Kodi add-on users have been dealt some big piracy news at the start of 2019.
Research has suggested Kodi – which offers access to thousands of channels – is being used in more than five million UK homes.
Kodi software is not illegal, but unaffiliated developers can produce third-party add-ons that provide free access to pirated and illegal content.
These apps allow users to stream premium content, like paid-for sports, movie channels and TV shows for free.
These illegal add-ons have been targeted by ISPs, government agencies, broadcasters and rights holders.
And as the piracy crackdown continues, Kodi add-on fans have been dealt some big news.
European lawmakers have made a breakthrough trying to get a major shake-up of copyright laws passed.
Last month it was revealed that MEPs in Brussels had reached a stumbling block in the progress of the Copyright Directive.
Kodi fans have been put on alert about some major piracy law developments
This is intended to comprehensively update copyright laws, however there are a number of controversial regulations.
Article 11 would empower publishers to charge fees to platforms such as Google or Facebook when they show snippets of their articles.
While Article 13 puts the onus on websites to ensure content their users upload does not breach copyright.
These sites would be liable for content that breaches copyright unless “effective and proportionate” measures are enforced.
The European Parliament said these measures would include the use of “effective content recognition technologies”.
So, in essence – video sharing platforms need to ensure what gets uploaded to their sites is not in breach of copyright.
And if it is, it opens the door for rights holders to demand compensation.
It’s led to fears that Article 13, if passed, could see websites adopting ‘upload filters’ to ensure whatever is uploaded by users does not breach copyright.
Kodi is used in millions of UK homes, according to research
If that’s the case, it would have a huge impact on illegal Kodi add-ons.
These Kodi add-ons – which are made by third-party developers – find and pull together pirated streams of movies and TV shows posted on the internet.
If Article 13 is enforced then that would likely significantly reduce the number of streams these add-ons can turn to.
And now it’s been revealed that politicians in Brussels have agreed on proposed changes to the copyright proposal.
With the deadlock broken, the copyright reforms will once again be put to MEPs next week before a final decision is made at a later date.
EU digital chief Andrus Ansip revealed on Twitter his hopes for a deal being struck in talks next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ansip said: “Glad to see EU countries once again finding a common voice on copyright reform … I hope for a final agreement next week.
“Europeans deserve copyright rules fit for digital age: it is good for creators, platforms and for regular internet users.”
Kodi is perfectly legal, but unaffiliated third party add-ons can give access to copyrighted content
While German MEP Julia Reda hit out at the latest developments.
She said: “Dirty deal between France and Germany prevails, for now: Council ready to continue negotiations on the worst version of Article 13 yet, next stop negotiations with parliament.
“Call your MEPs now!”
And in a post online Reda added: “The deal in Council paves the way for a final round of negotiations with the Parliament over the course of next week, before the entire European Parliament and the Council vote on the final agreement.
Kodi add-ons could be impacted by proposed law changes in Brussels
“It is now up to you to contact your MEPs, call their offices in their constituencies and visit as many of their election campaign events as you can!
“Ask them to reject a copyright deal that will violate your rights to share legal creations like parodies and reviews online, and includes measures like the link tax that will limit your access to the news and drive small online newspapers out of business.
“Right before the European elections, your voices cannot be ignored!
“Join the over 4.6million signatories to the largest European petition ever and tell your representatives: If you break the Internet and accept Article 13, we won’t reelect you!”