Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Premier League in Push to Pull Plug

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Premier League in Push to Pull Plug

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE BROWN mike.brown@trinitymirror.com @MIKEBROWNGAZ

PREMIER League bosses have launched a fresh crackdown on people watching live football on their Kodi boxes.

Officials moved swiftly to enforce a High Court order granted earlier this year, which forces internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down servers broadcasting illegal streams of games.

Within minutes of the new Premier League season, many viewers were met with nothing but blank screens as they tried to access the games with the likes of Kodi and Mobdro.

And it's also been reported that viewers not interested in football found their content blocked, as the sweeping ban took out entire IP addresses broadcasting streams.

Bosses at the Premier League are working to protect the PS5.1bn broadcasting rights paid by Sky and BT Sport, both of which offer subscription packages for fans who want to watch the matches.

"This blocking order is a gamechanger in our efforts to tackle the supply and use of illicit streams of our content," said Kevin Plumb, the Premier League's director of legal services.

"It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt the illegal broadcast of Premier League football via any means, including so called 'pre-loaded Kodi boxes.'.

This blocking game-efforts to supply illicit our ' "The protection of our copyright, and the investment made by our broadcast partners, is hugely important to the Premier League and the future health of English football."

Kodi is a free, content-neutral platform that has publicly shunned the pirate streams that use it.

But because of its ease of use it has become a major source of copyright infringement.

Dealers can install the software and others like it on to stock Android devices and pre-load it with illegal streams before selling them on to punters - sometimes for as much as PS100 each.

Many people choose this route to avoid paying for costly football packages.

A report by the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) estimates that 15% of UK internet users - approximately 7 million people - still stream or download material that infringes copyright. …

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