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Mixdoctor posted a topic in Kodi DiscussionThe MPA, Netflix, Amazon, and dozens of other content companies are ramping up the pressure on a third-party Kodi addon developer. Last year, JSergio123 was warned by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment to cease his activities and sign a confidential settlement agreement. He did not and now he's coming under pressure to comply. But what are ACE's demands? The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) is a coalition of 30 companies that reads like a who’s who of the global entertainment market. All of the major Hollywood studios are members, plus Amazon, Netflix, BBC, Hulu, and Village Roadshow, to name a few. ACE was launched last year to present a united front against online infringement and since then has been involved in various anti-piracy actions. ACE has made the third-party Kodi addon scene one of its early priorities, targeting developers with home visits and lengthy letters demanding that they cease and desist their activities. This has led to several pulling back from the scene but in some instances, this doesn’t appear to have been enough for ACE. The letters received by the developers also include a requirement for them to sign a settlement agreement which binds them to a particular course of future behavior set out by ACE. It’s unclear how many developers have signed but TorrentFreak is aware that several have not. One of those is JSergio123 who last November announced he would be discontinuing development of several Kodi addons after being targeted by ACE. “Sorry to say but I am stopping all development of the urlresolver, metahandler, and my other addons,” he said. JSergio123’s reluctance to sign an agreement with ACE hasn’t gone unnoticed by the anti-piracy group. In a letter dated March 5, 2018 and signed by Kelly Klaus of US-based lawfirm Munger, Tolles & Olson, the developer is reminded of what transpired last year and what is expected of him moving forward. “I understand that ACE counsel have discussed with you various of your “Addon” software applications and related software and services, including URLResolver (collectively, the “[redacted] Addons”) and other actions you have undertaken to induce and contribute to the mass infringement of the ACE members’ copyrighted works,” Klaus writes. “I also understand that ACE counsel have provided you with a proposed settlement agreement, pursuant to which you would end your infringing activities and provide cooperation and other consideration in exchange for ACE agreeing not to pursue legal action against you arising out of your infringing activities. To date, you have not signed the settlement agreement.” JSergio123’s precise reasons for not signing the settlement agreement aren’t being made public. However, TorrentFreak understands that some of the terms presented to addon developers last year have caused considerable concern. In some cases they are difficult to meet, not to mention unpalatable to the people involved. They include promises to ensure that specified addons and indeed any developed in the future can no longer infringe copyright. For those that scrape third-party sources, this could prove impossible to absolutely guarantee. This could effectively put developers out of the addon game – legitimate or otherwise – for good. TF is also informed that ACE demanded a high-level of cooperation, including that the developers should supply what amounts to a full confession, detailing all the projects they’ve been involved in, past and present. Furthermore, the ACE agreement reportedly requires developers to inform on their colleagues by providing personal information such as identities and contact details. There’s also a requirement to indicate whether and how developers been making money from their activities. The new letter from ACE, which is shown below after being published by JSergio, refers to a “most recent draft of the settlement agreement that ACE members would be willing to sign.” Whether this contains any amendments from the settlement agreements sent out last year isn’t clear but Mr Klaus, who is a veteran of several large infringement lawsuits in the US, says that JSergio should take the offer seriously. “I strongly urge you to consider the gravity of this situation and sign the agreement,” the lawyer concludes. ACE Letter (credit: JSergio123)
Kodi’s 2017 Developers’ Conference It’s been a busy half-year since Kodi’s 2016 Developers’ Conference last September in Budapest. During that time Kodi v17.0 “Krypton” was released, quickly followed by v17.1, a bug-fix only release. We made our way into the Windows Store, managed to scare a lot of fans with our April 1st prankand redecorated while you weren’t looking. We went all-in with our shiny new CMake-powered build system, and kicked Autotools, XCode and VS solutions into oblivion. Thanks to notspiff, his six-year effort and the help of a few team members, “needs an Xcode sync” is a thing of the past. We changed Kodi’s new default look – again! – and dropped our outdated web interface in favor of a beautiful, brand new and more functional one, written from scratch by jez500, the team member also responsible for migrating our site to Drupal. Working in close collaboration with Plex, team member ruuk wrote a fantastic add-on that brings Plex’s experience to Kodi. The best of both worlds together, easier than ever. We were accepted into Google Summer of Code 2017 and garbear finally merged into master an inconspicuous fix for a long-standing and very annoying bug. It only took him 4+ years of work and several complete rewrites. Kudos! Sadly, not all is good news. The world lost a princess but we gained a codename for Kodi v18, “Leia”. The rest is business as usual. Sleepless nights and countless hours working to bring you the best media center software available on the 3rd rock from the sun – and, probably, the universe. DevCon: 5 – 7 May, 2017 Traditionally, Kodi’s Developers’ Conferences are held in early fall, usually September or October. This year we decided for something different: an early spring DevCon with, hopefully, sunny weather and birds chirping. We’re excited to announce that the 2017 Kodi’s Developers’ Conference will be from the 5th through the 7th of May in Porto, Portugal. That’s roughly one month away. We’d like to take a moment to thank our DevCon sponsor, WeTek. These events are costly and without their generous contribution much harder to finance. As always, we’ll continue to talk about ways to improve the software we all love: Kodi for Windows x64 and UWP, GSOC projects, database refactoring, and server and infrastructure improvements are some of the scheduled topics. Perhaps most exciting to all you Kodi fans out there is that we’re also going to fine-tune the path for the release of Kodi v18, “Leia”. Drinks and Devs Night Finally, we’re extremely interested in meeting up with our users. To that end, we’d like to invite all of you, and particularly those of you in Porto, and wherever else seems reasonably close, to hang with us. We’re still working out the last minute details, but definitely leave a comment in the forums if you’re interested in visiting. We’re excited to see you and get your thoughts and opinions. Thank You ? And Have A Great Day. The Mixdoctor Team Member of koditalk.org