In Defence Of Our Good Name
As most who read this will know well, Kodi is a free and open source media centre software application. It is created and supported by the group of unpaid volunteers known as Team Kodi, along with a large number of members of our very large and active user community. The software is freely available for anyone to download and use, and to fork and modify if they so desire. It is not a commercial product, and no money is gained from it, as it is not sold.
One important point of note is that whilst Team Kodi produces media centre software, one thing that we do not provide is actual media. We don’t make films, television channels or programmes, nor do we directly provide them as part of the software package that we distribute.
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Similarly, we do not produce hardware – there is no “Kodi Box” that’s supplied by us. This is a key fact, as there are many third party hardware suppliers out there who do supply such boxes, which either come pre-loaded with Kodi on them or onto which it can be loaded by the end user.
To the uninitiated this may seem like a trivially small distinction, but it is actually a very important one. As noted, we make the software available to anyone who may wish to use it, and do so for free. But this does not mean that we are responsible for how those end users make use of the software, and how they may modify it when installed on their boxes. We have no commercial interest or stake in any such sale, nor do we receive any monies from any media player box sold anywhere.
Kodi also does not provide any media itself. Users must provide their own content or manually point Kodi to third party online services. The Kodi project does not provide any support for bootleg video content.
Unfortunately, some of these vendors are less than scrupulous, and modify the Kodi product with third party addons giving access to illegally supplied or otherwise-pirated media sources. Hence we wish to make it crystal clear that Team Kodi does not condone, support or benefit from any such usage or device. Indeed, through our official Foundation policies, we actively deny support for any such device on our community forums, and through our trademarks and other legal means will act against any vendor who falsely claims any such endorsement from us.
This has also, on numerous occasions, lead to false or misleading statements being made about both the Kodi software and also the team behind it. These have been from a range of sources, from sellers wishing to falsely claim association or endorsement from us to YouTube channels wishing to make a buck by offering “support” (usually involving 3rd party piracy addons) and, sadly, even from media outlets (both mainstream and technical) where a little basic research would yield the truth.
Our aim has always been to give our users the best media experience possible, and to ensure that, whilst they are free to use our software in any manner they wish, it is done with full knowledge and understanding of what they may be doing, enabling them to make responsible choices. Sadly some of these sellers, either deliberately or through ignorance, confuse the users as to what may be legal and what is not.
We do not support media piracy, we support the best media player possible for everyone and provide a media centre, not “free TV and movies”. In the past, out of our very scant resources, we have worked in cooperation with media companies on such matters to check illegal activities and we will continue to do so. We do not have resources to be involved in litigation, especially those in foreign jurisdictions. We are disappointed and reject the incorrect characterisation of Kodi, its software, or its volunteer community.
Kodi is provided under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2.0 or later, with some individual source files distributed under additional other licences. Full details of these can be found here.
- Is Kodi Legal?
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