Is this the final blow for Kodi? TVAddons library which supplied the majority of add-ons for the streaming software shuts down following a crack down on illegal content
- TVAddons had around 1,500 add-ons that supplied legal and illegal content
- The library has been involved in a legal battle with a US broadcast provider
- The provider threatened to sue TVAddons, with a fine of £116,000 ($150,000)
- It has disappeared from the internet, and it is unclear if it will return
- A bill has ruled that people making the illegal content could go to prison
TVAddons, one of the most popular libraries for add-ons on Kodi has mysteriously shut down without warning.
The library has been involved in a legal battle with a US broadcast provider, with threats of fines of up to £116,000 ($150,000).
The news comes as a massive blow for Kodi, which over the last month has lost several of its most popular add-ons, including Phoenix.
TVAddons, one of the most popular libraries for add-ons on Kodi has mysteriously shut down without warning
TVAddons was a library that provided over 1,500 add-ons, which supplied both legal and illegal content.
Earlier this month, Dish Network, a broadcast provider in the US, threatened to sue the developers for copyright infringement, meaning they could face huge fines.
In light of this, TVAddons, which had nearly 40 million users, has removed itself from the internet – although it is unclear whether this is a temporary measure.
Users trying to access TVAddons have been met with a message stating that the DNS address could not be found, since yesterday.
Several people have taken to Twitter to express their concerns.
Joe Connelly tweeted: ‘TVAddons are you guys done? Now your website is down or did you move that? Can’t reach any repos again.’
And Hoopes4908 tweeted: ‘TVAddons RIP only reason to use Kodi.’
Kodi is software that enables users to streams apps and on-demand services onto their TV.
The software, which is legal, can even be downloaded onto an Amazon Fire stick.
However, it has become associated with internet piracy due to add-ons that can provide illegal content.
Last week, Phoenix, one of the most popular sources of content – both legal, and illegal – was forced to shut down.
Several people have taken to Twitter to express their concerns. Joe Connelly tweeted: ‘TVAddons are you guys done? Now your website is down or did you move that? Can’t reach any repos again’
In reaction to the shut down of TVAddons, Hoopes4908 tweeted: ‘TVAddons RIP only reason to use Kodi’
Speaking to TorrentFreak, Cosmix, the developer behind Phoenix said: ‘In light of current events we have decided to close down Phoenix.
‘This is not something that was easy for us to do; we have all formed a bond that cannot be broken as a team and have a HUGE support base that we are thankful of.’
And last month, three Kodi add-ons closed down after operators were warned they would have to pay £22,000 ($28,000) if they relaunched their services on the Kodi software.
Israeli anti-piracy group ZIRA filed for an injunction to stop sites offering Kodi tools.
ZIRA announced an out of court settlement with three of them, writes Torrent Freak.
Phoenix, one of the most popular add-ons for Kodi, was recently forced to shut down, following building legal pressure in the US
The sites, abeksis.com, kodiwizardil.net, and kodi-senyor.co.il, stopped operating last month.
Abeksis.com was a highly-visited hub for pirate content.
ZIRA said the shutdowns were ‘another victory in the struggle against the pirated content on the Internet and the preservation of Israeli creators and content.’
The message on the add-ons says: ‘The site you’ve entered was taken down since it was violating intellectual property rights.
‘The site’s operators were fined by the court and therefore the site ceased to operate!
‘The cost of copyright infringement is paid by the Israeli population, Israeli culture and the income of the producers.’
Navi-X, one of the most popular add-ons for the free Kodi video player also said it would stop supplying content last month.
‘After ten years of successful operation, Navi-X has sadly being discontinued. Navi-X was first released in April 2007, and is the oldest Kodi add-on of its kind,’ the development team explained.
‘The main reason why the decision was made to discontinue the Navi-X service is the current legal climate surrounding Kodi.
‘In case you aren’t aware, the abundance of preloaded Kodi box sellers has resulted in a lot of heat on Kodi in the United Kingdom and elsewhere,’ the team said.
Earlier last month, the Digital Economy Bill warned that people making and streaming films using torrents online would be committing a criminal offence.
The ruling affects users in Europe, who will now face up to 10 years in prison if caught streaming illegal content.
In a letter to the Open Rights Group, the Intellectual Property Office said: ‘It is important to note that the criminal offences apply to making material available to others, not to those just downloading material to their computers.
Amazon has banned Kodi TV boxes (pictured) and other pirate devices from its online store. And the Premier League was granted a court order earlier this year to crack down on illegal football streaming.
‘Anyone seeking to enforce their rights for the downloading of material would be unlikely to refer to this legislation.
‘Ten year sentences would only be applied in the most serious of criminal circumstances.’
Temporary files, like those created when media content is streamed, are technically exempt under copyright law.
People selling ‘fully loaded’ Kodi boxes exploited this legal loophole to provide illegal content.
And although the court recognised the equipment itself was not illegal, the way they are customised was and was likely to be used to access copyrighted material.
Amazon previously banned ‘fully-loaded’ Kodi TV boxes and other pirate devices from its global online store earlier this month.