If you are a cord cutter, you may have heard of the popular cord cutting app Downloader. The app was one of the first ways you could get a browser on the Fire TV and allows you to easily download content to your device. Now Google has removed it from the Google store, preventing it from being easily downloaded to Google TV and Android devices.
The app was built by the owner of AFTVnews, Elias Saba, and it has been installed over 50 million times. First launched in 2016, it quickly added a full browser making it the first way to browse the web on the Fire TV. It also became a popular way to install Kodi after it was removed from the Amazon app.
Last week Google received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint from a law firm representing several Israeli cable/satellite TV companies. This complaint led to Google removing the app from the app store because it contained a web browser that could be pointed to copyrighted infringing websites.
Here is part of the complaint sent to Google, according to Elias Saba:
this app which can be downloaded to any Android based device including smart TV – allows users to view the infamous copyright infringing website known as [REMOVED] (www.[REMOVED].tw) against which the are 2 Isareli court and a NY Federal court judgments issuing permanent injunction against the saus website.
Saba’s initial appeal was rejected by Google, but a follow-up appeal is currently pending with Google according to Saba.
According to TorrentFreak at issue here are several websites that are facing a court order injunction requiring every ISP to block access to the sites. Though for now, the order to block the websites at the ISP level hasn’t been enforced yet, according to TorrentFreak.
For now, we will have to wait and see how this plays out, but cord cutters who have used the Downloader app will now need to sideload it on Android and Google TV until this gets worked out.