Amazon recently announced a crackdown on such devices / REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

'This is now seen as being normalised. A family will sit and watch one of these IPTV devices'

Police Scotland this week held a conference with the UK’s major broadcasters to discuss ways to approach the issue of so-called “fully loaded” media players.

A new market for devices pre-loaded with Kodi and a variety of third-party add-ons that enable users to illegally stream copyrighted content, has emerged over recent months.

Police Scotland has claimed that “criminal gangs” have now started selling the players, because they see it as a less risky area of crime.

“Crime groups and criminals around Scotland are diversifying into what’s seen as less risk areas,” said Chief Inspector Mark Leonard, Police Scotland’s lead on counterfeiting, reports The Scotsman.

“There’s also a public perception that this is a commodity which is victimless. Prevention is a big part of this so we need to change attitudes and behaviours of people that this damages the creative industries in Scotland as well.”

The conference was attended by Sky, BT Sport, the English Premier League, Celtic TV, the UK Intellectual Property Office, HM Revenue & Customs, Trading Standards and others.

Though users can download Kodi and install third-party add-ons themselves, the process isn’t straightforward. 

Fully loaded media players, meanwhile, make it easy for users to access illegal streams for sports events, TV shows and films. 

“This is now seen as being normalised,” added Chief Inspector Leonard. “A family will sit and watch one of these IPTV devices.”

Earlier this month, Amazon announced a crackdown on such devices, and warned sellers that it will destroy their inventory if they violate its rules.

The Premier League has also obtained an injunction enabling it to work hand-in-hand with UK internet service providers to block illegal streams fed to media players running Kodi.

Comments