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Kodi-pocalypse Now? Actually, it's not quite here yet

Poll finds most pirates aren't even using streaming stick

With some in the media industries predicting an imminent "Kodipocalypse", a survey of more than 2,000 UK internet users suggests that simply being nice to those users who download illegal content – on Kodi or otherwise – isn't effective.

The poll found that 22 per cent thought the threat of disconnection or court action would be most effective in stopping people downloading or sharing. Then again, 29 per cent thought infringers would carry on regardless. Most (78 per cent) recognise that "downloading copyrighted material without permission" is illegal.

In 2014, after several years of wrangling over costs, rights industries and major ISPs agreed to participate in a voluntary education scheme, under the umbrella Get It Right From A Genuine Site portal. This encompasses a useful "Find Any Film" search engine. In recent weeks, suspected infringers have begun receiving stiff letters from their ISPs.

Only 10 per cent of internet users surveyed cited a lack of availability of the content as a reason for infringing – a major shift over a decade ago. But then today almost everything apart from first-run movies that are still in theatrical distribution and obscure out-of-print music is available legally in digital form – you just have to pay.

As an example of availability problems, Broadband Genie claims that: "None of the top five movies in 2015 by US box office takings are available for streaming in the UK as part of the subscription packages from Netflix or Amazon Instant Video." True, but four of the five are available legally in the UK for streaming on Now TV, the OTT version of Sky Cinema (£9.99 a month).

In a global survey of some 25,000 consumers across the globe, it seems that content industries could use more of the carrot rather than stick in less developed markets. More than half said they would stop after learning that piracy hits investment in content.

The polls conducted for rights management company Irdeto do include useful and rare usage figures for the Kodi stick specifically, though. And the numbers suggest it's less widely adopted by pirates than you might think.

"Despite a lot of media interest, the Kodi box only registered as a top device to pirate content in the UK, with 11 per cent of pirating consumers using the streaming device to access illegal content. The highest percentage of Kodi users in the UK were in the 35-44 and 55+ age groups at 18 per cent each. This is compared with 3 per cent of 18-24-year-olds," industry newsletter RapidTV's Joe O'Halloran notes.®

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