Fame does have a price, as the Kodi, formerly XBMC, community is now finding out the hard way. The popularity of cord-cutting and set-top boxes led to the popularity of the open source Kodi home theater platform, which, in turn, lead to explosion of third-party add-ons. Not all add-ons, however, are created equal and some of them carry some legal liability. The worst case scenario did happen and one such add-on has been sued, causing other add-ons to quickly abandon ship before matter got worse.
Earlier this week, Dish Network sued Kodi add-on maker ZemTV, as well as TVAddons.ag that distributed it, over copyright infringement. ZemTV allegedly redistributes on-demand content free of charge to users. Dish Network is seeking $150,000 in damages.
For its part, ZemTV says it took down the add-on even before the lawsuit hit the news because of technical issues. It also claims that it never received any prior notice from Dish. Given the situation, however, ZemTV has decided to call it quits. and it isn’t alone.
Other popular Kodi add-on developers are also taking down their software. Although no direct mention of the lawsuit has been made, all of these add-ons perform similar functions in relation to streaming TV content. As of this writing, about a dozen such add-ons have either completely closed down with ominous messages or have gone silent.
Kodi itself isn’t directly affected by the lawsuit and there exists dozens of other add-ons that don’t even go anywhere near murky legal waters. Kodi’s popularity, however, has caused it to become a haven for some less innocent activities, somewhat tainting its image as well as its community.