Did “The Crew” add-on stop working recently, and you can’t seem to be able to reinstall it? TVAddons is doing that using their Indigo add-on.
Kodi add-ons are battling it out on your device… literally.
It’s TVAddons vs The Crew
The Indigo add-on from the TVAddons repo is now working behind the scenes on your device to deactivate a slew of other add-ons including The Crew, while The Crew’s repo has an add-on that uninstalls TVAddons and Indigo.
This epic battle is taking place on your Kodi device without you even knowing about it.
Why Everyone Hates TVAddons
TVAddons used to be THE source of all the best unofficial Kodi add-ons. Back in the day, their Fusion repo could be found on almost every Kodi installation out there.
Then in 2017, they got slammed with some pretty serious lawsuits that even managed to seize their website as evidence, bringing them down overnight. When they eventually came back up on a new domain, everyone else had moved on and they were only allowed to host legal add-ons anyway.
Since then, their tactics have gotten pretty shady in order to scrape back whatever audience and revenue that they could from their glory days.
TVAddons’ Monetization Tactics
It seems like their primary goal has been to get their “Indigo” add-on installed on as many devices as possible in order to greet users with a popup on boot that pitches their VPN affiliate link.
I get it. I have a VPN affiliate link too. But, I prefer to offer my readers some valuable content, and if they are interested in using a VPN, they can use my link. But, TVAddons just has an annoying popup that you have to dismiss every time you open Kodi.
But wait, it gets worse…
TVAddons Auto-installs Indigo via Dependencies
Kodi add-ons have a concept called “dependencies”. This allows for one add-on to declare that it is dependent on another add-on for it to work. Makes sense.
Well, dependencies are getting used more and more often to force-push add-ons onto unsuspecting users. This has been used in the past to push malware.
TVAddons used this trick on their resolver add-on called URLResolver to list Indigo as a dependency. Great move on their part, because guess how many unofficial streaming add-ons listed URLResolver as their dependency a while back? Almost all of them! With that one move, they got their add-on pushed out to millions of Kodi devices. Kodi users started seeing the TVAddons popup when they never installed anything from TVAddons.
That’s why we have ResolveURL which is a fork or URLResolver which doesn’t auto-install Indigo. Many add-ons have switched over to ResolveURL, but not all of them, yet.
TVAddons Auto-installs Indigo via Repo Takeovers
But, that wasn’t enough. TVAddons also started taking over repos when add-on developers quit.
Developers (like Blamo and 13 Clowns) would get fed up with doing free support for Kodi users (or they got paid by TVAddons, who knows?) and they would delete their GitHub account, allowing for “someone” to swoop in and register that same username and publish a Kodi repo that auto-installs Indigo.
When that happened everyone who has the Blamo repo or 13 Clowns repo found themselves with Indigo auto-installed after those developers quit.
TVAddons Deactivating Competition in the Background
Then, TVAddons started using their Indigo add-on to deactivate other add-ons.
This may or may not have started out with good intentions of auto-deactivating add-ons and repos which have been abandoned and could be susceptible to a malicious repo takeover like I mentioned earlier.
However, they’ve recently started deactivating add-ons which have the ability to deactivate Indigo.
As of April 2020, here’s the list of add-ons and repos that Indigo is deactivating…
The top of this list looks innocent, listing the add-ons and repos that were abandoned, but by the end of the list, it’s clearly targeting repos like The Crew (which has program add-on called “F*ck Indigo” to force uninstall Indigo).
Or is it the Other Way Around? TVAddons the Good Guys?
I just want to take a moment to think this through from the other side. Are TVAddons the real bad guys here?
Maybe TVAddons is just being altruistic here? Maybe they are serving the Kodi community by protecting everyone from malware attacks from abandoned repos. After all, ain’t nobody got time to stay on top of the latest Kodi add-on developer news and deactivate every single add-on and repo that gets abandoned… right?
Without having this one program add-on installed on the vast majority of Kodi installs, protecting them from these malware attacks, we might have a much bigger malware problem across the community of Kodi users.
If other add-ons started maliciously deactivating your add-on, wouldn’t you fight back?
Is their popup really that bad? Don’t they deserve a little affiliate commission from some VPN sales?
Just food for thought. I want to make sure I’m not being totally biased, but look at everything from both sides, and let you make up your mind for yourself.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
How to Uninstall Kodi Add-ons and Repos
Once you choose for yourself if you want to uninstall Indigo and the TVAddons repo or if you want to uninstall The Crew and its repo, then you can follow my in-depth guide on how to uninstall Kodi add-ons and repos. It even covers a few difficulties you might run into like uninstalling dependencies…