Re: Can someone explain to a yank what this crackdown is all about?
kodi or xbmc (originally xbox media center) client allows streaming from various sources, it is not bittorrent and the only local copy is content segments in cache nor is client distributing anything.
Kodi provide a set of legal streaming services via plugins however there are other plugin providers who provide access to the content directly from streaming host sites without the usual advertisements and malware associated with the web front ends offered across the net. Think primewire etc.
The lower cost and availiblity of ARM based single board computers such as the rasperry pi have given rise to a rash of small businesses importing chinease media players running kodi which they then install the dodgy plugins to for instant access to copied content.
Ebay, Amazon etc are also selling these same kodi boxes but since they have more than enough money to legally defend themselves FACT has targetted the small businesses instead in an attempt to suggest to the public that kodi or the freely availible plugins are in someway promoting "piracy".
FACT and the content distributors they represent hold monopolies on the distribution rights within the region and so when the content is accessed without them getting a return on their execlusivity contract then they kick up. This is very similar to the reason that the catalog on netflix in the US and then connecting outside the US has a much smaller catalog. Basically the local distributors have purchased a monopoly on who is allowed to show particular content.
That this purchased exclusivity is not dealt with like other monopolies that stiffle competition shows just how powerful these distributors are locally.
If the kodi box was sold with the suggestion that the "dodgy" content legitimately distributed to the UK then I can see that there would a case for fraud however it would be the seller's fraud of pretending that view "pirated" content was his and part of the sale and has nothign to do with kodi or the streaming sources.