While overall interest in Kodi appears to be on a downward trend, millions of people still use the software to organize their media.
Larger numbers still augment Kodi with software add-ons which allow them to stream movies, TV shows, and sports events, often in a way that infringes copyright. As a result, entertainment companies and their agents are keen to reduce the use of such tools.
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With little fanfare, the Covert Development and Disruption Team of the UK’s North West Regional Organised Crime Unit recently announced that there had been an arrest in connection with this kind of activity.
According to police, a 40-year-old man was detained in Winsford, Cheshire, following a joint investigation with anti-piracy outfit Federation Against Copyright Theft. The unit said that man was arrested in connection with creating and maintaining a Kodi add-on configured to supply illegal online streams.
“The scale of the offending was significant and affected broadcasters and rights owners in the UK and worldwide. Police searched an address, seized evidence, and interviewed the suspect has later been released on police bail pending investigation,” a statement reads.
Typically for this kind of announcement, details are scarce. Other than location and age, no further details were made available on the alleged offender, or the add-on that had triggered the referral from FACT. As a result, it’s not currently possible to positively identify the person or the add-on in question.
What we do know is that last Friday, on the very same day that the police say they carried out the arrest of the man in Cheshire, a very popular add-on and associated repository (repo) went down without warning or explanation.
Supremacy is a popular Kodi add-on that provides access to a wide range of content, from movies and TV shows to live sports. The add-on works by ‘scraping’ or aggregating content from existing online sources, presenting them inside the add-on for users to select.
While other repos have also offered the add-on, Supremacy was once available for download from the Supremacy repo, previously located at https://2Supremacy.uk. That domain was registered with Namecheap on March 25, 2019 and isn’t set to expire until March 25, 2021.
However, there is an additional note in the domain’s WHOIS which suggests something is wrong.
Other signs of changes on June 13, 2019 can be found on the repo itself.
While no longer accessible, cached versions of the site show that the repo did indeed disappear on the same day, with the /addon and /repo directories both modified at 08:01 am. An associated Facebook page and Telegram group also disappeared in a similar fashion.
TorrentFreak contacted several sources, none of which were able or willing to provide us with the precise location of the Supremacy developer or his exact age, so definitively connecting the dots isn’t possible. We were told that there are rumors of an arrest but that’s a common occurrence when established and thriving projects go down with no explanation.
Returning to the confirmed arrest last week, it’s unclear why FACT chose to refer the add-on developer, whoever he is, to the police. There is yet to be a successful criminal prosecution of an add-on developer in the UK or elsewhere. Several have been threatened privately, however.
TorrentFreak requested comment from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit and FACT but at the time of publication neither had responded.