A number of high-profile, hugely popular Kodi add-ons have been forced to shutdown due to legal threats against a developer in the Kodi community.
Add-ons including Covenant, Bennu and DeathStreams have ceased to function properly, as the creator of their underlying Colossus repository (the software that allows them to source and make sense of videos hosted across the internet) ended operations on his part of the chain. This includes the development of the URLresolver and Metahandler software which many third-party apps rely on.
The developer, known as jsergio123 online, was said to have been hand-delivered a cease-and-desist letter in the UK from the MPA/MPAA's Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. Among the content providers cited in the letter threatening legal action were Disney, Sky UK, the Premier League, Netflix and Amazon, as well as a number of movie studios.
Rough seas for pirates
Tweeting his response to the letter, Jsergio123 said:
Sorry to say but I am stopping all development of the urlresolver, metahandler, and my other addons. I am not responsible for covenant and bennu but colossus has agreed to delete the repo too.November 15, 2017
The action has been called for by the rights holders as the likes of Covenant can be used to easily find pirated entertainment materials, like films and TV shows, through Kodi. And, while Kodi itself as an open-source piece of software can legitimately and legally be used as a home media center, the likes of Covenant are built with the almost sole express purpose of giving access to copyrighted materials.
It's unclear yet as to whether another developer will take up the mantle left by jsergio123, but it's not the most attractive project given the legal risks. Following a series of similar takedown notices and legal efforts, it seems the tide may be finally turning against the Kodi pirates.