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Google Removes 'Kodi' from Autocomplete Due to Perceived Piracy Links

Posted by: , 14:48 AEDT, Fri March 30, 2018

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Google starts filtering the term 'Kodi' from autocomplete
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Google has controversially removed the term 'Kodi' from its "autocomplete" feature, most likely due to what the search engine perceives to be the term's close relationship to piracy.

As part of the search engine's efforts to show rights-holders that they are serious about piracy enforcement, Google started removing "sensitive" keywords from its autocomplete feature in 2011. The same keyword banning is also used to pornography, violence and hate speech related terms.

In recent times, "Kodi boxes" have become synonymous with piracy, even though these boxes are nothing more than generic media streaming boxes loaded with the free Kodi software and then modified with third party piracy related plug-ins. These plug-ins are not published by Kodi and the developers of Kodi have actively tried to distance themselves from the publishers of these add-ons.

The Kodi software is a media interface for a wide range of devices, that transform them into powerful media hubs. In many ways, the Kodi software is not too dissimilar to Microsoft's Windows Media Center software add-on for the Windows operating system, which existed on all versions of Windows from XP to 8.1.

And this is why the banning of the keyword 'Kodi' controversial, in that the Kodi software itself does not facilitate piracy, and has even been declared as "legal" by Hollywood's major copyright lobby, the MPAA.

The banning of the keyword also fails to follow precedence for Google, which has spared keywords like 'uTorrent' and 'BitTorrent', keywords also for legal software that users may use for piracy. Ironically, the software most commonly associated with simplifying piracy streaming, 'Popcorn Time', has not been filtered by Google.

But like past instances in which 'uTorrent' and 'BitTorrent' were blocked, the move may only be a temporary one, once Google realises the real legal situation surrounding the term.

[via TorrentFreak]


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