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Kodi addons - the legality (updated for ECJ ruling April '17)

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But will users be breaking the law using these setups? In a word – probably. Up until this week, it was widely believed that users who merely stream pirated content are not breaking the law. It … Read More
ibblackberry1 Avatar
4m, 2w agoPosted 4 months, 2 weeks ago
But will users be breaking the law using these setups?

In a word – probably.

Up until this week, it was widely believed that users who merely stream pirated content are not breaking the law. It was a position even held by UK Trading Standards, who have an important prosecution pending against a box seller.

But the ECJ’s decision published on Wednesday appears to have removed all doubt, noting that a “copyright-protected work obtained by streaming from a website belonging to a third party offering that work without the consent of the copyright holder” does not qualify for exemption from reproduction rights.

In other words, streaming copyrighted content from an illicit source is now just as illegal in the EU as downloading from an illicit source. So what does this mean for the average ‘pirate’ box user? In the short term, probably not a great deal.

When a user downloads or streams infringing content, whether that’s from a file-hosting site, streaming portal, or even YouTube, no third parties are legally able to get in the way to monitor what’s going on. The user’s connection is directly communicating with the source, and unlike BitTorrent, there are no easily monitored and potentially risky uploads going on.

So yes, streaming is now apparently confirmed illegal but will remain a hidden offense carried out by dozens of millions of people all around the EU. Even in the face of an ECJ ruling, only their consciences will stand between them and illicit content, whether a box seller installed the addons, or if they did the deed themselves.

Good little article on torrent freak, taken from radio 5 the other day.

"
logo for TorrentFreak

Unlikely ‘Pirate’ Kodi Users Will Get in Trouble, Experts Suggest
BY ANDY ON JANUARY 5, 2017 C: 48
In recent weeks, the legality or otherwise of so-called fully-loaded Kodi boxes has become a big topic. The devices are massively popular in the UK but are people going to get busted for using them? Almost certainly not, an intellectual property lawyer told the BBC this morning.

kodiWhile Popcorn Time was the hot news of 2014 and 2015, 2016 was taken by storm by an old kid on the block with a new lick of paint.

For TF readers, Kodi needs little introduction. It’s an open source media player that can, given select tweaks, be augmented with third-party addons that grant access to an Aladdin’s cave of pirate content.

Unlike most other kinds of unauthorized online sharing, the way content is delivered through Kodi has exposed a whole new legal gray area. While it’s definitely illegal in Europe and the US to share copyrighted content without permission using BitTorrent, no one is really clear whether streaming content via Kodi has the same status.

In recent weeks, this has led to the publication of dozens of articles which claim to answer that question. Upon review, none of them actually do, so the topic remains hot in the UK.

To that end, BBC Radio Five ran a pretty long feature this morning which had host Adrian Chiles discussing the topic with FACT chief Kieron Sharp, intellectual property lawyer Steve (whose surname wasn’t clear from the broadcast) and technical guy Tom Cheesewright who really knew what he was talking about.

The start of the interview was marked by Chiles noting that when he found out what a Kodi device could do, he immediately wanted one.

“I’d never heard of them,” he said. “I heard what they were and then I wanted one. And then someone told me that they’re probably illegal, so I better not get one.”

Chiles’ reaction is probably held in common with millions of others who’ve learned about what Kodi devices can do. There’s a clear and totally understandable attraction, and it was helpful for the broadcaster to acknowledge that.

After a brief technological description from Cheesewright, Chiles turned to IP lawyer Steve, who was asked where the law stands. His response was fairly lengthy but clearly focused on the people supplying the devices.

“You’ve got big content producers like HBO that are used to producing premium content that people pay for,” Steve said.

“Where they are directing their attention is on the people who sell these boxes loaded with software that lets you get around paying a subscription.”

The lawyer acknowledged that there are some ongoing cases in the UK which involve suppliers of devices which effectively allow users to get around copyright protection.

“That’s been the focus of the strategy and it’s a big, big, big issue,” he said.

But for those who know Chiles’ down-to-earth style, it was always obvious that he would want to know how the law views the man in the street.

“From the punter’s point of view, if you’re watching something made by HBO that Netflix would hope that you’d be paying them to watch, but you’re watching it for free via your Kodi stick, then are you going to get a knock on the door?” Chiles asked.

Chiles didn’t get a straight answer about the law, but after a breath, Steve offered the reality.

“In all likelihood, no,” the lawyer responded.

Noting that there have been cases against file-sharers, the IP expert said that there is a difference – a legal gray area – when it comes to streaming versus file-sharing.

“What tends to happen is that the content providers go after the ISPs, they go after platforms [offering pirate content], not the individual people,” he said, adding that getting a knock on the door at home would be fairly unlikely.

Interestingly, Chiles’ then admitted that in the past he also tried to get Premier League football on his laptop for free, but was unsuccessful in getting any content. The suggestion was that Chiles’ failure could be put down to anti-piracy crackdowns against sites, including site-blocking, a point on which the lawyer agreed.

“[Rightsholders] have been choking off access [to free content] rather than going to war with their own fans, which is never going to be good for publicity, which is only going to cause them a bigger problem,” the lawyer said.

At this point, FACT chief Keiron Sharp entered the conversation and immediately acknowledged that piracy is an ongoing problem that isn’t going to be solved overnight. However, he also revealed a little about their Kodi strategy.

“This will still keep coming up no matter which actions we take, but there is still a deterrent effect on people when they see that sellers and providers and distributors of these boxes are going to prison. Which they will do,” Sharp said.

The FACT chief said that people will make a connection between people being locked up for selling boxes and the use of these boxes at home, something which he hopes will result in less uptake.

“There will be a deterrent effect [from cases going through the court now] and I think your average punter, as you put it, are the ones who will see that deterrent effect and we will be able to move some people away,” he said.

Interestingly, Sharp then referred to pirates as “fans” who want access to a product and that content providers were trying to fulfill that demand. Lawyer Steve, who also used the word “fans,” added that people who pirate aren’t necessarily cheapskates either.

“The biggest problem the industry has is that it’s always been behind on design and user experience,” he said.

“People buy these boxes not necessarily because they’re cheapskates or want to break the law, but probably because it’s the only place they can get access to all the content they want in one place, in a good user experience, without buying separate subscriptions for Sky, for Netflix, for Amazon, for Hulu, for all of these different services,” he said.

This conclusion is an important one. While at some point the courts may decide (there’s a case in Europe) that knowingly watching pirate streams is indeed illegal, there is no way that a user that ONLY STREAMS content can be monitored by groups that would like to prosecute them.

So, to answer the million dollar question. Watching pirate Kodi streams may be deemed illegal sometime in the future but right now, no one is 100% sure. In any event, it’s impossible in any sensible scenario for anyone to get caught doing so.

With that in mind, content providers need to keep upping their game, or the Kodi content free-for-all (or whatever else comes along next) will continue.

Update: The BBC has just uploaded a catch-up audio from the show.

Tagged in:
BBC, fact, Kodi
OLDER POST
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ibblackberry1 Avatar
4m, 2w agoPosted 4 months, 2 weeks ago
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1 Like #1
The original link is

https://torrentfreak.com/unlikely-pirate-kodi-users-will-get-in-trouble-experts-suggest-170105/

Just thought I'd post this as we were discussing the legality etc etc on the new films misc post and it was cluttering up that board.

What's your thoughts on the above? With that and other articles I've read, seems for the moment if you are simple streaming and not 'downloading' there is very little chance, currently, that you will have any issues.
#2
Even with 'downloading' there is very little chance, currently, that you will have any issues
#3
chocci
Even with 'downloading' there is very little chance, currently, that you will have any issues

Yeah one friend of mine once got a letter from Warner Brothers a few years back but in the thousands of downloads since no one I know has ever heard a peep from anyone.

I suppose they have to try something somewhere to stop the Kodi box revolution, but I was reading the uploaded sites themselves are not happy with 'kodi' boxes as they don't get website advertising revenue.
1 Like #4
Newsgroup FTW.
2 Likes #5
Good work ibb!

I have KODI installed but rarely use it. Its way overrated IMO. Potentially can do loads but seldom delivers when you want it to.
1 Like #6
I use kodi on amazon firestick it's brilliant for films I don't watch sports but exodus is superb for watching the latest movie
1 Like #7
It'll always be the distributors they go for, be it those distributing the media or those selling the boxes to receive the content on.

I'm not a massive fan of the kodi add on scene. Mobdro and showbox combined with a Chromecast is more than adequate for me.
1 Like #8
I'm a fan and not a pirate.
#9
My question is how long will it be until it does become illegal?... Sure I also heard on the radio that the government is planning on introducing some kind of internet usage law which will cover the use of media streaming. :(

Edited By: Jammy212 on Jan 06, 2017 10:27: Typo
1 Like #10
Jammy212
My question is how long will it be until it does become illegal?... Sure I also heard on the radio that the government is planning on introducing some kind of internet usage law which will cover the use of media streaming. :(

Paddy_o_furniture
It'll always be the distributors they go for, be it those distributing the media or those selling the boxes to receive the content on.
I'm not a massive fan of the kodi add on scene. Mobdro and showbox combined with a Chromecast is more than adequate for me.

Exactly. just like the war on drugs, they will always target the distributors, and there will always be more popping up to fill the gap. Regardless of what they make illegal, technology, by its very nature, can always stay several steps ahead of the law.
#11
paid subs are the way to go. gave up on the free kodi add ons ages ago. thanks for the article OP.
#12
how wonder how much music piracy is now done because of cheap streaming services? read a article the other day where the music industry had made significant amounts of money, largely down to streaming services.

maybe that's the way for the movie industry to go. people want recently released stuff at reasonable prices. I think people will still go to the cinemas to watch stuff.
#13
EN1GMA
how wonder how much music piracy is now done because of cheap streaming services? read a article the other day where the music industry had made significant amounts of money, largely down to streaming services.
maybe that's the way for the movie industry to go. people want recently released stuff at reasonable prices. I think people will still go to the cinemas to watch stuff.
I do watch the odd thing on Kodi, but still buy loads of Bluray films. Music on the other hand, i cancelled Spotify,for me it wasn't worth the £9.99 sub in the end. I can listen to almost any song i want on Youtube with my headphones on when the mood takes me. That said i have just subscribed to Amazon music for £3.99 a month due to Amazon dot thingy, but haven't used it that much to be fair, so will probably end up cancelling that to. Used to buy loads of cds, but ain't done for years.
1 Like #14
OldEnglish
EN1GMA
how wonder how much music piracy is now done because of cheap streaming services? read a article the other day where the music industry had made significant amounts of money, largely down to streaming services.
maybe that's the way for the movie industry to go. people want recently released stuff at reasonable prices. I think people will still go to the cinemas to watch stuff.
I do watch the odd thing on Kodi, but still buy loads of Bluray films. Music on the other hand, i cancelled Spotify,for me it wasn't worth the £9.99 sub in the end. I can listen to almost any song i want on Youtube with my headphones on when the mood takes me. That said i have just subscribed to Amazon music for £3.99 a month due to Amazon dot thingy, but haven't used it that much to be fair, so will probably end up cancelling that to. Used to buy loads of cds, but ain't done for years.

as the article states, that theres too many separate providers and people want one app that has everything in. peoples viewing habits are generally over various prividers and its a PITA to have several different providers, even if you want to watch one show on one provider. plus its the delay in things getting released in the USA to the UK.

The good thing is that these services are rolling monthly contracts so not tied in to a full year.

Edited By: EN1GMA on Jan 06, 2017 11:42
#15
EN1GMA
paid subs are the way to go. gave up on the free kodi add ons ages ago. thanks for the article OP.


Any info on these 'paid' sub's? I'm not into watching the latest movies before they hit the big screen. Happy to go to the cinema for the full experience or wait til the DVD is out. Shaky cam copies not for me.

Edited By: Gollywood on Jan 06, 2017 12:07: Rupi Murdoch
#16
The consumer (or end user) here will never get in trouble using any such service. At least that has been the case with the old chipped ntl boxes, and currently now card sharing sky and virgin media. There has been numerous convictions for supplying them, even for android boxes with kodi on. But no convictions for a consumer that i know of for just using the services. However they probably know who you are, because when you access these films or free channels, your IP will be stored on a server somewhere.

Edited By: J4GG4 on Jan 06, 2017 12:29: .
#17
Gollywood
EN1GMA
paid subs are the way to go. gave up on the free kodi add ons ages ago. thanks for the article OP.


Any info on these 'paid' sub's? I'm not into watching the latest movies before they hit the big screen. Happy to go to the cinema for the full experience or wait til the DVD is out. Shaky cam copies not for me.


These paid subs are not shaky cam copies.
banned#18
Can I get a TL;DR?
banned#19
you can stream and hide your IP address for a price via several services, but never really seen the point unless someone comes out and says streaming is definitely illegal
I have seen companies advertising on facebook (mostly operating out of Ireland!) offering paid subs for premium channels but I'm sure they are just using the kodi technology in a more organized fashion than your average man on the street
#20
joetootell
Can I get a TL;DR?

TLDR?
#21
tmwang
you can stream and hide your IP address for a price via several services, but never really seen the point unless someone comes out and says streaming is definitely illegal
I have seen companies advertising on facebook (mostly operating out of Ireland!) offering paid subs for premium channels but I'm sure they are just using the kodi technology in a more organized fashion than your average man on the street

that's the thing, the service is for the set up and maintenance. these things can be had for free but the paid sub is for them to organise everything in a manner where its just click and play.

with my paid plex server, even my kids know how to operate it. no going through links etc. just find the movie/show, press play, all done in a Netflix style X)
#22
Paddy_o_furniture
It'll always be the distributors they go for, be it those distributing the media or those selling the boxes to receive the content on.
I'm not a massive fan of the kodi add on scene. Mobdro and showbox combined with a Chromecast is more than adequate for me.

I can't get Showbox to work on my Hudl2. I keep getting 'Sorry, Showbox has stopped working' and every site I have found when looking for a fix is just full of crap.
#23
deeky
Paddy_o_furniture
It'll always be the distributors they go for, be it those distributing the media or those selling the boxes to receive the content on.
I'm not a massive fan of the kodi add on scene. Mobdro and showbox combined with a Chromecast is more than adequate for me.
I can't get Showbox to work on my Hudl2. I keep getting 'Sorry, Showbox has stopped working' and every site I have found when looking for a fix is just full of crap.

You got the latest version? I use it on a dated samsung tablet with no issue.
#24
EN1GMA
tmwang
you can stream and hide your IP address for a price via several services, but never really seen the point unless someone comes out and says streaming is definitely illegal
I have seen companies advertising on facebook (mostly operating out of Ireland!) offering paid subs for premium channels but I'm sure they are just using the kodi technology in a more organized fashion than your average man on the street
that's the thing, the service is for the set up and maintenance. these things can be had for free but the paid sub is for them to organise everything in a manner where its just click and play.
with my paid plex server, even my kids know how to operate it. no going through links etc. just find the movie/show, press play, all done in a Netflix style X)
How much do you pay though? Surely NowTV/Netflix has everything you would want and actually supports the people that make the content??????

Edited By: tomwatts on Jan 06, 2017 14:57
#25
joetootell
Can I get a TL;DR?
Dodgy legal ground but unlikely to ever have the police knocking on your door.
1 Like #26
tmwang
you can stream and hide your IP address for a price via several services, but never really seen the point unless someone comes out and says streaming is definitely illegal
I have seen companies advertising on facebook (mostly operating out of Ireland!) offering paid subs for premium channels but I'm sure they are just using the kodi technology in a more organized fashion than your average man on the street
Once you have a VPN sub, paid server etc you have to wonder when its worth doing it the completely above board route.
#27
tomwatts
EN1GMA
tmwang
you can stream and hide your IP address for a price via several services, but never really seen the point unless someone comes out and says streaming is definitely illegal
I have seen companies advertising on facebook (mostly operating out of Ireland!) offering paid subs for premium channels but I'm sure they are just using the kodi technology in a more organized fashion than your average man on the street
that's the thing, the service is for the set up and maintenance. these things can be had for free but the paid sub is for them to organise everything in a manner where its just click and play.
with my paid plex server, even my kids know how to operate it. no going through links etc. just find the movie/show, press play, all done in a Netflix style X)
How much do you pay though? Surely NowTV/Netflix has everything you would want and actually supports the people that make the content??????

£38 for the year. its like prime, Netflix, nowtv etc all rolled into one usable,nice looking service.
#28
Paddy_o_furniture
deeky
Paddy_o_furniture
It'll always be the distributors they go for, be it those distributing the media or those selling the boxes to receive the content on.
I'm not a massive fan of the kodi add on scene. Mobdro and showbox combined with a Chromecast is more than adequate for me.
I can't get Showbox to work on my Hudl2. I keep getting 'Sorry, Showbox has stopped working' and every site I have found when looking for a fix is just full of crap.
You got the latest version? I use it on a dated samsung tablet with no issue.


Yeah, I think so. 4.82? It boots up ok but then just stops. Sometimes when browsing and other times when I try to play something.

I tried uninstalling and going to an earlier version when following one 'fix' but it made no difference.


Edited By: deeky on Jan 06, 2017 15:08
#29
tomwatts
tmwang
you can stream and hide your IP address for a price via several services, but never really seen the point unless someone comes out and says streaming is definitely illegal
I have seen companies advertising on facebook (mostly operating out of Ireland!) offering paid subs for premium channels but I'm sure they are just using the kodi technology in a more organized fashion than your average man on the street
Once you have a VPN sub, paid server etc you have to wonder when its worth doing it the completely above board route.


Tbh, with netflix and now TV allowing one account to be shared, that's another way for people to get access to content on a budget. Shame you can't share prime video.
1 Like #30
EN1GMA
how wonder how much music piracy is now done because of cheap streaming services? read a article the other day where the music industry had made significant amounts of money, largely down to streaming services.
maybe that's the way for the movie industry to go. people want recently released stuff at reasonable prices. I think people will still go to the cinemas to watch stuff.

Same goes for football. I'd happily pay for a premier league subscription where I could watch every game including 3pm kick offs. Instead people use kodi and stream from the states or the Middle East.

Makes zero sense.
1 Like #31
EN1GMA
tomwatts
tmwang
you can stream and hide your IP address for a price via several services, but never really seen the point unless someone comes out and says streaming is definitely illegal
I have seen companies advertising on facebook (mostly operating out of Ireland!) offering paid subs for premium channels but I'm sure they are just using the kodi technology in a more organized fashion than your average man on the street
Once you have a VPN sub, paid server etc you have to wonder when its worth doing it the completely above board route.
Tbh, with netflix and now TV allowing one account to be shared, that's another way for people to get access to content on a budget. Shame you can't share prime video.
Wow, that's cheap for a reliable system. I'm sure I don't want to look at how much I'm paying :(
1 Like #32
either the content providers accept that geo rights are pointless and make everything available to all markets or accept that people will do this. I want content as its released, not wait ages to hit the UK. Im prepared to pay for it. also, I know each company looking after itself but if they can come under one umbrella and provide content via 1 app with multiple streaming options, then I'd sign up.

abit like apple tv 4 where they have a app where you can search for a movie/show and it will bring up the show/movie and what apps its available on. no need to check individual apps. the fire tv box does something similar where you can click on a programme and if its available on prime and Netflix, you'll get the choice. tbh, I also have a Netflix shared sub. not sure why as my plex sub is like Netflix on steroids X)

or say £20 p/m for say Netflix,prime etc.

Edited By: EN1GMA on Jan 06, 2017 15:22
1 Like #33
EN1GMA
Gollywood
EN1GMA
paid subs are the way to go. gave up on the free kodi add ons ages ago. thanks for the article OP.


Any info on these 'paid' sub's? I'm not into watching the latest movies before they hit the big screen. Happy to go to the cinema for the full experience or wait til the DVD is out. Shaky cam copies not for me.


These paid subs are not shaky cam copies.


I know! I meant free KODI is awash with shaky cinema cam syndrome :D
#34
Gollywood
EN1GMA
Gollywood
EN1GMA
paid subs are the way to go. gave up on the free kodi add ons ages ago. thanks for the article OP.
Any info on these 'paid' sub's? I'm not into watching the latest movies before they hit the big screen. Happy to go to the cinema for the full experience or wait til the DVD is out. Shaky cam copies not for me.
These paid subs are not shaky cam copies.
I know! I meant free KODI is awash with shaky cinema cam syndrome :D

I find if you use an add on such as exodus and use it for the most popular movies etc then the quality is very good. Watched a couple of HD movies last weekend, quality was great.

If u go and try to watch something that was out at the pictures yesterday then you won't get a great copy. I find the quality is in line with the available torrents as you would expect.
#35
ibblackberry1
Gollywood
EN1GMA
Gollywood
EN1GMA
paid subs are the way to go. gave up on the free kodi add ons ages ago. thanks for the article OP.
Any info on these 'paid' sub's? I'm not into watching the latest movies before they hit the big screen. Happy to go to the cinema for the full experience or wait til the DVD is out. Shaky cam copies not for me.
These paid subs are not shaky cam copies.
I know! I meant free KODI is awash with shaky cinema cam syndrome :D
I find if you use an add on such as exodus and use it for the most popular movies etc then the quality is very good. Watched a couple of HD movies last weekend, quality was great.
If u go and try to watch something that was out at the pictures yesterday then you won't get a great copy. I find the quality is in line with the available torrents as you would expect.

I use it for TV shows that were on months / years ago or for really old British TV shows to remind me of how bad TV was when I was a kid :p

As for sports, I gave up on Kodi a few weeks after installing it - a useless viewing experience.
#36
Gollywood
ibblackberry1
Gollywood
EN1GMA
Gollywood
EN1GMA
paid subs are the way to go. gave up on the free kodi add ons ages ago. thanks for the article OP.
Any info on these 'paid' sub's? I'm not into watching the latest movies before they hit the big screen. Happy to go to the cinema for the full experience or wait til the DVD is out. Shaky cam copies not for me.
These paid subs are not shaky cam copies.
I know! I meant free KODI is awash with shaky cinema cam syndrome :D
I find if you use an add on such as exodus and use it for the most popular movies etc then the quality is very good. Watched a couple of HD movies last weekend, quality was great.
If u go and try to watch something that was out at the pictures yesterday then you won't get a great copy. I find the quality is in line with the available torrents as you would expect.
I use it for TV shows that were on months / years ago or for really old British TV shows to remind me of how bad TV was when I was a kid :p
As for sports, I gave up on Kodi a few weeks after installing it - a useless viewing experience.

Yeah without paying for a sub I also gave up on a good football viewing experience
1 Like #37
No such thing as pirate kodi streams, if they can't even do basic fact checking why bother. Kodi doesn't include or support and illegal streams whatsoever and are completely against the illegal box sellers. The sellers are breaking the law just by using the Kodi name which is copyrighted.
#38
dcx_badass
No such thing as pirate kodi streams, if they can't even do basic fact checking why bother. Kodi doesn't include or support and illegal streams whatsoever and are completely against the illegal box sellers. The sellers are breaking the law just by using the Kodi name which is copyrighted.

To be fair, i think the radio discussion was aimed at the layman and hosted by Holmes who doesn't have a clue.

And the streams come though addons to the base kodi software, and are copyright infringing uploads, so its not a ridiculous stretch to use the words Pirate Kodi Streams in the context of that general discussion.

But i take your point.
#39
deeky
Paddy_o_furniture
deeky
Paddy_o_furniture
It'll always be the distributors they go for, be it those distributing the media or those selling the boxes to receive the content on.
I'm not a massive fan of the kodi add on scene. Mobdro and showbox combined with a Chromecast is more than adequate for me.
I can't get Showbox to work on my Hudl2. I keep getting 'Sorry, Showbox has stopped working' and every site I have found when looking for a fix is just full of crap.
You got the latest version? I use it on a dated samsung tablet with no issue.
Yeah, I think so. 4.82? It boots up ok but then just stops. Sometimes when browsing and other times when I try to play something.
I tried uninstalling and going to an earlier version when following one 'fix' but it made no difference.
Clear your cache. That usually solves this issue for me.
#40
stuarthanley
deeky
Paddy_o_furniture
deeky
Paddy_o_furniture
It'll always be the distributors they go for, be it those distributing the media or those selling the boxes to receive the content on.
I'm not a massive fan of the kodi add on scene. Mobdro and showbox combined with a Chromecast is more than adequate for me.
I can't get Showbox to work on my Hudl2. I keep getting 'Sorry, Showbox has stopped working' and every site I have found when looking for a fix is just full of crap.
You got the latest version? I use it on a dated samsung tablet with no issue.
Yeah, I think so. 4.82? It boots up ok but then just stops. Sometimes when browsing and other times when I try to play something.
I tried uninstalling and going to an earlier version when following one 'fix' but it made no difference.
Clear your cache. That usually solves this issue for me.

Yeah, thanks. Tried it already :(

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