What you need to know
- Both Kodi and VLC Media Player were recently targeted by a seemingly erroneous copyright claim.
- The requests pertaining to the latter were denied.
- Kodi, however, was sanctioned, and its downloads page was removed from Google's search results.
Two of the most popular media players, Kodi and VLC, were in for a surprise this week, as a Turkish media company, beIN Media Group, issued takedown notices to Google for both their websites over copyright claims. While the latter skated by without much harm, Kodi's official download page was removed from Google's search results.
As TorrentFreak reports, the developers of the open-source media player were not pleased:
It's unfortunate content companies continue to lump us and VLC together with services who are clearly in violation of copyright law by not only providing streams to their content but using their logo, etc and that Google doesn't even bother to check or validate, they just remove.
The Kodi Foundation has filed a counter-complaint to Google. "It feels like a very 'guilty until proven innocent' model which I do not agree with," Kodi Foundation President Herrington added.
The dispute may have stemmed from the fact that some third-party plugins for the media player allow users to view copyrighted content, though Kodi itself has no control over these plugins.
It wasn't the only open-source project to be targeted, though. The takedown request, which listed several URLs that the Turkish company believes were illegally distributing sports content, also included two videolan.org links, which is the home of one of the most popular media players, VLC.
In this case, though, Google was successfully able to identify that VLC itself was not breaking any copyright laws and therefore did not take any punitive actions.