KODI is spying on users to find out if they are using “add-ons” to watch illegal streams of live sport or TV and films.
The software – which is now a popular addition to many Brits’ living rooms thanks to the rise of so-called “Kodi boxes” – is trying hard to distance itself from add-ons that allow people to illegally stream copyrighted content.
It has now emerged that certain Kodi “skins” can tell whether people are accessing these streams – and it is sending out cease and desist-style notifications to scare them off.
These skins are themes you can install to organise your Kodi library, with varying degrees of categories and colours to change the look of the software.
Many have bought “pre-loaded” boxes with a skin already installed.
People using one popular type may now see an alert appear until they uninstall add-ons that let them stream live TV for free.
The move has been slammed by users, who fear their viewing is being snooped upon.
One user slammed the developers who created the skin on a popular Kodi forum, writing: “This all is essentially the very definition of computer trespass and the actions of malware or spyware”.
Kodi has not said whether it will save logs of who downloads what and whether it plans to pass these over to any third parties.
Notorious streaming repository, TVAddons, said the move was an attack against people who should be allowed to make up their own mind on what to watch, and the add-on community.
It wrote: “This seems like another attack against the add-ons that made Kodi popular in the first place.
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“As abusive lawsuits have begun to plague the unofficial Kodi community, we’ve noticed an alarming trend in official Kodi developers attacking the unofficial addon community, within the official Kodi forums as well as over social media.
“Many of these attacks are unwarranted considering the fact that once upon a time Kodi itself was home to many of the add-ons which they now claim to hate.”
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