Is It Illegal To Jailbreak A FireStick?

Is It Illegal To Jailbreak A FireStick

Jailbreaking a Firestick is not illegal but using streaming services that violate copyright laws is illegal and you will have to face Criminal Charges and Copyright Infringement if you are caught using unofficial streams or streaming TV services like Sky.

For using the jailbroken firestick in the United States, you will have to face a criminal penalty that can lead to a fine of up to $250,000 and a jail sentence of up to five years.

The Civil penalty for piracy of copyrighted software is $150,000 per infringement which means that you will have to pay $150,000 per infringement for every program you stream online using illegal copying of the software.

Remember that nothing in life comes for free at least not once you get caught.

Read on to learn about the legality of the jailbroken firestick and what you can do to protect yourself from Criminal Charges and Civil Claims.

A picture of a jailbroken fire TV Stick.

Why is it Illegal To Jailbreak a Fire Stick?

Jailbreaking a Firestick is illegal because it helps people sideload third-party apps that are not available in the official Amazon App Store like Kodi which enables users to stream paid content for free.

Another serious issue is the use of illegal streaming to fund Serious Organised Crime. Stopping illegal streaming can cut criminal revenue and reduce the impact of organized crime groups.

Amazon has been issuing a public warning to people to not use their Fire TV devices for illegal activity.

Recently, there have been thousands of sellers trying to make quick money by modifying Kodi and adding piracy add-ons to let people watch free movies on TV but these sellers vanish once you receive the device and you find out that the add-ons that are provided constantly break up and are of poor quality.

These crummy sellers are dragging FireStick users into the world of piracy without letting them know the consequences that they can get into for using unauthorized Apps and software.

Every day, I see new users in the Kodi forum who are unaware of the fact that the new movies that they are watching on Kodi are pirated and Kodi is not providing them.

Section 11 of the Fraud Act 2006 criminalizes any dishonest act to obtain paid services for free. For example, if data or software is available on the Internet for a cost and only a paid user should have a right to access content then a person using false information to access that service without paying will be committing an offence under this section.

This section also covers a situation where a person climbs up a wall to watch a live football or cricket match without paying for the entrance tickets and is committing an offense of using a service that is provided for payment.

A spokesperson for the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) UK said that “FACT constantly monitors the digital landscape to combat illegal streaming activities. We use various ways to find people running businesses that offer access to illegal streams.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT UK) has also teamed up with Crimestoppers to undertake home visits and catch people using illegal streaming services.

Legal Implications of Jailbreaking Fire TV Stick

Legal Implications of Jailbreaking Fire TV Stick

The legal implications of jailbreaking a Fire TV Stick mean Copyright Warnings to Civil and Criminal penalties.

The list of legal implications of jailbreaking is given below.

  1. Civil Penalties
  2. Criminal Prosecution
  3. DMCA Takedowns
  4. Copyright Warnings
  1. Civil Penalties: If an individual is caught streaming copyrighted content on a jailbroken fire stick then he/she will have to face civil lawsuits. These civil lawsuits lead to heavy monetary fines amounting to as high as $150,000 per infringement.
  2. Criminal Prosecution: If an individual is caught in the large-scale distribution or sale of jailbroken Fire Sticks, he/she will have to face criminal charges. FACT, working in anti-piracy investigations raided more than 1000 homes during the Football Premier League in January 2023 under the “Operation Raider” initiative to catch users using illegal streaming services in the UK.
  3. DMCA Takedowns: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) empowers real owners to take action against websites or services involved in copyright infringement. By using DMCA, the copyright owners can issue takedown notices to these websites and App owners. In simple words, DMCA empowers you to take legal actions on platforms hosting apps or software that enables firestick jailbreaking.
  4. Copyright Warnings: Internet service providers (ISPs) also monitor user activity and when they find any copyright violations can send cease and desist letters.
Non-Legal Consequences of Jailbreaking

Non-Legal Consequences of Jailbreaking a Firestick

While there are serious legal consequences of jailbreaking a Firestick at the same time there are a few non-legal consequences too.

The non-legal consequences of using a jailbroken firestick are given below.

  1. Restricted access to legitimate services and software updates.
  2. FireStick malfunctions and technical issues.
  1. Restricted Access to Legitimate Services and Software Updates: Like other content providers, Amazon also updates the Fire TV Stick software regularly to block the use of unauthorized Apps on its device. But, when a Fire TV Stick is jailbroken, the user loses access to legitimate services and software updates putting their privacy and data at risk.
  2. Fire Stick Malfunctions and Technical Issues: A jailbroken Firestick shows technical issues such as software and App crashes or screen freezing. Since, after jailbreak, a firestick doesn’t get regular firmware updates, the device becomes more susceptible to malware and security risks.

Punishments You Could Face For Using Amazon Fire Stick Illegally

If you are caught using Amazon Fire Stick illegally, you could face a summary conviction of up to 12 months but when the offense is proven more serious and is an indictable offense, you may have to spend your next 5 years in prison.

As per an article published by Ladbible on 10 Jan 2024, in the past 12 months, there has been a ‘significant’ increase in illegal streaming in the UK, and several cease and desist letters have been sent to people caught streaming illegal content. Many times, even officers are sent around to people’s homes to prevent illegal streaming.

As per Kieron Sharp, CEO at FACT – “Consumers who pay for pirate services should also know that they are often funding serious organized crime groups in their country.”

According to the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center, around $30 billion is lost in the US every year due to piracy.

Jailbreaking a Fire Stick meaning

What Does Jailbreaking Firestick Mean?

Jailbreaking a Fire Stick means enabling the sideloading of apps, also called installing third-party apps and software. This is not the real jailbreak that means bypassing an electronic device to install software other than the ones provided by the device manufacturer.

Can I Buy a Jailbroken FireStick?

Yes, you can buy a jailbroken Fire Stick but I will recommend you get a new Fire TV Stick with factory settings. There’s always a risk with buying a Jailbroken Fire Stick as it can have some pre-installed add-ons that could lead to copyright infringement.

Can I Undo a Jailbroken Fire Stick?

Yes, you can undo a jailbroken firestick. You only need to reset your Fire TV device to bring it back to factory condition.

Can I Get Caught Using a Fire Stick?

Yes, you can get caught using a Fire TV Stick if you are illegally streaming content on Apps like Netflix, Sky Sports, Amazon Prime, and others that provide paid subscriptions. If caught, you will have to face in court for breaking the copyright laws.

Can jailbroken Firestick be tracked?

Yes, a jailbroken firestick can be tracked and you could be fined for illegal streaming. A landmark court ruling passed by Barcelona’s Commercial Court Number Eight has reported that people using illegal streaming services can be tracked and traced. The verdict was passed for illegally streaming Spain’s top-flight football league, La Liga.

What is the illegal Amazon Fire Stick warning?

The illegal Amazon Fire Stick warning means that a fresh warning is issued to the people using modified fire sticks to promote and distribute illegal streams.

The UK digital forensics company, FACT says that piracy is a criminal act and it needs to be treated with seriousness and decisive action will be taken against suppliers providing these illicit services regardless of their scale.

What is Illegal Streaming And Criminality?

Illegal streaming is a serious issue for the streaming devices and Apps industry. While it seems like a low-risk crime, these are used to fund other criminal activities which are a huge risk.

Illegal streaming can also expose users to data theft, fraud, and malware.

Detective Inspector Steve Payne, from ERSOU’s Regional Organised Crime Unit, revealed that the reason they are taking illegal streaming so seriously is that money generated through these illegal means often goes for funding wider organized crime groups.

As per an article published in The Sun, titled PLAYING WITH FIRE, ‘Dodgy’ Firestick Users Warned as Warrant Signed to Reveal IP Addresses of Illegal Streamers in Spain Amid Crackdown, an investigation led by Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) discovered a Telegram channel selling jailbroken firesticks with earnings of more than £800,000 so far.