalf of a copyright holder or ask the user to permanently close the Kodi.
When you launch Kodi, it checks for new updates for all installed add-ons and downloads them if necessary. The entire process happens over unencrypted HTTP. That means an attacker could intercept traffic, then send a modified malicious add-on to the user.
This is called a “man-in-the-middle” attack, and it’s fairly simple to pull off but not very common. Once the malicious add-on is in place, it can execute Python code. Bitdefender’s researchers were able to recreate attacks on OpenELEC and Windows. The captured the user’s Youtube credentials on the former and executed code with escalated privileges on the latter.
In order to install Kodi, it is a very simple process, as anyone can install by following the simple steps. Although there are some devices which comes with pre-install Kodi. There is a high chance that devices which come with pre-installed Kodi might contain exploits that hackers can take advantage and gain backdoors.
Another problem is that it is very hard to remove pre-installed Kodi from these devices. It has been found that these Piracy boxes are sold by shady E-bay sales individuals and they create a complex challenge which is killing Kodi according to the official Kodi developers. These pre-installed Kodi apps do not perform well because of broken add-ons.
Constant shut down of repos might create safety and security issues and one can question, is Kodi safe or not. If you still contain a repository which is already shut down, anyone who buys the URL of the closed repository can upload dangerous codes and viruses to that repository.
It has been speculated that groups of copyright holders may try to buy up these domains and use them to host honeypots – that it, malicious code which poses as a useful add-on but actually collects data about users with the intent to harass them legally.
First, the Kodi app itself is not illegal or same goes for using Kodi app on different devices such as Amazon Firestick. Secondly, all the add-ons, which are the part of Kodi official repo, is entirely legal. The official Kodi add-ons include BBC iPlayer, ABC Family, PlayStation, Vue and many more.
And different apps and add-ons, which are available in Amazon Appstore are entirely legal, and you can use it without any safety concerns. However, due to geo-restrictions many of us use VPN service to access different channels such as BBC iPlayer won’t work without VPN outside the UK.
Then When Kodi is Illegal on Firestick? Well other than official repo add-ons, all the third party content and add-ons available on Kodi is illegal on Firestick. Like for example the android box, which is, also known as Kodi box that is fully loaded with third-party add-ons are unlawful to use.
Although if you are thinking by spending on fully loaded Kodi boxes or Firestick makes it legal to use, then you are thinking wrong. And there is no question left about its illegality.
There are hundreds of Kodi alternatives available online and they are entirely free to use. But there are only 28 secure alternatives available as per our tech experts research that can satisfy your streaming cravings.
With all our discussion and analysis, Kodi might seem like a dangerous application. However, that is not the case. The software itself is safe to use, provided you download it from its official website.
As for the add-ons, we have listed some of the risks associated with them. To be on the safe side, follow our prevention methods. This way you can enjoy limitless entertainment on Kodi without any hurdles.