Right from its early days, Kodi media player has been a challenging counterpart for VLC and other media players. The open-source software has got millions of users and is doing a great job with its unique features and support for third-party add-ons. Kodi has a phenomenal uptake, thanks to its ability to serve as a perfect piracy machine using these add-ons. They work seamlessly and allow users to consume illicit media – free movies, TV shows, sports, or live TV – as much as they want.
That said, it came as no surprise when renowned Kodi addon ZEMTV and popular add-on community TV Addons came under the anti-piracy scanner. Both were sued by popular media giant Dish Network for copyright infringement, a move that sent immediate shockwaves across the pirate community.
As one could have expected, the lawsuit triggered a downfall of third-party Kodi add-ons just within hours. Several add-ons including the massively popular Pheonix went vaguely into the shadows. The move also disappointed the users of the platform, who reportedly started the infamous ‘blame-cycle’.
Kodi Crackdown Blame Cycle
While some users tried throwing blames on town criers such as TorrentFreak, the fact still remains unchanged. There could be several targets if we want, but no one really is to blame. In fact, the thing is most people voicing a negative opinion about the profile of Kodi do not appreciate their previously niche – the piracy system – being in the spotlight. Everything was just fine when only a handful of people knew the marvellous world of XBMC/Kodi add-ons, but seeing it in the mainstream press has been quite a disaster.
And, most importantly, all of this falls down when people are asked when the discussion about Kodi should’ve stopped. Most with a grievance didn’t want Kodi getting too big, but they absolutely appreciate the fact that someone told them about it. Piracy and piracy techniques spread by word of mouth so unfortunately that people can’t have it both ways.
What’s even more interesting, some people even blamed TV Addons, the site that hosts the addons themselves. According to this specific group, the addon scene didn’t need such a high-profile target and the site only brought unwanted attention to it. However, there was also a big bunch of supporters who loved everything the site had done to raise the profile of Kodi while increasing the volume of its users and add-ons.
Meanwhile, the operators of TV Addons have a clear stand on who is to blame. In several emails to the TorrentFreak, they have blamed those who have attempted to commercialise the Kodi scene. According to the operators, the responsibility must be placed on the shoulders of people selling ‘Kodi boxes’ on places e-commerce sites. They alleged, “Once big money got involved, the authorities got attracted”.
Making things much more complicated, a box seller who apparently didn’t want to speak on this fiasco admitted to selling “a couple of thousand” boxes over past two years. However, he also noted that all he did was respond to demand with supply.
So, Who’s To Blame?
From what we see, when it comes to piracy, Kodi and its third-party add-ons are so good that it’s no surprise they’ve been extremely popular amid Internet-savvy users. A single package offering a wide range of content on almost any platform is exactly what the internet generation wanted for the past decade and a half.
But, that’s not it. The success of Kodi add-ons outside official channels was so big that it was nearly impossible to keep them in the shadows. While it may sound harsh to many, the fact is every user adding to the Kodi phenomenon by installing the software with ‘pirate’ add-ons needs to be blamed for the crackdown.
This has always been the case behind anti-piracy crackdowns. Be it The Pirate Bay or KickAss Torrents, they all got into the piracy scenario smoothly, but just when their growth was going sky-high with millions of users, anti-piracy groups barged in and we all know what happened thereafter!