Kodi cheers Facebook’s ban on the sale of boxes allowing video piracy

Kodi screenshot. (Kodi)

Facebook is the latest company to block the sale of "fully loaded" Kodi boxes which preload video streaming devices with illegal video streaming software, and Kodi is all for Facebook’s decision.

“We very much welcome the rule change,” Nathan Betzen, community/project manager for Kodi, told FierceOnlineVideo. “We've opposed the sale of these streaming devices with piracy add-ons preinstalled for well over a year. Now that Facebook, eBay, and Amazon have all officially banned the practice, we are hopeful that the number of confused and uneducated users of piracy add-ons will decrease.”

Indeed, Kodi published a blog post last year calling out individuals using the Kodi name to sell boxes with broken piracy add-ons or to sell ads on videos promoting the boxes. The company said the issues arising from people buying the boxes and then blaming the problems on Kodi have led many of Kodi’s core developers to consider quitting the platform. Kodi said it’s using its trademark of the name Kodi to block sales.

But now, companies like Facebook, Amazon and eBay are getting more proactive in blocking the sales. In an update to the terms of service for its marketplace, Facebook said it would not allow “products or items that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media.”

Along with Kodi, many interested parties in the media industry have praised Facebook for taking action to stop video piracy through the sale of modified streaming boxes.

Dean Marks, executive vice president, deputy general counsel, and chief of global content protection for MPAA, offered the MPAA’s help in solidifying and enforcing the rule changes at Facebook.

“The MPAA is encouraged by the recent change to Facebook’s advertising and commerce policies to prevent the sale of devices and products that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media, which undermine the legal digital market for creative content. We stand ready to collaborate with Facebook and supply any information and insights we learn to help make this policy change a reality on the Facebook platform,” Marks said.

Kodi is open-source home theater software offered by the XBMC Foundation. XBMC does not sell hardware, and the company is careful to point out that it doesn't promote the use of one piece of hardware over another, although it notes that some hardware is designed with Kodi or XBMC use in mind.