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And.....we're baaaaack!

Construction site, Credit: Alissa Eady

Happy April, everyone. Did you miss us? :)

Apologies if we scared you, but you'll have noticed that we've redecorated while you were looking the other way. Some might even suggest that taking the website and forum down for a couple of days was all part of the plan...

However, despite the "seized-and-offline" gag, there's a serious message here. It is genuinely true that we're facing a constant tidal wave of piracy boxes, trademark infringements and erroneous (or outright misleading) news reports. Hardly a day goes past without the Kodi brand getting dragged into the mud somewhere, and it is a continuous and thankless task to push back on that across this forum, Facebook, Twitter, and the press.

What We've Learned

Over the past months, and specifically while we've been migrating these pages, we've learned an enormous amount about the risks that third-party addons can bring - and, to be blunt, these are issues for you as well as for us. They leech off our infrastructure, from which they make money while we - you - pay for it from your donations. They create significant privacy risks, given the access they have to your system. They can be updated remotely and made to execute code as part of what can only be viewed as a botnet. They break when we change something, which leads to howls of protest from people who maybe didn't even realise what they were doing. And all that's before you get to any legal or moral position on streaming or downloading unlicensed content.

So, let's be clear: Kodi does not provide content. It never has, and it never will. However, in the spirit and freedom of open source, we make no limitations on what other people choose to do with the program. We cannot morally or legally prevent people from modifying the code or shipping it with whatever hidden dangers they choose to: all we can do is defend our trademark and keep our own house (this site and forum) clean. We genuinely appreciate all the efforts that community members put in to help us with this, but we can always use more help; it's a simple fact of life that we're a bunch of volunteers, with limited funds and without a team of sharp-suited corporate lawyers to chase down every infringement. We're all involved with this project for fun, but it truly doesn't feel like that sometimes: you only need to look through the forum to see what we're up against.

The Future

Our vision for Kodi remains to make it the best media hub in the industry. Who knows where that may take it in terms of official content (we would truly love to have more support from content providers so that we can defeat the piracy addons with superior, legitimate sources), in terms of home automation, more platforms/embedded systems, mobile, or beyond. If you have an idea, if you can contribute code, if you can improve the documentation, please volunteer. If you want to take up arms in the PR battle, or want to take a shift on Twitter, batting back the endless stream of ill-informed questions, please let us know. If you can help make Kodi even greater, by whatever means, please do so.

Join us on this journey, and help us make sure that the threats and rumors never do come true.