The Official Kodi website, Kodi.tv, has been seized by the U.S. Authorities!
If you’re like one of the many people who use Kodi for legal purposes and visited their website today, you noticed something wasn’t quite right.
Plastered across the Kodi website is the infamous “U.S. Seizure” notice.
This domain name has been seized by ICE – Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court under the authority of 18 U.S.C 981 and 2323.
Willful copyright infringement is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine forfeiture and restitution (17 U.S.C 506, 18 U.S.C 2319). Intentionally and knowingly trafficking in counterfeit goods is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to ten years in federal prison, a $2,000,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution (18 U.S.C 2320)
As per their website, The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center, led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), “stands at the forefront of the United States Government’s response to global intellectual property (IP) theft…”
This is sad and tragic news because Kodi does not facilitate piracy in any way. In fact, the Kodi Foundation goes out of their way to combat piracy whenever possible.
A little background, Kodi (formerly known as XBMC), is simply a digital media organizer for legal content that users already own. The issue with piracy is that some unethical people have successfully found a way to turn Kodi into a media pirates dream.
These dishonest people who misuse Kodi also fail to realize that IP theft is not a victimless crime. Just because new movies are breaking Box Office revenue records, i.e., Star Wars: The Force Awakens bringing in over $2 Billion USD, doesn’t mean that it’s ok.
We’ve reached out to Kodi and the U.S. Authorities for comment.
Update: It was just an April fools joke. The website is back up now! 🙂