Hey there! I wanted to reach out about some big news in the world of Kodi that could impact users like yourself.
You may have heard that Adam Lackman, the operator of the popular TVAddons repository, has agreed to pay $19.5 million in damages for enabling mass copyright infringement through Kodi addons. This huge settlement effectively shutters what was once one of the largest piracy hubs for Kodi devices.
A Little Background
In case you‘re unfamiliar, Kodi is an open-source media center app that became popular several years ago for its flexibility and customization. Developers created third-party addons that tapped into streams of copyrighted content, providing free access to paid movies, shows, and live TV.
TVAddons acted as a central repository where people could find and install these questionable addons. At its peak in 2016, TVAddons offered over 900 addons and had over 40 million users according to its operator Lackman. It became a go-to piracy solution for cord-cutters looking to ditch cable.
However, this unauthorized free-for-all didn‘t sit well with media companies who were losing subscription revenues. In mid-2017, TVAddons became the target of massive legal action.
The Fall of TVAddons
Several major Canadian media corps including TVA, Rogers Communications, Bell Canada and others sued Lackman, claiming TVAddons enabled mass copyright infringement through Kodi addons.
DISH Network also filed a separate lawsuit against Lackman in the U.S. DISH has been an aggressive enforcer against streaming piracy, filing suits against merchants selling "jailbroken" Fire TV Sticks and other devices loaded with Kodi.
Lackman was subjected to an Anton Piller order, which allowed plaintiffs to raid his home and seize evidence without notice. He was also denied legal defense and restrained from operating TVAddons.
After months of silence, TVAddons briefly remerged under a new domain in 2019 but quickly vanished again along with its web presence. Most assumed it was gone for good.
The $19.5 Million Settlement
In a February 2022 judgment, Lackman admitted to illegally developing and promoting Kodi addons that facilitated access to unauthorized copyrighted content.
To settle the case, the Federal Court ordered Lackman to pay $19.5 million in damages to the media plaintiffs. He also surrendered all login credentials, accounts, domains and servers related to TVAddons.
In a statement on social media, Lackman said he is ready to move on from this chapter. With the repository offline and Lackman barred from creating anything similar, it looks like the TVAddons saga has finally reached its end.
A Costly Reminder to Use Legal Streaming Services
While free addons were tempting for many cord-cutters, they came loaded with risks like malware, privacy violations, and of course, legal consequences.
Lackman‘s multi-million dollar judgment serves as a stark warning that unauthorized streaming can come at a heavy cost. Streaming pirated content is illegal and leaves individuals vulnerable to lawsuits, fines, and criminal penalties.
For example, a Las Vegas man was sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison for operating two illegal streaming services. A Virginia man received 3 years probation and a $100,000 fine for his involvement with illegal IPTV service Stream Dreaming.
These cases illustrate why it‘s so important to access media through legal streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and others. Premium streaming services have boomed over the past few years – Netflix alone has over 220 million subscribers globally.
While a monthly subscription fee is required, you get unlimited on-demand content, steady video quality, and peace of mind. No more digging through sketchy Kodi repositories or stressing about legal issues. Just great entertainment.
Many cable-style live TV replacements like YouTube TV, Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV have also emerged as affordable and flexible options for cord-cutters. Of course, free ad-supported services like Pluto TV, Tubi and others also provide thousands of shows and movies in a legal way.
The bottom line is, with so many great legal choices available today, there‘s no good reason to keep using unauthorized Kodi addons and piracy sources. Take it from the TVAddons saga – streaming legally is always the safest bet.
I hope this breakdown was helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions about safely streaming content. I‘m always happy to help fellow cord-cutters navigate the changing world of streaming TV. Stay safe out there!