Kodi and TVAddons may owe a lot of their popularity to each other, but that doesn't mean they have to like each other.
Kodi, an open-source digital home entertainment platform that's available in set-top streaming boxes reminiscent of devices like the Apple TV 4K, is widely known these days as a means of accessing TVAddons.
For its part, TVAddons grant viewers access to addons that let them view pirated content by taking advantage of the Kodi's open source nature. You'll often find it on "fully-loaded Kodi boxes" reminiscent of the Apple TV, but with apps for watching licensed movies for free.
Earlier this week, Kodi expressed on Twitter just how it felt about that. TVAddons quickly responded with a tweet of its own, while hinting at the reason why many people use Kodi boxes.
Nice thing to say, whoever is running your social media profile @KodiTV is definitely not in touch with your userbase...October 2, 2017
Kodi, though, asserted that the entire team felt this way.
Kodi's original tweet was a response to a TorrentFreak story about the digital rights-focused Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which recently criticized the way creators of open-source platforms like Kodi get embroiled in legal battles over how third parties like TVAddons use that platform.
The EFF's statement in turn emerged following a recent landmark UK case in which a British man plead guilty to advertising how useful Kodi boxes were for viewing pirated content. It's big business. As we reported a day before, as many of a million such piracy-enabled Kodi boxes were sold in the UK in the last two years alone.
In the Twitter spat the other day, Kodi emphasized that it'd be willing to sacrifice much of that "popularity" in order to uphold its idealistic vision of what open source should look like. This was especially apparent after one Twitter user named Bay_Bae asserted that Kodi would be "dead and nonexistent" without third-party addons.
"We love 3rd party add-ons," Kodi wrote. "Not the piracy variety you're referring to, though. Popularity? Not bothered. Dead? No, just a nice small userbase."
Elsewhere, Kodi countered Twitter user Yan Thériault who snarkily criticized Kodi for not admitting it "thrived" on privacy.
"Thrive?" Kodi asked. "By bringing confusion, misunderstanding and extra workload to the team and our infrastructure? Piracy is a parasite to the Kodi host."
For its part, TVAddons is insistent that it's not a piracy site, as it recently reaffirmed in a statement to BetaNews:
"TVAddons is not a piracy site," the statement read. "It’s a platform for developers of open source add-ons for the Kodi media center. As a community platform filled with user-generated content, we have always acted in accordance with the law and swiftly complied whenever we received a DMCA takedown notice."
Kodi had a respite from TVAddons last June after the site mysteriously went dark, but the latter returned in August in the midst of some massive legal battles from Canadian cable giants Bell, Rogers, and Videotron. TVAddons is still in trouble, but some of the heat appears to have died down.
And as a reminder, all Kodi boxes aren't bad. In fact, it's a rather fantastic platform. Here's our recently published list of the best Kodi boxes for streaming. Just be careful in your selection of add-ons.