Kodi users are being tricked into installing piracy monitoring software

Users of third-party Kodi skins have discovered that these optional extras have been partnered with monitoring software that checks whether the user's other add-ons are legitimate, effectively making them a form of spyware. 

The monitoring is being enabled by an add-on called KN Addon Caretaker, which checks a user's installed add-ons against an online database to ensure everything installed is legitimate. 

Recently, this software has been bundled with the skins Estuary MOD V2 and Embuary, meaning users have to install this monitoring software if they want to use the skins in question. 

Civil War

The reason for this bundling is that the developers of these skins have grown tired of their work being used alongside piracy-enabling add-ons. 

Kodi itself does not enable piracy, but through the use of these third-party add-ons, users can get access to pay TV streams without needing a subscription. This has lead to the software getting a reputation as being solely for piracy, which the Kodi team has been keen to distance themselves from

The online database of problematic add-ons has been criticised for bundling a couple of repositories whose developers argue aren't problematic in any way. 

This wouldn't be an issue if users were free to install it as they see fit, but the problem is that they're being forced to if they want to install the skins that they've been bundled with. 

It appears as though a civil war is beginning to erupt within the Kodi development community between those who want to preserve its open nature (despite the piracy that this openness allows), and those who want to discourage the use of piracy-enabling add-ons to preserve the legitimate reputation of the software. 

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Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.