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Is it illegal to use a jailbroken, chipped or hacked Fire Stick in UK?

JAILBROKEN Amazon Fire Sticks can give users unlimited access to movies and TV shows – but are they legal?

Hacking into the devices has become somewhat of a trend in recent years, with some people now charging others who want to jailbreak their device.


Jailbroken Fire Sticks can breach UK intellectual property lawsCredit: Getty

When an Amazon Fire Stick is ‘jailbroken’, it means a third-party media server software has been installed on it.

The software most commonly used on Fire Sticks is called Kodi.

The software can grant users unrestricted access to new features and apps the normal version of the device wouldn’t allow – but it is not legal to use in the UK.

Illicit streaming – the watching of content without the copyright owner’s permission – is illegal in the UK.

The government outlined in 2017 that adapted Amazon Fire sticks and so-called ‘Kodi’ TV boxes were illegal.

It is because they breach intellectual property laws in not paying for the media content being watched.

“These devices are legal when used to watch legitimate, free to air, content,” the government said at the time.

“They become illegal once they are adapted to stream illicit content, for example TV programmes, films and subscription sports channels without paying the appropriate subscriptions.”

If users are watching content that would usually be free, however, then they would not be breaking any laws.

But their are other risks.

Jailbroken devices often lack parental controls, meaning users run the risk of exposing children to inappropriate content.

The storage on the devices is also limited, which means Fire Sticks with third-party software installed may be slow and lag frequently.

If you’re not sure whether something you’re watching on your Fire Stick is legal or not, you should probably opt for something else. 

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