Being involved in the development of third-party Kodi addons and ‘builds’ (Kodi installations pre-customized with addons and tweaks) is a somewhat risky activity.
Providing simple access to otherwise restricted movies and TV shows attracts copyright holders, and that always has the potential to end badly. And it does, pretty regularly.
On November 1, 2019, UK-focused Kodi platform KodiUK.tv made an announcement on Twitter, stating briefly that “Something has happened this morning. Sorry!” While that could mean anything, an ominous follow-up message indicated that a statement would be released in due course “detailing the future”.
Several hours later, KodiUK.tv confirmed what fans already knew, that it had taken down its site. Why that happened remained open to question but a few hours ago the group confirmed that legal action was to blame.
“We took our website offline 10 days ago closed our repo and the builds due to legal demands against us,” KodiUK.tv announced on Twitter.
“We will say more when we can bring the site back up safely. But the builds & repo will not be back nor will we host any add-ons anymore for anyone.”
The closure is particularly bad news for anyone who used the popular DadLife Kodi build that was previously installable via the group’s repository. Whether it will find a new official home somewhere else is open to question.
But there is more bad news too. In an announcement posted a few hours ago to its Facebook page, Kodi builds and addon repository OneNation revealed that it too had shut down, again as a result of legal pressure.
“Unfortunately due to outside Legal pressures this group will close with immediate effect along with our Repository etc. We would just like to thank each and every one of you for all your support over the years,” OneNation wrote.
Noting they’d had an “absolute blast”, OneNation added they were going out with their “heads held high” having done things their way, without “robbing links from others” or accepting payment in any “shape or form”.
OneNation went down with strict instructions for no-one to contact the team for any further information and to treat any additional information published online as “hearsay.” That means that confirming who applied the legal pressure will be reliant on word from the anti-piracy groups most likely to be have been involved.
TorrentFreak has contacted the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) for comment. We’ll post an update here if any confirmation or denials are received from either group.
Update: FACT has confirmed that it was indeed behind the action. TF is informed that the anti-piracy group sent notices to individuals engaged in running these and other as-yet-unnamed groups. In this round of action, the players were chosen based on their size and volume of activity.
“Our message is clear and consistent; we will act to prevent pirated content appearing on illicit streaming devices. FACT continues to monitor channels used to advertise, market, sell and distribute apps, devices and streams and will take action against the suppliers and operators,” says FACT CEO Kieron Sharp.
“There is now more choice than ever for consumers to enjoy sports, movies and TV and we encourage people to use legitimate services that are safe to use and also properly remunerate the creators of the content.”