Is Kodi Legal? Learn Everything that Makes Kodi Illegal or Legal

Kodi, a new-age streaming giant is getting embroiled under legal questions, thus making Kodi users to question whether they ought to use the software. Therefore, this guide explains everything you need to know of ‘Is Kodi Legal’ or ‘Is Kodi Illegal and explains the stance of Kodi and arguments from both sides.

What is Kodi?

Kodi is a free open-source software, a powerful entertainment software that lets you stream almost anything. It is available for all major devices including Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS, Roku, XBox, Fire TV/Stick, Linux, and Raspberry Pi. Once you’ve installed Kodi on these operating system, the first that you do is to get a Kodi VPN in case you ought to view Movies and TV Shows with Kodi addons.


Kodi was first launched in 2002 as XBMP (Xbox Media Player) for a short while, but then it was changed to XBMC (Xbox Media Center). Being attached to just Xbox would present limitations, so it decided to change its name to Kodi in August 2014 and expand its features a little further.

The ability of Kodi to stream anything comes directly from Kodi add-ons. These add-ons are distributed into free add-ons to subscription-only add-ons. Streaming services and networks that develop add-ons for Kodi are rarely free and costs the exact subscription fee as it would charge its online users. However, using third-party Kodi add-ons make a difference.

Pros of Kodi

  • An open-source software that lets third-parties develop their own add-on
  • Supports all audio and video file formats
  • All your content (audio and visual) are accessed in one location
  • View free copyright material (Movies, TV Series, Live Sports, Liv TV) with unofficial Kodi addons
  • Kodi software is free of cost

Cons of Kodi

  • The software is widely used to view free copyright material
  • Kodi users are mostly unaware of the legality issues with Kodi
  • Very limited official Kodi add-ons
  • Most official Kodi add-ons do not work

Is Kodi Legal?

Yes, Kodi is absolutely legal considering that you stick to official Kodi add-ons. Kodi makes it easier for its users to access official Kodi add-ons by offering a built-in official repository when you install the Kodi app. Anything that is not recommended by Kodi is to use a third-party Kodi add-on.

However enticing official Kodi add-on might be, it does not offer you free Movies and TV Shows. Frankly speaking, not even half those add-ons work. Most people are into third-party add-ons and view free copyright material.

Kodi has joined hands with streaming giants such as HBO, Netflix, Hulu, and other services to end piracy in Kodi. But the nature of Kodi i.e. being an open-source software means that anyone can access program’s code.

Third Party Kodi Addons

Third-party Kodi add-ons are not in any way associated with Kodi. Rather, these are developed by independent developers and bring your free Movies, TV Shows, Live TV, and Live Sports. It fetches sources from Torrents and other free streaming websites on the internet.

Is Kodi Illegal?

We can pretty much summarize that watching free copyright materials on Kodi is unwanted. However, not all third-party Kodi add-ons are illegal. Some maintenance tool add-ons clears Kodi cache and helps stop buffering issues in Kodi.

Third-party Movie and TV Shows add-ons are the ones that scrapes material directly from Torrents and from around the internet in many different video qualities. That is the sole reason why there has been a crackdown against third-party Kodi developers developing these add-ons.

When Kodi is Illegal

Kodi is illegal when you have installed unofficial Kodi addons. Similar to Kodi fully-loaded Kodi boxes where you have pre-installed unofficial Kodi add-ons, it allows you to watch copyright material for free and that’s what make it illegal.


EUs top court has placed a ban on Kodi boxes that have pre-installed Kodi third-party add-ons on them. Installing a third-party add-on for yourself with any Kodi box is a lot safer than buying a fully-loaded Kodi box. It’s that simple.

Get an Android Box, install a third-party Kodi add-on yourself, get a Kodi VPN to hide whatever you view on Kodi, and stream all the latest content for free.

Do You Watch Illegal Apps and Addons?

Kodi has made it easier for you to distinguish between what is legal and illegal to watch on your Kodi. If you’re trying to access legal Kodi add-ons then look for the Kodi Add-on Repository located under the option Install from Repository. You will find various add-ons that are developed by the services providers themselves.

Is Kodi Safe?

Kodi itself takes guarantee of its official add-ons that are found under Kodi repository. However, it clearly takes no responsibility of third-party add-ons which are developed by independent developers. When you install a third-party add-ons, you don’t know what’s inside that you’re installing, only hoping to watch free Movies and TV Shows.

A few unofficial Kodi add-ons would deliberately hide a malware under their add-ons plugin file that would track your online activity. Afterwards, they would develop a similar add-on based on users’ activities. To sum up, Kodi is pretty safe until unofficial add-ons are installed.

Kodi vs Dish Network

Kodi has bonded with many giant streaming services such as Netflix ever since they are accused for the actions of third-party add-ons. A series of lawsuits were also filed by the Dish Network fighting against Zem TV and Phoenix, while forcing them to shut down their add-ons for good. These were two add-ons from the pool of thousands that showed Live TV channels on Kodi.


Another lawsuit is currently in court where Canadian Telecommunications are fighting against TVAddons. We also saw some of the abuse of power in an online copyright infringement case, but Adam Lackman, the man behind TVAddons is fighting hard to win the battle.

Official Kodi Addons

Here is a list of few official Kodi add-ons that works perfectly:

  • iPlayer WWW
  • NBC Live Extra
  • Fox Sports Go
  • Nasa
  • com
  • PBS Kids
  • Plex

Unofficial Kodi Addons

Here is a list of few unofficial Kodi add-ons that shows free Movies and TV Shows and works perfectly:

Kodi News

Recently on Jan 11th 2018, Kodi joined hands with Netflix and presented a lawsuit against a fully-loaded Kodi box called DragonBox. It is a streaming box that has pre-installed Kodi unofficial add-ons that makes Kodi illegal to use.

One piracy-tracking firm ‘MUSO’ revealed a finding that piracy has become so much popular that all the efforts against cracking down illegal Kodi addons are going down in vain. The results of the study found that piracy sites were visited 300 billion times in 2017 alone, a 1.6% rise from 2016.

What is Kodi’s Stance Regarding Legal Issues?

Kodi has kept a keen distance from third-party add-ons and its developers. They have maintained a strong stance that when Kodi is installed in its original state, it is perfectly legal as a web browser. However, since Kodi is an open-source free it cannot prevent any Kodi user to not download unofficial add-ons.

It is rightly so, Kodi in its original and unaltered state is perfectly legal. To prevent Kodi users from installing unofficial add-ons, Kodi has provided a built-in Kodi repository that installs official add-ons. Despite the fact, installation for unofficial add-ons have increased.

Are Kodi Boxes legal or illegal?

Kodi boxes are only illegal when it has pre-installed Kodi addons. These boxes are then referred to as fully-loaded Kodi boxes. Android boxes or any other type of boxes that have Kodi third-party already installed are illegal in the market, and Kodi user needs to be aware of buying such boxes online.


As a result, the top European Court has ordered to ban fully-loaded Kodi boxes from the market. Get updated on the best Kodi boxes and get to know which ones you ought to buy and which ones to avoid.

What can Kodi do about Third Party Addons?

Kodi is continuously been taking strong steps to curb the use of third-party add-ons. Recently, it has teamed up with Netflix and other streaming networks to shut down major Kodi repositories including Ares Wizard, Colossus Repo, Smash Repo, and others.

Despite these efforts, new Kodi add-ons emerge that takes the place of the old Kodi add-ons. Hence, nothing is gained by the efforts made by Kodi or the streaming network giants. They need to cut the source so that none of the Kodi developers would dare step foot in the third-party Kodi community ring.

What’s Compatible with Kodi?

Kodi is compatible to almost every device. Only a few devices such as Roku, you would need to apply the screening method. The popularity of Kodi became evident when it’s readily available in every device. As soon as an unofficial add-on becomes a hit, it is installed I every Kodi device.


Kodi & the Legality of Add-ons

When it comes to the legal spectrum of Kodi, there is something important that every Kodi user needs to know. Kodi offers a platform to its user to create their own add-on and make Kodi software better. To make it easier for Kodi users, Kodi do provide an official repository where most of the official add-ons are located. However, that’s not actually most users are after.

Kodi users develop their own add-ons by adding copyright Movies and TV Shows, while distributing these add-ons into Kodi communities. These add-ons allow you to watch pirated content and that’s what get Kodi users into trouble, unless they’re using a Kodi VPN.

How to Protect Yourself with VPN while using Kodi?

Viewing free copyright material on Kodi requires you to get complete online protection. Below are 5 best Kodi VPN providers that keeps your online identity hidden.

RankProvidersPrice ($)DiscountMore Info
$2.87Per Month
74% Off
2 Year Deal
$3.29Per Month
72% Off
2 Years Plan
$4.87Per Month
46% OFF
Exclusive Offer
$2.55Per Month
67% Off
Limited Time Discount
Ivacy VPN
$2.04Per Month
83% OFF
2+1 Year Deal


PureVPN has an incredible encryption that protects your online privacy whenever you’re connected to the Kodi and watching free copyright material. Its 750+ servers will further allow you to bypass geo-restrictions when you’re watching Live TV channels on Kodi. Most of all, you can connect to 5 simultaneous devices. View the detailed PureVPN Review.



  • 750+ servers
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Internet Kill Switch
  • Dedicated IP
  • Multiple security protocols


  • Only 7-day money-back guarantee


The strongest VPN provider there is with double encryption. When you try to view free Movies or TV Shows on Kodi, you need a VPN that would protect your online identity. While NordVPN gives you the strongest online protection, there isn’t a VPN better than Nord. It has over 3,300 VPN servers around the world. View the detailed NordVPN Review.



  • Double encryption
  • 3,300 servers
  • DNS leak protection
  • Strict no policy
  • Protects your IP address


  • Double encryption makes it slow


When you happen to use Kodi, there are two things that wants your attention i.e. Online protection and speed. IPVanish claims to offer both these features and more for Kodi users so they get uninterrupted streaming with a complete online protection. IPVanish will make your internet connection secure. View the detailed IPVanish Review.



  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Zero traffic logs
  • Anonymous torrenting
  • User-friendly apps


  • A US-based VPN provider


PrivateVPN protects and unlock everything when using Kodi. It would keep your identity safe when streaming free copyright material on Kodi and unlock geo-restricted Live TV channels. PrivateVPN would even unblock Netflix so you can stream the content legally from outside your country region. View the detailed PrivateVPN Review.



  • IPv6 leak protection
  • 2048-bit encryption
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Servers in 56 countries
  • 30-days money-back guarantee


  • None


Ivacy is a perfect solution to counter free copyright material streaming. Ivacy keeps your online activity private, meaning that it will never compromise your online protection and hides anything that you do over the internet. Secure and anonymous browsing is the top-notch feature that Ivacy provides. View the detailed Ivacy Review.



  • Unlimited server switching
  • Split-tunnelling
  • Fast streaming
  • 5-multi logins
  • 256-bit encryption


  • Only 7-days money-back guarantee

Is Streaming Legal?

Streaming online content is perfectly legal. The only question that arises is what type of content you stream. If the owner of the media content has given you rights to stream their content, then it is considered legal. However, trying to view copyright material for free without the permission of the owner is indeed illegal.

The official Kodi add-ons are developed exclusively by their owners i.e. iPlayer WWW Kodi add-on is developed by BBC itself, while NBC Live Extra add-on is created by NBC. Therefore, there is no objection in streaming these add-ons since they are allowed by their owners. However, viewing free copyright material for the latest Movies and TV Shows is unlawful and that is why we have Kodi VPN to hide your online activity.

Kodi Skins

Kodi Skins are the interface of Kodi as cloths are for humans. It is perfectly legal and is available inside your Kodi. Each Kodi Skin has a different set of features, design, templates, icon style, icon placement, and wallpaper. Check out best Kodi Skins guide and choose your favorite Skin for Kodi.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a Jailbroken Fire Stick Legal?

It’s perfectly legal to jailbreak FireStick device. Most Kodi users would want to install Kodi on FireStick and therefore jailbreaks the device. It depends on how you use the software, and not the jailbreak process.

Is Kodi available on Roku?

Kodi is not yet available on Roku, but there are other ways to install Kodi on Roku. Screening method is one way to get Kodi on Roku, or you can use other devices such as Smart TV to get Kodi on Roku.

Is it Illegal to Watch a Movie Online for Free?

Only if the movie has given rights to its viewers to watch it for free online. Otherwise, viewing any copyright material online for free is prohibited by many countries.

Is the XBMC Legal?

No, Kodi was previously called XBMC, and therefore is perfectly legal. How you stream Kodi is a different matter. Since Kodi is an open-source free software, you can install official and as well as unofficial Kodi add-ons. Kodi does not take any guarantee for unofficial add-ons.

Is Kodi Legal: Conclusion

Many misconceptions prevail against Kodi, but actually it is not the Kodi software which is responsible for copyright infringement and pirated materials, but it is third-party Kodi add-ons. Kodi itself is legal when in unaltered or original state. Kodi users can install unofficial add-ons to watch Free Movies and TV Shows. With the above guide, you can know everything about is Kodi legal.

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Shahmeer Baloch


Shahmeer Baloch's Biography :

Shahmeer Baloch is a marketing professional-turned-tech writer who despite had a successful career at Evyap made a drastic change when his interest in technology and international cyber laws became evident. Shahmeer’s love for new technology is profound and well addressed. Loves to play tennis on weekends.

One Response to Is Kodi Legal? Learn Everything that Makes Kodi Illegal or Legal

  1. Calenture says:

    Small point here: You’ve missed out the word ‘not’ in the paragraph quoted below, thereby completely reversing your intended meaning. Either that, or change ‘illegal’ to legal in the question.

    “Is it Illegal to Watch a Movie Online for Free?
    “Only if the movie has given rights to its viewers to watch it for free online. Otherwise, viewing any copyright material online for free is prohibited by many countries.”

    Your article summarizes facts most Kodi users must be aware of by now. Thanks for the summary. But like most articles about Kodi and its addons (official or not) this one eventually turns into a thinly-veiled advert for VPNs, whose only purpose, surely, is to help people get away with stealing copyright material. It’s a thorny issue, e.g. should large companies get away with selling very old films (some from the 1930s or 1950s) on DVD or as downloads with prices which are vastly inflated to reflect these films ‘rarity’. There are all sorts of rip-off merchants out there. The problem Kodi has presented is that it’s allowed the people who use it with unnofficial addons to rip-off the bigger rip-off artists.

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