What is Kodi and is it Legal? Beginner’s Guide to Home Media Server
Gone are the days when you would rush back home to catch your favorite TV shows or movies on cable. With the rise of technology, comes the convenience and the ability of digitizing movies and music collection. This means, if you have been or just starting to process digitizing all your entertainment collection, then, you must have heard of Kodi. Kodi is a tool that puts together all of your favorite music, TV shows, movies, etc., all in one platform and all its content are shared to different devices.
With home media becoming popular, widely used and it being easy to assemble, Kodi also has caught the attention of numerous viewers. In other words, with Kodi being an all-in-one platform for movies, TV shows and music content, it has become one of the leading media server software for home streaming. With that said, through this article shall discuss everything about Kodi.
What is Kodi?
As mentioned earlier, Kodi is a free open source media center software. It is a center or place where you could control all of your digital media. It was first launched to the public in 2002 as XBMP-Xbox Media Player which later on has evolved into XBMC or Xbox Media Center in 2004. Yes, that is correct, it ran on the first Xbox. Then, it was expanded by coders which were led by XBMC Foundation.
In 2014, XBMC had been rebranded and changed its name to Kodi. The changing of name was actually a good idea as it has helped in popularizing and establishing its own identity away from Microsoft’s Xbox console.
What can it do?
Kodi gives you the power and ability to access all pictures, music, TV shows and movies from one device. Through it, you will be able to stream and record live shows. In addition to that, Kodi is known to be very flexible as well as it also allows you to use your smartphone apps as a remote control. Furthermore, it could support any file format whether it is for videos or audio. It has a wide range of list as to how many types of files it could play. Aside from that it also has online databases from MusicBrainz and TVDB.
Since Kodi is an open-source, you will find numerous add-ons and plug-ins which you could use on and with Kodi. In fact, it has dedicated Vimeo apps, YouTube and other radio stations. You will also be able to check on weather forecasts and many more.
What can I use Kodi on?
You could use Kodi on almost anything that has a processor. In fact, there are even media center boxes which are designed and ready made specifically for Kodi use. It could be used for Windows, Linux, OSX, Android, Amazon Fire TV and even versions for Raspberry Pi.
If you wish to play Kodi on your iPhone, unfortunately this is not possible as there are no authorized versions for iOS. This is because Apple does not support any third party apps. However, if you are really determined on getting Kodi on your iPhone, you will need to jailbreak your device. Aside from that, you will also have to take note that there are no versions for Windows Phone as well. Furthermore, since Kodi originated from Xbox, this only means that you will not be able to run it on other game consoles as well. However, the good news is the earlier Kodi version could still operate as XBMC4Xbox. Hence, if you still have the first generation Xbox, then you could use it as the home of Kodi.
Why would I use Kodi?
The main reasons for using Kodi is freedom and flexibility. As long as you have an internet connection, you will be able to use it wherever you are. Its content will stay, never be removed and will travel where you go. If you are at home, you will be able to access any media stored on your Kodi libraries. Aside from that this tool also allows you to control your own media files, gives you video, audio, etc. options compared to other player software. Furthermore, you could even control subtitles and adjust speed of the text.
Since Kodi is community lead, there are several minor changes in versions and information. All of these could be found on its own Wiki .
How would you use Kodi?
To start, you would need to download its installer https://kodi.tv/download. Choose the format depending on your device. The installation is fast and it comes with a mini tutorial that discusses the basics. Once done, we highly suggest that you also install add-ons.
It is easy to download add-ons all you need to do is download individual mods from its developers or from repositories like SuperRepo . You will be able to find the list of add-ons on Kodi Wiki or check out the best addons that still work.
To install individual add-on that you have downloaded, you will need to follow the steps below:
– Click System on your Kodi Main screen
– Select settings
– Select add-ons
– Select Install from zip file
Take not do not extract the zip package beforehand as Kodi will handle it as it installs.
Playing Kodi is simple. Just browse through your storage locations on your networked devices. Since Kodi comes with a Plug and Play server, all you need to so is hit play. Hence, it is easy to use all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your show.
Is Kodi Legal?
Kodi as mentioned earlier is a software which is similar to others that are under the General Public License. This means it is legal. However, just like torrenting, there are legitimate and illegal ways to distribute or share uploaded content. This also applies with Kodi.
Kodi’s developers are very transparent as to what Kodi really is. All its source codes could be found on GitHub and aside from that, its developers are working with Software Freedom, Law Center who advises them as to copyright and trademark issues.
Since Kodi is an open-source and some of the plug-in and add-ons could be used in downloading illegal content, you will need to be responsible about it. But in terms of owning a device such a media center like Kodi is legal.
In May, EU court has ruled that using multimedia player to stream pirated video content is similar to laws in downloading illegal copy. This means that whenever you download illegal copied show, you violate copyright laws. This also means you are stealing, retaining and keeping a copy. However, the debate with it is that whenever you are streaming, your file is stored temporarily and under copyright laws temporary copies are exempted from copyright laws.
However, you will have to take note that the new rule of temporary reproduction of copyrighted materials say that obtaining the material without the consent of the copyright holder is not exempted from the rule of right of reproduction. In other words, no one could reproduce the copyrighted material other than its owner. With this, it means that anyone who is streaming illegally copied show is illegally streaming the material which means breaking the law. It would be considered as being downloaded. It violates copyright law as the owners are losing money since the people who are streaming are watching the shows without any fee. Furthermore, the law even states and explains that anyone who purchases multimedia player and purchases it because of it’s the pre-installation of add-ons, the court finds the purchaser deliberately and in full knowledge that s/he is accessing unauthorized offer of protected works.