Kodi Add-On Developers Abandon Ship Following Legal Pressure From Entertainment Industry

Movie studios and content creators have taken a step towards crushing the add-on scene (or at least the illegal aspect of it) surrounding Kodi, a free and open-source media player developed by the XBMC Foundation. The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which is led by the MPAA and includes Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Warner Brothers, and several others among its members, has been sending cease and desist letters to certain add-on developers.


This is a move that actually began earlier this year, with Dish Network filing multi-million dollar lawsuits against the TVAddons repository and Kodi add-on ZemTV. As a result, several add-on developers decided to leave the scene rather than face potentially hefty fines, and maybe even incarceration. Not all developers were intimidated by the legal action, but with efforts on the part of media studios kicking up, others are now deciding to call it quits.

"Sorry to say but I am stopping the development of the urlresolver, metahandler, and my other add-ons," an add-on developer stated on Twitter. "I am not responsible for Covenant and Bennu but Colossus has agreed to delete the repo too."

Same goes for another prominent add-on developer, The_Alpha, who previously was part of the Bennu add-on. The Colossus repository also shutdown as the result of letters.

Here is part of what it said:
This letter is addressed to you by companies of the six-major United States film studios represented by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), namely Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Disney Enterprises, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios LLLP and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Netflix, Inc. and Amazon Studios LLC (represented by MPA via the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)), Sky UK Limited, and The Football Association Premier League Limited.

We are writing to you concerning your development, distribution and/or involvement in the operation of certain third party Kodi add-ons under the moniker ‘The Alpha’. The infringing add-ons provide unlawful access to protected copyright works, including works owned by, or exclusively licensed to, the Content Companies.

This is a blow to Kodi, especially with the loss of URLResolver, a clever add-on that helped other add-ons access content by resolving video hosting site URLs to enable related content to be played in Kodi. Be that as it may, movie studios have always been vigilant about cracking down on these sorts of things.

Users will also miss MetaHandler, an add-one that queried sites like IMDB to pluck metadata, such as artwork and summaries, and then plop that information into a database for local use in Kodi.
Tags:  Copyright, MPAA, Kodi