The unofficial Kodi community is under attack! Billion dollar copyright bullies wish to eliminate their competition while expanding copyright liability. They’re creating a climate of fear, using dirty tactics to undermine us all. TV ADDONS is currently facing a Canadian civil lawsuit against Bell, Videotron, Rogers, and TVA; as well as an American civil lawsuit against Dish Network. Meanwhile, dozens of unrelated developers have had MPA, MPAA, and ACE lawyers knocking on their doors and threatening them with frivolous lawsuits should they not immediately cease Kodi addon development.
As the speed and availability of the internet increases worldwide, there is a complete disruption of the entertainment industry taking place. Streaming has already rendered traditional distribution outlets such as Blockbuster and HMV useless. As technology becomes more accessible, the little guy finally has the chance to compete with the likes of Hollywood. Now independent companies can produce content, upload it online, and actually stand a chance of getting their titles the listed alongside those of Hollywood. It all comes down to traditional media organizations not wanting to lose control, and it needs to stop now!
The Digital Millennium Copyrights Act is supposed to protect online communities from liability for the actions of their users. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube would never have been able to remain operational if it wasn’t for the DMCA. The difference between us and them is, they have enough money to scare away people who might think of taking frivolous legal action against them. When it happens to us, we risk losing by default because if we don’t come up with the money to hire lawyers in places half way across the world where we’ve never even visited.
Methods of Attack
Hollywood and Big Telecom are working together to destroy their common target: Kodi. And we say Kodi, not simply the unofficial addon community, because if they get the chance they’ll go after them too!
- Frivolous Lawsuits: Most people don’t have money lying around to hire lawyers in places they’ve never even visited. This means that if a company sues you in a foreign country and you can’t afford a lawyer, you’re screwed even if you did nothing wrong. As far as the actual law goes, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the money mount the same caliber defense as they do offense.
- Fake News: Most mainstream news sites are owned by the same parent companies that own Hollywood studios and telecom companies who are actively trying to eliminate Kodi. You see the most ridiculous headlines in the British press: things like “Unplug your Kodi box before it kills you” or “Kodi users face 10 years in prison.” These are being published for a specific reason.
- Media Manipulation: Since the parent companies of all the film studios own the media as well, they are using it to put our stories that almost exclusively focus on the negatives and not the fact that the law is being abused in efforts to take us down. Anytime there’s something bad to say, it gets far more exposure than when there’s something that’s in our favour, even though the latter would often be more newsworthy.
- Fake Social Media Profiles: It is clear that certain Facebook, Twitter and Reddit profiles seem to exist for the sole purpose of causing havoc in order to undermine the existence of a friendly, united Kodi addon community. These fake profiles are being used to spread doubt, distrust and misinformation, while fragmenting our community. Falsehoods like “TV ADDONS are snitches” are being posted by fake profiles in order to weaken us, making Kodi addons less accessible to end users.
- Infiltration: Private investigators are posing as Kodi developers and playlisters with the goal of infiltrating development groups so that they can later unmask the identities of its members. For this reason, it is a very bad idea to develop as part of a group, especially since they might later try to hold you responsible for things you had nothing to do with. They could also be using social media profiles of developers who ave already cooperated with them in secret.
While box sellers might not be friends of Hollywood, they definitely not our friends either. We directly blame box sellers for causing the current legal climate against the Kodi addon community. We didn’t want them using our stuff, they never donated, never contributed code, all the while they marketed open source as a piracy product, selling cheap Chinese Android boxes to unsuspecting customers. We don’t blame Hollywood for wanting to stop people from selling preloaded piracy products in shopping centers and storefronts around the world, but those guys never had anything to do with us.
The more sharing, the more development, the more distribution – the harder it will be for them to destroy us. Eventually, once we win all our lawsuits (we’re confident that we will), perhaps they will finally give up and stop harassing us. Until then, let’s fight the good fight together!
By the way, our lawyers on the case in Canada are Karim Renno and Hilal Ayoubi. In the United States we are being defended by Erin Russell and Jason Sweet. Thank you to all those who’ve supported us over the years and continue to support us into the future.