Yesterday’s post about MrMC, the first forked version of Kodi to make it into the Amazon Fire TV appstore, has resulted in a heated discussion. A little more than a day since that post went up, it has become the fastest post to reach over 100 comments. Discussion participants seem to either support MrMC’s developers and praise what they’ve accomplished, or berate them for charging money for an app that is readily available for free. After reading all 100+ comments, and researching MrMC further, I wholeheartedly support MrMC’s developers and you should too.
Now, I am certainly not saying that most of you reading this should run out and buy MrMC from the Fire TV appstore, but you certainly should not chastise the app’s developers for creating the app or for charging money for it. Nothing that MrMC’s developers are doing is illegal, considered stealing, against the rules, or in bad form. Kodi’s open source license allows, and one could say even encourages, anyone to fork the project and do with it as they please. That includes charging money and removing features, as MrMC’s team has done.
If anyone is deserving of forking Kodi into a profitable business, it’s the developers of MrMC, since they are literally the primary developers who ported Kodi (then called XBMC) over to Android in the first place. In no small part thanks to MrMC’s developers, you are able to install Kodi on the Amazon Fire TV. Scott, aka davilla, one of the guys behind MrMC, is the 4th highest contributor of Kodi’s development history. Željko, aka amet, another member of the MrMC team, is the 25th highest contributor to Kodi’s development. Additionally, Ned Scott, a respected member of Team Kodi and long time welcomed participant in various AFTVnews discussions, has voiced his support for MrMC, despite having no association with the app.
The developers of MrMC have taken a hobby of theirs, that many of us have benefited from, and are now trying to turn it into a career. Their path is not much different than the one I’ve taken with this website. AFTVnews started as a hobby and has turned into a primary source of income that puts food on the table and grants me the freedom to spend more time with my family. Sure, things like the number of ads on the site have increased since the site’s inception, but it’s necessary to keep the site going and thankfully the AFTVnews community has been overwhelmingly supportive. In a similar manner, there are reasons why MrMC’s team needs to charge for the app.
MrMC’s value is currently slim, but the team deserves the opportunity to grow the app’s value without being berated, especially considering their notable contributions to Kodi in the past. Kodi’s future on the Fire TV may be questionable, due entirely to the uncontrollable 3rd-party piracy add-ons that plague the app’s reputation. The existence of MrMC as an alternative to Kodi may very well end up serving as a lifeline for the thousands of Fire TV owners who enjoy Kodi as the great, and completely legal, media player that it should be seen as.