- Facebook recently banned the sale of piracy-enabling gadgets on its user marketplace.
- But there are still hundreds of devices listed on Marketplace, promising free movies and TV and making no attempt to disguise themselves.
Despite a recent ban, there are still hundreds of piracy-enabling devices for sale on Facebook’s user marketplace that promise to let users watch movies and premium television channels for free.
These are “Kodi boxes” — gadgets that contain open source video streaming software, and are often tweaked to give customers access to pirate content before being sold. Kodi’s developers don’t condone this illegal activity — but because the software is open source, there’s little they can do to stop it.
A quick search on Facebook Marketplace, the social network’s shopfront for users, reveals hundreds of Kodi devices for sale, often boasting “free movies,” “cinema movies … [with] no monthly subscriptions,” and “sky channels … in hd including, all sports, sky movies and normal tele [sic].”
Many also advertise themselves as “fully loaded” — a term indicating they have plugins pre-installed for accessing pirated material. In April 2016, the top court in Europe, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), ruled that it is illegal to sell “fully loaded” devices.
As torrent news site Torrentfreak reports, sales of piracy-enabling devices on Marketplace have recently been banned by Facebook. “Products or items that facilitate or encourage unauthorised access to digital media” are now on the social network’s list of prohibited items.
But it’s not clear what Facebook is doing to enforce this ban. No attempt is made to hide the true nature of the listings, and a search for “kodi fully loaded” returns hundreds of unambigious results, typically selling for between £50 and £60 in the UK.
A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement given to The Mirror, anti-piracy organisation FACT hailed the news that Facebook said it was banning sale of the devices. “It is great to see Facebook follow the likes of Amazon and eBay in making changes to their policies to prohibit the sale of illicit streaming devices on their platform, said chief executive Kieron Sharp.
“Recent rulings have clarified that selling a device pre-configured to access copyrighted material is illegal and that consumers watching content via these devices without a legitimate subscription are also breaking the law.”