If you browse Facebook for any length of time these days, you’ll likely see someone selling a “fully loaded” streaming device that promises access to any live cable network on the planet thanks to Kodi software. Those days could soon be over though.
It was just back in April that both Amazon and eBay banned sales of Kodi devices, and now Facebook has as well. The site recently updated its commerce policy in the UK to take aim squarely at sellers with devices that skirt copyright laws. Facebook didn’t specifically name Kodi, but given the prevalence of those devices in online listing, it’s clear that’s where their target is.
Among 13 other categories, Facebook now bans “products or items that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media.” People who violate that policy may find their accounts banned. The change hasn’t officially made its way to the United States, but it’s expected to soon.
eBay actually went so far as to work with local law enforcement to track down the sellers of these devices. “We work with the police and regulators to ensure that all listings on eBay comply with the law. There are blocks in place to prevent the listing of illegal items, but we also constantly monitor our marketplace. Anyone found to be knowingly selling items that don’t comply with the law will be investigated and could face account restrictions or suspension.”
Facebook hasn’t gone that far, but since most accounts clearly display a person’s name a photo, it’s not a huge leap to imagine that happening.
Many sellers of these devices try to use the “loophole” of noting that the device itself is legal (which of course it is), and the software is legal (which Kodi is), so they’re not responsible if the users accesses unauthorized content. But that excuse doesn’t fly when most sellers promote the device as a way to access mainstream television.
If you’re interested in cutting cable, it’s becoming more and more clear that using a legitimate streaming device is your best bet.