Who’s To Blame For The Kodi Crackdown?

Eleazar Coding

Retired Moderator
Oct 10, 2013
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Jerusalem, Israel
Perfectly legal as standard, the Kodi media player can be easily modified to turn it into the ultimate streaming piracy machine.
Uptake by users has been nothing short of phenomenal. Millions of people are now consuming illicit media through third-party Kodi addons. With free movies, TV shows, sports, live TV and more on tap, it’s not difficult to see why the system is so popular.
As a result, barely a day goes by without Kodi making headlines and this week was no exception. On Monday, TorrentFreak broke the news that the Zem*V addon and TV Addons, one of the most popular addon communities, were being sued by Dish Network for copyright infringement.
Within hours of the announcement and apparently as a direct result, several addons (including the massively popular Pho*nix) decided to throw in the towel. Quite understandably, users of the platforms were disappointed, and that predictably resulted in people attempting to apportion blame.
The first comment to catch the eye was posted directly beneath our article. Interestingly, it placed the blame squarely on our shoulders.
“Thanks Torrentfreak, for ruining Kodi,” it read.
While shooting the messenger is an option, it’s historically problematic. Town criers were the original newsreaders, delivering important messages to the public. Killing a town crier was considered treason, but it was also pointless – it didn’t change the facts on the ground.
So if we can’t kill those who read about a lawsuit in the public PACER system and reported it, who’s left to blame? Unsurprisingly, there’s no shortage of targets, but most of them fall short.
The underlying theme is that most people voicing a negative opinion about the profile of Kodi do not appreciate their previously niche piracy system being in the spotlight. Everything was just great when just a few people knew about the marvelous hidden world of ‘secret’ XBMC/Kodi addons, many insist, but seeing it in the mainstream press is a disaster. It’s difficult to disagree.
However, the point where this all falls down is when people are asked when the discussion about Kodi should’ve stopped. We haven’t questioned them all, of course, but it’s almost guaranteed that while most with a grievance didn’t want Kodi getting too big, they absolutely appreciate the fact that someone told them about it. Piracy and piracy techniques spread by word of mouth so unfortunately, people can’t have it both ways.
Interestingly, some people placed the blame on TV Addons, the site that hosts the addons themselves. They argued that the addon scene didn’t need such a high profile target and that the popularity of the site only brought unwanted attention. However, for every critic, there are apparently thousands who love what the site does to raise the profile of Kodi. Without that, it’s clear that there would be fewer users and indeed, fewer addons.
For TV Addons’ part, they’re extremely clear who’s responsible for bringing the heat. On numerous occasions in emails to TF, the operators of the repository have blamed those who have attempted to commercialize the Kodi scene. For them, the responsibility must be placed squarely on the shoulders of people selling ‘Kodi boxes’ on places like eBay and Amazon. Once big money got involved, that attracted the authorities, they argue.
With this statement in mind, TF spoke with a box seller who previously backed down from selling on eBay due to issues over Kodi’s trademark. He didn’t want to speak on the record but admitted to selling “a couple of thousand” boxes over the past two years, noting that all he did was respond to demand with supply.
And this brings us full circle and a bit closer to apportioning blame for the Kodi crackdown.
The bottom line is that when it comes to piracy, Kodi and its third-party ‘pirate’ addons are so good at what they do, it’s no surprise they’ve been a smash hit with Internet users. All of the content that anyone could want – and more – accessible in one package, on almost any platform? That’s what consumers have been demanding for more than a decade and a half.
That brings us to the unavoidable conclusion that modified Kodi simply got too good at delivering content outside controlled channels, and that success was impossible to moderate or calm. Quite simply, every user that added to the Kodi phenomenon by installing the software with ‘pirate’ addons has to shoulder some of the blame for the crackdown.
That might sound harsh but in the piracy world it’s never been any different. Without millions of users, The Pirate Bay raid would never have happened. Without users, KickassTorrents might still be rocking today. But of course, what would be the point?
Users might break sites and services, but they also make them. That’s the piracy paradox.
Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.



Source: TorrentFreak
 

flhthemi

Member
Feb 20, 2014
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So you brought it on yourself Rollo!
Moral of the story - If you have something good, keep it to yourself. Don't be a show off and give it to your friends and family because they're going to give it to their friends and family and so on and so forth.... :)
 

LabRat

New member
May 25, 2012
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Just spitballing, but maybe having scripts, installers and "fully functioning builds" help contribute to the mess. Made it too easy to get a box up and running that took the visibility of the the Kodi add-ons to a whole new magnitude.
 

Romster

Member
Aug 16, 2012
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its a very grey area imo. grated third party addons simplify the process of accessing pirated web based content the key point is that the its only a vehicle to access content which is already out there so it could be argued that google or Microsoft are equally to blame as they produce web browsers and operating systems which theoretically also allows users to access pirated content therefore I can see the fight shifting focus to the actual hosters of the content itself
 

silvanet

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Jan 31, 2015
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Just to add a few cents worth. The date of that TorrentFreak story is THREE YEARS AGO. The author is the same person stirring the pot today. I'm a lawyer with over thirty years litigation experience. This guy knows absolutely nothing about the law and he has done a lot irresponsibly to stir the pot for a very long time. The Internet completely changed the music industry. Some of us can remember when armies of copyright lawyers scared the crap out of little kids for sharing music years ago. The excellent 'lawyers' tv program "The Good Wife" had a great and right on point episode (Season 6, Episode 17 - Undisclosed Recipients). I highly recommend it. The issue of copyright is highly complicated and a lot of people jump in screaming 'piracy' when they have not a clue. Copyright has been wildly abused to exploit a fiction of a monopoly that was originally highly frowned upon. As the character in the episode says (paraphrase) some people have been building walls for a very long time. The next great thing is not going to be built by some large corporation. It's going to be some 16 year old kid. Kudos to everyone who is developing add-ons. Ultimately, the big corporate copyright claimers can't win. They're trying to control something they can't even grab hold of. They claim that streaming violates their copyright because it copies the work. It doesn't. Set aside for the moment the question of file sharing torrents. They're all scrambling to change the EU law because the high court actually looked at the technology and essentially said you can't use something that is an integral part of streaming for your own benefit and then try to prevent anybody else from taking advantage of that technology. In most cases what the claimed piracy add-ons are doing is searching for sources that are out there and available. Claimers should go after the content source providers. But they don't because they already know that is a losing battle. Also, ask yourself why Dish TV didn't sue Amazon. Yes, because that would be a flea going after an elephant. They'll pick on some little guy and try ti intimidate every other little guy. It goes without saying that Kodi is not to blame in any way, but the ignorant bashers will continue stirring the pot. I'd like to see just one responsible article that is not kissing ass to the copyright claimers and instead takes a balanced look at how copyright laws have gotten totally out of control and how they actually stifle creativity and competition.
 

silvanet

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Jan 31, 2015
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Just a little more because you of all people should know that almost nobody EVER does any in-depth research.
Your own link to the pdf of the complaint from FreakTorrent's site gets a 404 Error. When you try to find it all you get is a docket image. You'd think Dish TV would have a top copyright law firm on this case? Look up the lawyer who filed the complaint. He's a solo lawyer, graduate of South Texas and not any copyright lawyer at all. I'd be hiring a good copyright experienced attorney andn I'm sure Dish would lose that. If nothing is done, though, an uninformed judge is going to enter a default judgment and all the developers will scramble and flee. Oh, by the way, I'm not looking for work - not interested - and retired from law - a profession I know to be filthy dirty. Has anybody actually been served in the suit? I'll bet he hasn't served anybody in Antigua. Can someone actually go over to Harris County Courthouse in Texas and get a copy of the complaint and see if there is any return of service from Sheriff's office or private process server? www.steamingboxes.com is registered in Cayman Islands. I doubt they have any service on any of the Doe defendants. This is a lot like you getting a letter from a lawyer in another state threatening you. Good luck with that.
 

Meep

New member
Aug 23, 2016
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its a very grey area imo. grated third party addons simplify the process of accessing pirated web based content the key point is that the its only a vehicle to access content which is already out there so it could be argued that google or Microsoft are equally to blame as they produce web browsers and operating systems which theoretically also allows users to access pirated content therefore I can see the fight shifting focus to the actual hosters of the content itself
It's not that gray, in fact it's almost black and white in most jurisdictions... This exact argument has been attempted by torrent sites and other indexing sites and except for a few jurisdictions it has failed... The reason being Internet search engines like Bing and Google,are neutral they index the entire Internet with neutrality, 3rd party addons and/or torrent sites on the other hand for all intents are designed to access mostly pirated media and that crosses the black line in most jurisdictions...

Anyway back to the topic, the reason for the crackdown is simple, it's the explosion of the fully loaded boxes and promises to get everything for free that has brought the crackdown... The industry will mostly tolerate a murmur on the Internet, but when you walk into a mall and someone has a kiosk selling fully loaded Android boxes (saw it myself in a huge mall in my area) and you have 100s if not 1000s of adds on Craiglist and every other for sale site or for sale app on your phone, combined with 1000s upon 1000s of sellers on Ebay promising you the world of free TV, it's bound to wake up the bear...

Also, I would not be so quick to blame the builds and wizards, yeah many box sellers use them and it made it easier, but even if they didn't exist it would have not prevented most of the quick buck box sellers from simply cloning a quick build they compiled, sure it might have slowed some down but it would not have honestly put a dent in things...
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This storm has been brewing for years, I knew it would come as did many others, especially those that have been on the 'alternative TV' boat for years if not decades... This storm shall pass as well, once the studios knock it back down a few steps...