Internet-giant Google has taken the interesting move of banning the term “Kodi” from its autocomplete feature. Those who now look for information the boxwill be required to type out the full term of their search, in news which has been reported by TorrentFreak.
Google’s latest effort – which joins a number of other means to bolster its anti-piracy defenses – has once again targeted terms which automatically appear in autocomplete. Additionally, the web colossus has been making considerable changes to search algorithms as a means to negatively affect any material deemed to be copyright-infringing. If you imagine popular terms – such as the best way to play poker on desktop or mobile– and apply these to Kodi, you can see how this will affect users’ access to information on the set-top box developers.
Kodi, it is important to emphasize, produces a legal set-top box for the purposes of streaming information. In this sense, it is not illegal by definition. However, it does supportthird-party add-ons which – in turn – provide users with access to a multitude of pirated sites.
Kodi made the news last year when a number of people were arrested due to sales of “Kodi boxes,” which were pre-programmed with access to media which would have generally been downloaded by the user. The European Union’s Court of Justice then confirmed that selling these boxes with access to such media was, in fact, against the law. This severely impacted Kodi and put off a number of potential and existing users when it came to purchasing the boxes.
“We are surprised and disappointed to discover Kodi has been removed from autocomplete as Kodi is perfectly legal open source software,” XBMC Foundation president Nathan Betzen told TorrentFreak.
A Google spokesperson also commented, telling TorrentFreak that “Since 2011, we have been filtering certain terms closely associated with copyright infringement from Google Autocomplete. This action is consistent with that long-standing strategy.”
Google has been known to remove other entities associated with pirated media from its autocomplete features in the past. Pirate Bay, being among the most notable example, was taken out of the feature at the height of the site’s infamy when it came to negative news coverage a few years back. What this will mean for Kodi is that the brand will lose its place in high rakings, and – as Google hope – will eventually become merely a footnote in time.
XBMC Foundation, who operates the Kodi team, has made considerable efforts in the past to shake off its association with piracy. For example, it has issued a number of trademark takedown notices aimed at individuals and organizations which distribute Kodi boxes configured to support pirate media. What this latest news will do in terms of reaction remains to be seen.
It is worth noticing that Google has U-turned on similar decisions in the past. There is scope to suggest that Kodi’s place in autocomplete can be reinstated in time, but for now, it appears that the brand will be suffering the wrath of Google.