Two weeks ago, XBMC Foundation President Nathan Betzen said that the company is considering adding support for "low-level DRM" in its Kodi application. On the Kodi blog, the firm has reiterated and expanded on this prospect, although it's still not making a final decision.
The reason that XBMC is thinking about adding DRM (Digital Rights Management) support is because Kodi has found itself in a tough spot. Add-ons that are specifically designed for piracy have become increasingly popular, and the media center platform is becoming known to the layman as something that's illegitimate.
Thanks to a bunch of ill-informed idiots on YouTube posing as Kodi experts and shady vendors looking to make a quick buck off our backs and take advantage of gullible people, Kodi is generally portrayed as a piracy platform. Meanwhile, Team Kodi takes all the heat. Add to that lazy article authors on several news and media sites and we have the perfect storm. Sadly, for many article authors, hearsay is actually a credible source and click bait their living.
And that's something that the XBMC Foundation wants to fix. In one example, it says that, "Android ships with software that plays back DRMed content from Netflix. Kodi could hook into this already existing software in Android to playback the same content, so you never have to leave Kodi."
A major point in the blog post is that DRM is nothing to be upset about. It's meant to provide additional functionality to the app, rather than take it away. The Foundation is simply hoping that this additional feature-set will promote legitimate use of Kodi.
The team also made four promises:
- Kodi will never provide content, DRMed or not.
- Kodi will never stop working with your content.
- We will never prevent you from using Kodi as you so choose.
- We do not condone, condemn, encourage or recommend any particular use of Kodi.
The point that's really being made here is that you needn't worry about being restricted in your usage of Kodi. As Nathan Betzen pointed out a couple of weeks ago, the software is open-source, meaning that even if XBMC attempted to place some controls on it, that could easily be subverted by the open-source community.
Still, the team is deciding whether allowing the playback of DRMed content "would be considered unethical". There are still discussions going on internally, and it seems like it will be a little while before a decision is made.