Streaming video software Kodi is watched by thousands of expats wanting to keep up with their favourite TV programmes back home.
But the developers are miffed at accusations that they are involved in TV and movie piracy.
Kodi is an open source video streaming app that works on Windows, MacOs, Linux and other operating systems.
The software does not download or upload video or movie content like some peer-to-peer services, so viewers are not involved in grabbing copyright content from the internet.
Nonetheless, Kodi is advertised and sold by video and music pirates as coming ‘fully loaded’ with content on TV boxes and Amazon Firestick, Chromecast and other TV sticks.
Infringing the Kodi trademark
This has led to TV box producers shunning Kodi as an interface because the company’s reputation is tainted with the scourge of online piracy.
Kodi was meant as an easy way for users to distribute their own music, image and video content between gadgets as a front-end.
“The problem is video pirates are adding their own software to Kodi that allows users to view licensed content free of charge,” said a spokesman for the Kodi project.
“The users than find the add-ons don’t work correctly and get onto Kodi support for help only to be told the third party plug in is nothing to do with us and we will not get involved with their issues.”
The spokesman explained this problem is plaguing the company and infringing the trademark.
Lawyers to fire broadside at hijackers
Now, the company has vowed to go after pirates.
“Users are welcome to do what they want, but anyone using our name to make a buck can expect a law suit for trademark infringement if they purport to be linked with Kodi in any way,” said the spokesman.
The company has asked Amazon, eBay and other market places to ban sellers claiming Kodi affiliation as they breach the company’s trademark, but with little success.
“eBay will let them say ‘fully loaded’ instead of ‘free pirated movie and TV content’,” said the spokesman.
Lawyers sympathise with the company’s problem but are doubtful legal action will resolve the problem because of the time, cost and resources involved.