An anti-piracy alliance that is supported by many major US and UK movie studios, broadcasters and content providers have dealt a serious blow to the third-party Kodi addon scene after it successfully forced a number of popular piracy-lined streaming tools offline. This appears to be a coordinated crackdown. It includes developers like jsergio123 and The_Alpha, who are responsible for the development and hosting of add-ons like urlresolver, metahandler, Bennu, DeathStreams and Sportie. They confirmed that they will no longer maintain their Kodi creations and have been immediately shut down.
This action comes after The_Alpha received a hand-delivered letter to their home, which states:
“This letter is addressed to you by companies of the six-major United States film studios represented by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), namely Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Disney Enterprises, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios LLLP and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Netflix, Inc. and Amazon Studios LLC (represented by MPA via the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)), Sky UK Limited, and The Football Association Premier League Limited.”
The letter identifies the developer as the creator of third-party software that provides “unlawful access to protected copyright works, including works owned by, or exclusively licensed to, the Content Companies.” They note their additional involvement in the upkeep of the Colossus repository – which is an online collection of various streaming Kodi add-ons. With Colossus gone, that means Covenant is no longer available. This letter has scared a number of related addon developers with the Ares Wizard, and they have decided to throw in the towel.
This crackdown suggests that the MPA/MPAA-led Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has a good understanding of how owners of these Kodi boxes are able to stream TV shows and films illegally. But that’s not really a hard concept to wrap your brain around, is it? Colossus was the one that hosted the tools, but it was urlresolver and metahandler that did most of the hard work. It was their job to scrape video hosting sites for relevant streaming links and serve them up to tools like Covenant inside of Kodi. Streamers will find it very difficult to find working video streams of their favorite content without them, but they could reappear via a new host in the future.
Pre-loaded Kodi boxes have surged in popularity over the past year. But many of the most popular piracy-linked add-ons have been targeted by rightsholders. In June, US satellite broadcaster Dish Network, issued a lawsuit that targeted the TVAddons repository and forced streaming tools ZemTV and Phoenix offline. RIP Phoenix. This action, however, might be bad news for Kodi. Despite their attempts to distance themselves from the privacy, they often find themselves implicated in the news reports that focus on actions taken against these third-party add-ons.
This feels more like a set back though. Not necessarily the end of this way of streaming. New add-ons or ways of doing this will continue to pop up over time, and something new will come forward. It’s just a matter of time.