Is it illegal for me to modify my Amazon Fire TV Stick?

Episode 1199 (1:13:54)

Joseph from Houston, TX

Joseph got the Amazon Fire TV, and he modified it to put Kodi on it. Now he has access to a lot more content, but he's wondering if he's going to get in trouble for doing that. Leo says it's perfectly fine to modify hardware that he bought and owns, even if the manufacturers don't particularly like it. It may be technically illegal to do so, but Leo is of the opinion that he should be able to do what he wants with the hardware he buys. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal to reverse engineer copy protection, but Joseph can do it as long as he doesn't tell anybody or share how to do it.

The content he's accessing is another story, however, because that may be pirated. Joseph is getting TV shows from websites he's entering on the Amazon Fire TV. Leo says if anyone is going to get in trouble, it will be the sites hosting the content that will be responsible. The RIAA did sue people that downloaded content illegally, but they stopped doing that after the terrible public relations they got. So there is a chance that Joseph could get sued for accessing this content. The more likely scenario that's happening now is that Joseph would get a letter about it, and he'd get a "strike" on his account with his ISP. After eight strikes, he would lose his internet access.