Streaming piracy is on the rise with popular media player Kodi at the center of attention.
While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, millions of people use third-party add- ons to turn it into the ultimate pirate machine.
TVAddons is a leading player in this field. Over the past year alone, the add-on repository has seen the number of unique users double. However, not everyone is happy with the service.
In a recent interview with TorrentFreak’s Steal This Show, Eleazar, one of the people behind TVAddons, explained that several cyberlockers would rather see them go.
While there are a wide variety of add-ons, quite a few allow users to stream pirated movies and TV-shows, which are hosted by streaming cyberlockers.
These cyberlockers generate revenue through advertising. However, many Kodi add-ons strip these ads, which means that they only cost these sites valuable resources. In response, several cyberlockers are now trying to ban these add-ons from ‘stealing’ their content.
“They change the coding to break the Kodi Add-on, and that’s specifically being done because Kodi add-ons are causing a spike in server load and that costs them money and bandwidth,” Eleazar explained.
This week TorrentFreak spoke to an operator of one of the largest streaming cyberlockers, who preferred not have his site named. He confirmed that Kodi add-ons are indeed a thorn in their side.
“Kodi plugins are harming cyberlockers due to their massive bandwidth usage, which is not compensated in any way,” he said.
According to the cyberlocker operator, several of his competitors have already shut down due to this problem. With so many people leeching bandwidth, the sites are no longer as profitable as they were.
“I would also say that some hosts, which are already gone, were heavily affected from draining bandwidth from third party applications.”
Other sites, including the one we’ve spoken to, are trying very hard to block Kodi add-ons from their service. This is somewhat successful, but often the add-on developers find their way around it.
“To fight this, we keep our streaming links obfuscated, changing them multiple times a week,” the cyberlocker operator says.
Ironically, the above means that the Kodi add-ons might be destroying their own sources, making it harder to find pirated content in the long run.
There is a way out though, according to the operator. With one add-on developer they have struck an agreement to use their service with permission. However, this is relatively rare.
“Unfortunately most of the Kodi plugin developers seems not to be interested in finding a solution like this, so it’s a continued cat and mouse game like we also have with adblockers,” the operator notes.
And so the blocking wars continue, on several fronts.