Kodi is so popular nowadays, even the layman will know what you are talking about when you mention it.
Now, that may be because it’s a great piracy tool but nonetheless, as a tool for a home theater setup, it excels at what it does.
Kodi is known mainly, though, for its use in streaming movies for free, sparking many to question is Kodi legal and safe to use?
Kodi has been around for a long time now, it really gained traction back when the first Raspberry Pi came out (five years ago if you can believe it, does that not make you feel old?). The “RaspBMC” operating system was a way to have a dedicated media center for a low price.
Ever since then it has gone from strength to strength but has earned quite the reputation as a home for piracy.
Is Kodi legal?
Whilst Kodi’s main use is as a way to collate all of your home media into on easy to use package, it has what it calls “addons”.
The ones that are located on Kodi’s default repository are mainly used to add functionality in regards to certain hardware, things like Linux based set-top boxes for example.
In its default state, Kodi is completely legal, as there is nothing there that infringes on any sort of copyright.
The problems start to arise when you install add-ons that give you access to pirated movies and TV Shows, or even live streams of sports and other TV channels.
Streaming pirated content isn’t legal in the US and Europe, meaning doing so can potentially get you in trouble.
The likes of Canada, for example, doesn’t have any sort of law saying that streaming pirated content is a problem, so feel free to get involved.
In many countries, the real punishments are kept for those that are distributing pirated content.
There are many people out there that offer these “Kodi Boxes” that have already tonnes of pre-installed addons for streaming movies, TV shows, Sports, etc. and the European government has really started to crack down on this. Recently in the UK, people have been arrested for distributing these preloaded Kodi Boxes.
Copyright holders are really starting to crack down on Kodi too. TVAddons.ag was one of the most popular websites for finding free movie and TV Show streaming add-ons for Kodi, and under threat of legal action, they decided to shut down.
This means an addon as popular as “Exodus” needs to find a new host.
Expect that going forward, for many of these streaming addons, to have nowhere to call a home as potential hosts become wary of prospective legal action.
The big conversation is now whether Kodi is aiding piracy and not doing enough to stop it, though I feel it’s unfair to push the blame onto Kodi.
As it is, out of the box, Kodi is as legal as they come. For your own home theater setup and as a way for organising your media library, Kodi is a very useful tool that can do anything you want it to do.
If you plan on using addons that stream pirated content, it is important that you use a VPN just for that extra layer of protection.
Using a VPN will make sure that your communications are completely encrypted so no one will know if you are using streaming addons.
If you're going to go down the VPN path, you can't go wrong with either of these three options:
Is Kodi safe?
Kodi is as safe as they come. There is nothing sinister going on with Kodi and in its default installed state will never be a problem.
Once again, the issues start to come to the fore when you installed addons from external repositories. As these repositories are not official, anyone can upload anything so it is important to keep in mind someone may create some sort of malicious tool masquerading as an addon that you want.
In fact, there is a precedent of this sort of thing happening. The Exodus Addon was used in a way that made its users into a botnet in order to perform DDoS attacks on various websites. These sorts of malicious attacks are not prevalent but they do happen, so stay vigilant.
Providing you stick to repositories that are confirmed working and safe by others, Kodi is a lot more safe than other free video streaming websites that inundate you with adverts that try to get you to install malicious things to your PC in an attempt to trick you.
Thankfully, Kodi has a huge community so if you are not sure if something is legit, you can simply ask the community to get helpful answers. The community effort that surrounds Kodi is one of its biggest strengths, so for those that aren’t confident in their technical abilities, there are a ream of informative How-To guides and other similar things.
The situation surrounding Kodi is a very difficult beast, as it is known more for its use in aiding piracy than it is known for its designed use as a media center.
This becomes a problem because of the sheer popularity of Kodi, it gains more notoriety, meaning copyright holders will focus big time on making sure that Kodi Addons cannot thrive.
The biggest worry is that with this crackdown on Kodi Addons, will it possibly get to the point where Kodi is taken with it?
I am not sure it will ever get to that point but it isn’t impossible.
Would you trust your government officials who most likely have no understanding of this subject to make an informed decision? If the answer to that question is yes, I want to relocate to where you live.
Kodi as it was designed is completely legal and safe to use and those that create addons for it are in no way affiliated with Kodi so it is a shame that Kodi itself is gaining a bit of a bad name when it is a fantastic bit of kit.
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with family and friends, you are bound to have some that use Kodi and they may find some of the information eye opening.
If you have anything interesting to add, please feel free to let us know in the comments.