Is Kodi Exodus Legal?
Kodi Exodus is one of the most popular Kodi add-ons around. It provides users with access to thousands of movies, TV series, kids’ shows, and documentaries, all of which can be watched at the push of a button.
But is Kodi Exodus legal? Does the legal status of Kodi Exodus change depending on which country you are in? And could you get in trouble for using Kodi Exodus? In this article we answer all of these questions and more.
What Is Kodi Exodus?
There are two main versions of the Kodi Exodus add-on. The fork occurred after the developers of the original Exodus add-on stopped developing the app in 2016 and released the source code to the community.
The two versions are called Exodus Redux and Exodus V8. Different teams maintain them and they have slightly different interfaces.
Of the two, Exodus Redux is more popular. However, for the purposes of this article, we’ll use the term “Exodus” to refer to both add-ons.
What Content Is on Exodus?
This is where the alarm bells should start ringing. Almost every television show, movie, documentary, cartoon, and kids show that you can think of is available on Exodus.
Videos include the latest episodes of series like Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory, as well as the newest Hollywood blockbusters. You’ll also find a slew of older series like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Breaking Bad, and more.
Each video has a list of sources. If one stream isn’t working, you can keep trying until one fires up.
Sounds great, right? You’re probably wondering how much it costs for access to all this fresh new content. The answer? Nothing. Kodi Exodus is entirely free to download and use.
If you think this sounds too good to be true, you would be right.
Is Kodi Exodus Legal?
So, is Exodus legal in the US? As you might expect, the answer is not straightforward.
Is the Content on Kodi Exodus Legal?
Firstly, let’s be very clear: Kodi Exodus does not host any of its own content; it merely provides links and sources for the various movies and TV shows.
The question, therefore, becomes, “Is the content that Exodus links to legal?”
Mostly, the answer is “No”. There is some legal content available. For example, you might come across some series and films that are legitimately part of the public domain. However, the vast majority of content available through Exodus has been uploaded illegally.
The people who do the uploading do not have the correct licensing and distribution rights. They are recording the shows, making copies of them, then adding them to various hosting sites. Almost every country in the world classifies this process as illegal. In the United States and Europe, it can lead to significant jail time.
Is the Exodus Add-On Legal?
The situation regarding the legality of the content on Kodi Exodus is fairly clear cut. But what about the add-on itself? What about the legality of the actual software?
The host vs. facilitator battle is not a new one. Napster, Limewire, The Pirate Bay, Project Free TV, and Megaupload are all prime examples of this issue. Is a company legally at fault if it merely provides a way for users to access illegal content, even if it does not host or distribute any of the material itself?
In the US, the answer is yes.
It all comes back to the court case of MGM Studios, Inc. vs. Grokster, Ltd in 2005. It was a Supreme Court case that revolved around copyright rules and peer-to-peer file-sharing.
During the landmark case, the court developed the “inducement rule“. Here’s how Justice Souter described the rule when giving his opinion to the court:
“We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties.”
“The inducement rule […] premises liability on purposeful, culpable expression and conduct, and thus does nothing to compromise legitimate commerce or discourage innovation having a lawful promise.”
If you analyze Kodi Exodus against these guidelines, it’s clear that it is in breach of the law:
- Is the add-on promoting its ability infringe copyright? Yes.
- Does it take affirmative steps to foster infringement? Yes.
- Do third parties (i.e., users) commit infringement as a result? Yes.
- Is Exodus’ conduct purposeful? Yes.
Could You Be Prosecuted for Using Kodi Exodus?
If you’re in Europe, the situation is clear. The police can prosecute you for streaming pirated content. In April 2017, The EU Court of Justice ruled that streaming copyrighted content without the correct permissions or subscriptions is breaking the law.
In the US, there is no such law. However, there are endless technicalities on which the authorities can “get” you:
- By buffering a video, you are technically making a copy of pirated content. This is very much illegal.
- Some Kodi add-ons are known to use P2P technology and simultaneously upload and download video files while you watch. The situation is clear—it’s unlawful.
- Depending on your settings, part or all of the video might be stored in a temporary cache on your machine. Again, that qualifies as an illegal copy.
Is Kodi Exodus Legal in the US? Summing Up
Look, we’re not legal experts. If you have been caught up in legal proceedings around these issues, you need to seek professional help.
Nonetheless, let’s try and summarize what we’ve learned:
- The content available on Exodus has been (almost exclusively) illegally uploaded.
- As an app, Exodus is in breach of the 2005 inducement rule and is thus illegal.
- In the EU, authorities can prosecute you for streaming content on add-ons like Exodus.
- In the US, several technicalities exist which can act as grounds for a prosecution.
And finally, what about the likelihood of a prosecution? In truth, the chances are slim. But it’s one of those situations that nobody thinks will ever happen to them… until it does.
Is it worth risking your freedom in order to watch a movie without paying for it? We don’t think so.