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Kodi: Open source TV app inspires full-blown copyright panic in the UK

You know a technology’s gone mainstream when the tabloids start yelling about it. This year the Sun, the Mirror, the Express, and the Daily Star have run splashes ranging from “Kodi Crackdown” through “Kodi Killers” to “Kodi TOTAL BAN!”. It’s not that they’ve stumbled on an underground hack scene; the stories have been briefed by copyright owners and law enforcement agencies. So what is Kodi, and why is it such a threat to The Man?
Kodi is an open source media player program that started life as XBMC (Xbox Media Center). Today, running on a variety of devices, it provides a friendly interface to play video and audio content, whether from static files, torrents, or a live stream.
In 2014, Nathan Betzen, a leading figure in XBMC’s community, announced that the software was changing its name to Kodi, a registered trademark. “Users have been fooled into wasting money buying boxes running hacked and


 

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