Kodi (formerly XBMC) is an open-source cross-platform media streaming solution that is often associated (albeit unfairly) with piracy. While it’s true that Kodi does technically facilitate movie and TV show piracy, that’s not its intended purpose. Kodi is designed to let you stream media content from local or networked storage drives, and facilitating piracy is more of a byproduct of letting you access your own media wirelessly. It would appear that Sony doesn’t agree, however, as the developers of the app have said that Sony’s Android TV devices are actively blocking the Kodi application from being installed.
Well done @SonyElectronics for actively preventing users from installing Kodi on their newer Android TVs. How grown up of you. Even their firmware in the TVs is broken. Guess we will suggest users to just buy something else that does work.
— Kodi (@KodiTV) January 4, 2019
This isn’t the first disagreement the Kodi developers have had with Sony’s practices. It appears that the company also enforces that applications be built as an Application (Video) in order to play 4K content on Sony Android TVs, something that no other Android TVs enforce. However, it appears that Sony is now actively blocking the Kodi application by blacklisting the package name. This was discovered when a user on the Kodi forums re-compiled the application with the Amazon Video package name. The Sony Android TV now allowed the application to be installed and it worked fine.
Kodi isn’t the only media streaming application with a reputation for piracy, it’s simply just the biggest. There are a number of reasons why you might want to have a media streaming set up in your home, and not all of them involve breaking the law. You could have your own ripped DVDs or CDs, podcasts, photos, and more. To block the application in its entirety seems a bit overkill, especially when there are other applications doing the exact same thing or similar without being blocked. This may possibly come down to the fact that Sony as a company does have a huge hand in the movie industry, and it may feel threatened by piracy. As a result, this change may be forced on Sony Electronics in order to protect its other divisions.
For now, it’s relatively easy to evade the Kodi app block. You’ll just need to re-compile the application with a new package name, but it’s possible that Sony makes it even harder to evade in the future.
Source: Kodi forums