A message posted on Kodi’s website on Saturday read that the streaming service’s portal had been seized by American authorities.
Those who visited the website were informed:
“This domain name has been seized by ICE – Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant by a United States District Court under the authority of 18 U.S.C 981 and 2323.”
Willful copyright infringement is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders for up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine forfeiture and restitution (17 U.S.C 506, 18 U. S. C 2319).
Intentionally and knowingly trafficking in counterfeit goods is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to ten years in federal prison, a $2,000,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution (18 U. S. C 2323).”
Needless to say, the warning messages led to panic among many Kodi users — especially those who have been regularly using the add-ons in the app that let users watch movies, live football, and other content illegally without paying. Thankfully for then, though, the alert posted on the Website was just an April Fools prank from the company.
Following its initial remarks promising to look into the warning messages, Kodi disclosed that it was all a setup. The company then went on explaining its stand on the controversy surrounding the illegal add-ons in its open-source platform.
“Over the past months, and specifically while we’ve been migrating these pages, we’ve learned an enormous amount about the risks that third-party add-ons can bring – and, to be blunt, these are issues for you as well as for us,” the message from Kodi read.
“They leech off our infrastructure, from which they make money while we – you – pay for it from your donations.”
“So, let’s be clear: Kodi does not provide content. It never has, and it never will. However, in the spirit and freedom of open source, we make no limitations on what other people choose to do with the program.”