The group behind the Kodi media player used by millions to watch movies, TV shows and live sports say they are sick of being linked to piracy. Those using the Kodi name to promote infringing activity in future face action for trademark abuse.
Kodi is just a media player, it carries no content. However, Kodi has the ability to run third party plugins that in many instances make infringing content available to the user. So, when people load Kodi with plugins recommended by a friend and then see the latest movies listed, they believe that Kodi – and the people behind Kodi – are the ones providing them with the movies.
Needless to say, for Team Kodi this is a huge problem. Not only are they already wrongly associated with huge amounts of infringing activity, the installed addons often break or do not function as advertised. When users get problems they head off to the Kodi forums and vent – to entirely the wrong people.
“Every day a new user shows up on the Kodi forum, totally unaware that the free movies they’re watching have been pirated and surprised to discover that Kodi itself isn’t providing those movies,” says XBMC Foundation President and Kodi Product Manager Nathan Betzen.
But while those who install Kodi on their own machines and obtain the addons themselves probably understand that Team Kodi isn’t to blame for their piracy, there are countless thousands – maybe millions – of people out there who are entirely clueless.
More often than not, these products are advertised as “fully loaded” and less subtly as “Powered by Kodi”. The latter infuriates Team Kodi, especially when the devices fail to operate as promised.
“There have been a wave of sellers who decided to make a quick buck modifying Kodi, installing broken piracy add-ons, advertising that Kodi let’s you watch free movies and TV, and then vanishing when the user buys the box and finds out that the add-on they were sold on was a crummy, constantly breaking mess,” Betzen explains.
“These sellers are dragging users into the world of piracy without their knowledge and at the same time convincing new users that Kodi is a buggy mess, because they never differentiate Kodi from 3rd party add-ons.”
Team Kodi aren’t just going to target sellers of piracy-configured boxes, but even people putting up YouTube videos that use the Kodi trademark without permission.
“Most of all, we are tired of a thousand different salesmen and Youtubers making money off ruining our name. And there are even more people out there seeking to make a quick buck by selling ads on videos about getting free movies and TV while using Kodi in their channel name to make their content seem official, as if those videos are coming from us.”