Canada: TV programmer seeks to stop sales of Kodi-equipped boxes

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Allarco Entertainment, owner of Super Channel, is seeking a court injunction to stop four Canadian consumer electronics retailers from selling streaming devices that can accommodate apps which are not licensed to distribute its programming.  Super Channel, based in Edmonton, Alberta, operates four TV channels that are available online and over pay TV nationwide in Canada.

Super Channel contends that the stores – BestBuy, Canada Computers and Electronics, Staples and London Drug – conspire to breach several copyright-related laws and a section of the Criminal Code of Canada by selling Android TV devices equipped with Kodi media center software.  Kodi is a well-known channel of distribution for unlicensed programming via illicit apps that plug in to its framework.

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Screenshot of Super Channel – Image source: Super Channel

Super Channel wants $50M in damages, and seeks to cite end users as defendents as well.

Allarco Entertainment filed its initial lawsuit against the retailers in September 2019, which categories devices running Kodi as “pirate devices.”  Its CEO contends that “There is a complacency around (piracy)… and our goal is to lead in changing the culture around (its) acceptance.”

Read about the injunction in The Edmonton Journal

Read about the initial 2019 lawsuit, with further statements by Allarco Entertainment President & CEO Don McDonald.

Why it matters

Representatives of the defendants dismiss the charges, saying that Kodi is a widely used framework available through legitimate channels and that in itself, does not enable infringement.  They contend that if Super Channel prevails, it raises the question of whether any device running Kodi – even a PC – is a pirate device.

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