Is Kodi legal? What you need to know

Kodi lets you stream almost anything - but is it against the law?

Curtis Moldrich
20 Apr 2018
Advertisement

Kodi is one of the most powerful pieces of entertainment software you can get and enables you to stream a range of content – from the web or local devices. But with so much on offer – including movies and games – it’s worth asking: “Is Kodi legal?”

Is Kodi legal?

The simple answer is yes. In its untouched state, Kodi is a piece of software designed to stream content on a range of devices, and that means it’s perfectly legal. However, just like a browser, torrent client, or any other computing tool, it’s possible to use Kodi for more nefarious purposes.

Kodi boxes are, for example, commonly used to access pirated Premier League football streams and the Premier League has warned users against watching matches in this way. This is what's known as illicit streaming and effectively relates to any time you watch any video content without the copyright owner's permission, using either software or hardware. This includes phones, tablets and smart TVs as well as streaming boxes like Kodi. 

Kodi’s open-source nature means it’s also possible to download a range of add-ons – and some of the software’s most popular extensions do enter ambiguous territory. As a general rule, if you suspect an Kodi add-on provides coverage or a film library that is too good to be true, chances are it probably is and we advise not using those add-ons. And there's a simple litmus test – if you're watching a TV show, sporting event, film or similar and you'd usually have to pay to view it, then you're on dodgy ground.

Please note that many add-ons contain content that isn’t officially licensed and accessing such content could be illegal. In short, if the content is free, but looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

What is Kodi’s stance?

Kodi’s developers are keen to distance themselves from the murky world of add-ons, and maintain that in its original form, the software is as legal as a web browser. A post made in April 2014 by Kodi’s developers reads: 

There is a growing (and worrying) misconception caused by some websites and people who sell HTPC devices with XBMC...

Posted by Kodi on Tuesday, 15 April 2014

In conclusion, Kodi in its unaltered form is perfectly legal, but certain add-ons do blur things. If you’re already comfortable with watching streams on websites such as Putlocker, then using Kodi with particular add-ons is no different. If you aren’t, it’s worth steering clear of many of Kodi’s most popular extensions.

Read next: How to stream American Netflix in the UK.

Looking for a VPN to use with Kodi? Check out Buffered, voted as Best VPN for the United Kingdom by BestVPN.com.

Please note that many add-ons contain content that isn’t officially licensed and accessing such content could be illegal. It is the user’s responsibility to comply with all applicable laws in their country in regard to use. Dennis Publishing Ltd excludes all liability for such content. We do not condone and are not responsible for the infringement of any intellectual property or other third party rights and shall not be liable to any party as a result of any such content made available. In short, if the content is free, but looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

Read more about: