KODI users are being warned that the Government is expected to launch a crackdown on illegal streaming and piracy and it could start as early as this summer.

Kodi users have been warned the Government is expected to clamp down on piracy this summer

Kodi users have been warned the Government is expected to clamp down on piracy this summer

The Kodi surge continues without any sign of stopping, as users continue to ditch paid TV for the online player.

Kodi software is not illegal, but developers can produce third-party add-ons that provide free access to pirated and illegal content.

The illegal add-ons are being targeted by ISP’s, Government agencies, broadcasters and rights holders.

And it’s now emerged that seven million people in the UK are streaming or downloading movies, TV shows or music illegally.

This is according to a study carried out by PRS for Music and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Ros Lynch, Copyright and IP Enforcement Director at the Intellectual Property Office, said: “There has never been more choice or flexibility for consumers of TV and music, however illicit streaming devices and stream-ripping are threatening this progress.

“Content creators deserve to be paid for their work – it is not a grey area.

“This Government takes IP infringement extremely seriously and we are working with our industry partners and law enforcement to tackle this emerging threat.”

The research found that 15 per cent of UK internet users, approximately seven million people, had either streamed or downloaded material that infringed copyright.

In response the IPO had published a “call for views”, asking people in the entertainment industry what should be done.

The Government response on how to deal with this widespread copyright infringement is due to be published later this summer.

The study found that legitimate streaming services, like Netflix and Spotify, have grown in popularity.

However, the research found set top boxes which allows users to illegally stream premium TV content is holding similar businesses back.

The IPO said stream-ripping – where users rule and store content from its original platform – is becoming a significant problem.

PRS for Music is a body which collects royalties on behalf of the music industry. Chief Executive Robert Ashcroft said: “We hope that this research will provide the basis for a renewed and re-focused commitment to tackling online copyright infringement.

“The long term health of the UK’s cultural and creative sectors is in everyone’s best interests, including those of the digital service providers, and a co-ordinated industry and government approach to tackling stream ripping is essential.”

Last week the head of the UK’s leading anti-piracy group warned that Kodi users will be targeted in a major new crackdown on illegal streaming.

Kieron Sharp, the chief executive of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said those who use illegal Kodi add-ons “are committing criminal offences”.

Speaking to The Independent, he said: “What we’ve been looking at in conjunction with many of our clients and members are the different levels of crime being committed.

“There’s the manufacture and importation of devices, and then the distribution and selling of those. We’re also looking at the people who are providing the apps and add-ons, the developers.

“And then we’ll also be looking at, at some point, the end user. The reason for end users to come into this is that they are committing criminal offences.”

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The Mixdoctor Team Member of koditalk.org

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