The hugely popular Kodi media player, which started life as XBMC, has recently found increasing popularity due to its association with piracy. But it's this association that the people behind the software now want to get rid of - by suing!
The open and modular nature of Kodi's system allows third party add-ons to installed to enhance the functionality of the player. In recent times though, some of these add-ons have focused on allowing users to more easily find and play pirated content. And because of the way add-ons smoothly integrate into the Kodi player, most users won't even notice that they are using an add-on, as opposed to just the core Kodi software.
Then there are hardware media player boxes that come pre-loaded with Kodi and piracy add-ons, and are sold by unscrupulous operators who often zero support once the add-ons cease to work - many users end up blaming Kodi for their woes, instead of identifying the real culprits.
And as a result, many users now associated Kodi with piracy, and poor quality add-ons.
Team Kodi, the group responsible for developing and maintaining Kodi, now wants to sever these connections, and they're bringing out the big legal guns to do so. By using their legally owned trademark for the word Kodi, the team plans to go after anyone that is using the Kodi name to promote illegal acts, including those that sell hardware boxes whose primary use is piracy.
The team also plans to go after people pretending to be Kodi developers or team members to promote piracy add-ons.
"If you are making a video in which you claim to be a Kodi developer or Kodi team member or you are just using the Kodi name while assuring users that some pirate add-on is totally legal and isn’t going to break next week, we will do everything we can to take you down," says Kodi Product Manager Nathan Betzen.
With that said, Team Kodi isn't going to take on users who continue to use add-ons for piracy.
"So while we don't love this use of Kodi, as long as you know what illegal and potentially dangerous things you are getting yourself into and accept the fact that the Team will not be providing you with any support, then you are welcome to do what you like," explains Betzen.