iStock, Kodi

Phoenix, one of Kodi's oldest and most popular add-ons, has shut down, allegedly over fears surrounding a recent copyright infringement lawsuit.

Known for its streaming links for TV channels, movies and sports, Phoenix has become the latest victim of an ongoing legal crackdown on both piracy friendly add-ons that abuse the open-source Kodi software and the retail of "fully loaded Kodi boxes".

The free add-on's developer Cosmix announced its closure and issued a cryptic statement and thanked users for their support, stating in a TVAddons forum post: "In light of current events we have decided to close down Phoenix."

"This is not something that was easy for us to do," he continued. "We have all formed a bond that cannot be broken as a team and have a HUGE support base that we are thankful of."

Phoenix joins a list of an estimated 23 Kodi add-ons that have potentially been shut down in recent weeks, according to a running tally on KodiGeeks. It is thought that a related lawsuit filed by US broadcast company Dish Network has sparked the mass wave of closures.

The lawsuit in question directly targeted Zem TV, which has since been shuttered by its developers, and TVAddons - an unofficial library of Kodi software add-ons. Dish Network accused Zem TV of copyright infringement of on-demand and livestream services and demanded $150,000 in damages, reports TorrentFreak.

It has been speculated that the threat of similar lawsuits is the driving force behind the mass exodus of streaming add-ons for XBMC Foundation's Kodi software. The move will likely have a direct knock on effect for the Kodi craze that has recently swept the UK.

The shuttering of Phoenix could also be a huge blow to independent high street retailers and online resellers who have relied on its reputation and branding to sell TV streaming devices, such as Amazon's Fire Stick, pre-loaded with Kodi and the Phoenix add-on.

With both major online retailers and the EU courts all clamping down on pre-configured IPTV boxes, and Kodi itself considering ways to curb its inherent piracy problem, the end of easy and free streaming of premium media could be nigh.