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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12064
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Hi, I am seeking legal advice from a professional, preferably

Customer Question

Hi, I am seeking legal advice from a professional, preferably with knowledge in copyright law.

I want to pursue with a business project I have started though I have a few things at the back of my mind therefore would like legal advice.

Over the last year I have built a talent in building software within an Android TV box. I am starting a business in selling android TV boxes, customized by me. One of the applications within the android box will be XBMC.

XBMC is one of the main points of sale. If you are not familiar, XBMC is an open source media player. XBMC developers encourage users to make and submit their own addons to add additional media content. These addons are built to pull streams from around the web. I install the best addons (run by a 3rd party and nothing to do with me) onto XBMC for the customer to gain the best entertainment experience. These addons include movies, TV shows, sport, adult etc.

Though this is a bit of a grey area, after much research I think that I will be able to proceed with this project as streaming media is legal. Downloading and retaining media on the other hand is illegal which I intend on putting this across strongly within terms and conditions.

Can you please take a couple of minutes to read the links below; this is a UK based company currently trading in this field.

The Product....

FAQ’s (the top 3 points)....


I have intentions on drawing up terms and conditions similar to the one above to ensure the buyer is aware of the laws and uses their box responsibly. Please can you give me legal advice in this field?

Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

The FAQ has been drafted very cleverly. The true position is that, whilst a box like this, and presumably the one you intend to manufacture is quite legal and people can use them, many of the sites which are actually streaming the movies and other content are in breach of copyright as they don't have the copyright owner's permission to stream the movies. Netflix and Amazon and the like pay licence fees to copyright owners, however many sites don't, and there is an emerging industry of companies which are tracking down and taking legal challenges against the sites which are simply stealing copyright content from owners.

So it is not quite accurate to say that downloading is illegal and streaming is not. You have to look at the situation from the perspective of copyright ownership. If you own the rights to a film and someone pays you to grant a licence to stream the film from their website that is one thing. If that person simply takes the film and streams the film without the permission of the copyright owner then that is a breach of copyright and is actionable. To that extent there is no difference between illegal downloading and illegal streaming. The difference is that the end user never comes into possession of the physical product when streaming.

But the website is still in violation of copyright. It's just that the violation is not shared by the consumer as the law stands at present.

So your product is legal to sell as long as it has no association with the many illegal websites that simply steal copyright material and allow users to stream via appliances such as that made by you.

You will see what I mean about the cleverly worded FAQ if you now go back and read it again.

Happy to discuss further.

Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I was to create a business similar to Streambox, I understand that I must cover all angles, as they have done to stay in line with the present laws. If something was seen to be a breach of copyright law, would this been seen as criminal or civil?

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
It would be a civil matter.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One thing that I am cautious of is how I can market this product. As you can see on the Stream box website, they have set out videos on what their product can do. Will it be ok to market it as free movies, TV shows etc. XBMC also has many addons such as YouTube and Netflix.


Is it ok for me to tell customers that they can get the latest movies, TV shows and sport on the box?..

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
As long as you have the caveat that you have "no connection or association with the websites that host (store) any media." All you selling is an appliance in the same way that someone selling a DVD player can't be responsible if the consumer uses it to play pirate DVDs.