Media reports have identified at least two popular Kodi add-on skin developers who have gone ahead and pushed a neat little dependency which enables them to monitor their end-user’s devices.
These developers say that they want to keep an eye out on Kodi users who engage in copyright infringement.
Of course, we know that a lot of users who use Kodi do tend to slip on the side of copyright infringement.
But is this really the best way to ensure that users don’t engage in piracy?
According to some Kodi developers, yes it is.
Keeping a lookout for infringing Kodi add-ons and Kodi users is not easy.
In other words, there is a lot of room for mistake.
Some media reports have published that the new dependencies have already mistakenly blacklisted several popular and legitimate Kodi repositories.
You should also know that official Kodi developers had maintained these repositories.
Before some new dependencies blacklisted them, that is.
As expected, the new dependencies have caused an outrage within the community.
Kodi users say that Kodi has got to the stage of becoming the most popular open source media player precisely because of the add-ons that Kodi is now trying to vilify.
We all know that Kodi’s rise to the top of the chart has been quick.
It has skyrocketed right into mainstream popularity.
There aren’t too many open source media players that can say the same.
And the reason for that is simple.
Kodi is different from other open source media players.
Unlike other open source media players, Kodi gives its end user’s the very important right to choose.
Formerly XBMC, Kodi has always attracted customers because of the options that it provided to them for free.
In other words, Kodi users are free to watch anything and everything they want to watch.
They can choose the content they want to watch and when they want to watch.
Kodi also enables them to choose how they would like to watch their content.
Moreover, Kodi is also highly customizable.
Users can change the looks of this open source media player to their liking as much as they want.
That’s why you would see that if there are ten Kodi users, then they would have ten different Kodi interfaces.
Kodi Has Become Popular For Another Reason
That reason is China.
More specifically, cheap Android boxes that ship directly from China.
These Android TV boxes have flooded the market.
And now users can buy these Android TV boxes, install Kodi on them, connect these devices to their dumb TV and make them smart.
That has lead many people to mistakenly label Kodi as a piracy product.
It is not.
But people who want to make a profit by eliminating competitors such as Kodi would keep saying that.
They are either evil.
Because they don’t understand that there is a huge division between unofficial Kodi addon community and Kodi itself.
The Kodi brand has had to manage a lot of harm because of publications labeling it as a piracy product and brand.
That has caused a lot of legitimate and official Kodi developers to radicalize.
So What’s The Debate?
The entire debate stemmed from a new and just-released Kodi addon by the name of KN Addon Caretaker.
Birger Jesch, a German Kodi developer, is the creator of the addon.
Once a user has installed this addon, this Kodi addon gets to work by constantly checking the other add-ons that the user might have installed.
After that, this new Kodi addon compares its findings and results with an online problematic Kodi addon database.
If the KN addon Caretaker detects that the user is using a banned Kodi addon, it will spring up into action and constantly show the user a nagging message.
The users cannot get rid of the nagging message unless and until they disable the Kodi addon in question.
Now here is the other bit of problem:
We just mentioned that the KN addon Caretaker makes use of an online database.
The thing is, this online Kodi addon database of problematic Kodi addons isn’t devoid of any problems of its own either.
In other words, it has blacklisted some legitimate Kodi addons.
Media reports say that this online database of bad Kodi addons has banned two legitimate repositories.
- MetalChris’s repository
- MathsGrinds repository.
Readers should also know that both of these Kodi developers are actually official Kodi developers.
Who maintains this online database of bad Kodi addons?
It appears CvH maintains the online database in a rather arbitrary manner.
Who is CvH?
CvH belongs to the LibreELEC team.
In other words, CvH is a member of the LibreELECT team.
What is LibreELEC?
It is basically the successor to the hugely popular OpenELEC.
What is OpenELEC?
OpenELEC is a popular Kodi fork for Linux.
LibreELEC, for what it is worth, has always advocated an aggressive stance vs privacy.
Let’s Clarify The Issue
The issue isn’t about why someone has developed the KN addon Caretaker.
Because Kodi users first have to install the Kodi addon in order to use it.
Hence, when they themselves install the addon, they are giving consent that they are ready to face up to the consequences of using the Kodi addon.
But today we have heard media reports talking about an automatic malicious update.
Developers behind this update have pushed the update to Embuary and Estuary MOD V2 skins.
These two skin Kodi addons come from Guilouz and sualfred, two developers.
Reports say that both felt that they had to use the addon to protect their work.
Because other people used their work in conjunction with other Kodi addons.
Hence, these two developers decided that they would go ahead and include the new KN addon caretaker as one of the dependencies for their add ons in the latest update.
What Does That Mean For The End User?
That means, any Kodi user who is using those skin Kodi addons will automatically get the new KN addon Caretaker.
The addon will come from the new dependencies and users will have no choice but to let the update install KN addon Caretaker to their Kodi box.
So it is quite understandable why Kodi users feel that anger.
Some have called the new KN addon Caretaker as spyware.
We have heard at least one of the member of the official Kodi team speaking against the new KN addon Caretaker.
The developers of the Kodi skin addons don’t care it seems.
They have actually defended their action.
And they have done so for just one reason:
Right now, no one really knows what or who these two developers are protecting.
And it doesn’t make much sense since end users would not have gone through the trouble of installing unofficial Kodi addons unless these end users wanted them in the first place.
Some Believe The New KN Addon Caretaker Is An Attack On Kodi Itself
Some media reports say that this is just one of the many attacks on Kodi addons.
Kodi addons, that made Kodi popular from the beginning.
There is little doubt that exploitative lawsuits have started to plague the online Kodi community.
That is the unofficial Kodi community.
Perhaps this is what has pushed official Kodi developers to attack unofficial Kodi addons and its community.
They have used the official Kodi forums along with other social media sites to achieve this goal.
Some feel these attacks are not warranted.
Especially if we consider the actual fact that Kodi itself welcomed these unofficial Kodi addons in the past.
Now it hates them.
Advocates of the unofficial Kodi community continue to hope that Kodi would stop taking such actions.
ANd would operate on true open source principles.
For that to happen, the official Kodi team will have to stop the trend of vilifying unofficial Kodi addons and their developers.
Unofficial Kodi addons advocates believe that both unofficial and official Kodi developers are on the same side.
Moreover, they are trying to serve the same set of end users.
Hence, unofficial Kodi community says that they should give the end user the full choice to choose the way they want to consume their media.
If it can’t happen then people would start to question the point of using Kodi.
Let us know your thoughts and opinions on the matter by using the comments section below.
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