Last week, Amazon suddenly removed Kodi from the Amazon appstore. The removal came as a shock to both the Kodi community and its developer team, who were not given prior notice of the removal, nor the courtesy of an explanation. After inquiring, the Kodi team have now heard back from Amazon and have informed me that the reason given for the app’s removal is Amazon’s absurd determination that the app can “facilitate the piracy or illegal download of content.” (See Amazon’s full email below.) Amazon has falsely labeled Kodi as a piracy app, while today, the Google Play Store has embraced Kodi by officially approving it into their appstore.
Amazon’s false labeling of Kodi as a piracy app is, no doubt, a result of the numerous third-party piracy add-ons written to run on top of Kodi. As the app existed in the Amazon appstore, Kodi did not posses any pirating capabilities. Kodi’s official add-on repository, accessible from within the app, also lacks any pirating functionality. Users who wish to use Kodi in nefarious ways must go out of their way to install unsupported unofficial add-ons that are completely out of the Kodi team’s control. Kodi does not facilitate piracy anymore than Plex, which Amazon advertises on the Fire TV Stick box. Plex also has unsupported unofficial add-ons that provide access to pirated materials. There’s no reason for Amazon to promote one app while removing the other. While they’re at it, Amazon should remove Opera and all of the other web browsers in the Amazon appstore since they too “facilitate piracy” just as much as Kodi.
The Kodi team, who consist entirely of volunteers, have gone to great lengths to try and stop their app from being associated with piracy. It’s unfair for Amazon to punish Kodi’s open nature due to the actions of third-parties who are outside of the Kodi team’s control. I encourage you to contact Amazon and contact the Amazon Appstore and voice your displeasure with the removal of Kodi.
Email from Amazon to Kodi Team:
Hi [Kodi Team],
Thanks for your e-mail. This e-mail is regarding the Kodi app that you submitted for sale through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program.
In reviewing your app, we determined that it can be used to facilitate the piracy or illegal download of content. Any facilitation of piracy or illegal downloads is not allowed in our program.
Please do not resubmit this app or similar apps in the future.
Let me know if you have any questions.