Official:Distribution Policy

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ XBMC Foundation ▶ Trademarks ▶ Distribution Policy

1 Referenced Pages and Further Reading

2 Introduction

There are four main ways that 3rd parties may wish to distribute a product based on the XBMC Foundation master code branch:

  • by redistribution of reference binaries (including their installation packages).
  • by distributing altered binaries (with or without an installer).
  • as part of a packaged distribution (within a dedicated operating system framework).
  • by forking and rebranding the software (either stand-alone or as part of a packaged distribution).

In all cases here, distribution is defined as either via download over the internet from a store or server, by supply on physical media or by distribution (either bundled or pre-installed) with a player device.

For any other routes or requirements (or if there are any questions or clarifications required), please contact the XBMC Foundation board via the [email protected] email address.

The XBMC Foundation reserves the right to modify or update this policy at any future date without notice.

3 General Guidelines

The guidelines below apply to any distribution containing or using XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks or logos.

  • No fee or other remuneration may be charged for the distribution.
  • The distribution may not be tied to the purchase of any other product, subscription or service.
  • The collection and storage of any personal information relating to the distribution is not allowed.
  • Any distribution must maintain the same GPL license and any other applicable open source software licenses as those used for the master branch official distribution.
  • Any relevant local laws and restrictions will apply.

If these guidelines are not followed then the XBMC Foundation reserve the right to deny permission to make use of their trademarks, wordmarks and logos and to mandate that the distribution is rebranded.

4 Redistributing Reference Binaries

Reference binaries are defined as those which are provided by the XBMC Foundation and are freely available for download from its official website and download mirrors. This covers both the Kodi application itself plus its associated installation package.

Redistribution is allowed, including usage of XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks and logos, without requiring further permission from the XBMC Foundation subject to the following guidelines:

  • You may not add to, remove or modify any part of the downloaded package, including the installation process.
  • If you are distributing a compiled version of the master code branch, it should be packaged in accordance with the packaging guidelines below.
  • By default the latest stable release version should be offered. Other versions may be offered in parallel as long as it is explicitly clear which version a given download will supply.

The preferred method of such distribution is via direct linkage back to the official download section of the main XBMC Foundation website and the packages available therein.

5 Distributing Altered Binaries

These are defined as versions of Kodi which has been compiled from a modified fork of the master code branch, but is still using XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks and/or logos.

Such proposals can be split into two general categories - work to achieve a stable distribution on a new and previously unsupported device, platform or operating system and work to add or modify the functionality of the product on an already existing device, platform or operating system.

5.1 New Platform Support

Adding support for new platforms is one of the long-term goals of the XBMC Foundation, and is an endeavour we aim to support as much as possible.

The guidelines below apply:

  • Please contact the XBMC Foundation about your work, as the developers can perhaps give guidance and assistance with it.
  • Once work is complete to a suitably stable point, submission of a PR to XBMC master repo is very desirable.
  • If the work is of a suitable quality (or can be made so through mentoring and assistance) it may be merged into the master code branch.
  • This commonly may also be accompanied by an invitation for the author(s) to join Team Kodi as full members.
  • Any feature of the product which is added, altered, non-functional or removed compared to the existing master branch should be documented in the PR.
  • It is preferred that functionality is kept as uniform across the different supported platform as possible. It is accepted that this is not always possible (or desirable) though and will be reviewed on a case by case basis as part of the PR process.
  • If the distribution is ongoing work, unstable or for testing purposes, it must be ensured that this is clear to end users accessing it.
  • The compiled product should be packaged in accordance with the packaging guidelines below.
  • It must also be clear where support can be obtained, and where bugs, issues or feedback may be communicated to the author(s).

5.2 Distribution for Existing Platforms

The release of modified versions of XBMC Foundation products for existing platforms is generally discouraged as it can lead to confusion between it and the original reference version. The preferred option is to submit the modification upstream to the official XBMC Foundation repo via a PR for consideration of merger into the master branch.

The guidelines below apply:

  • It must be clear and non-confusing to the end user that they are downloading or using a modified version of the original XBMC Foundation product.
  • It must be clear that it is not supplied by, endorsed by or a product of the XBMC Foundation.
  • No modifications may be made which violate any published XBMC Foundation policy.
  • No modifications may be made which remove informed user choice and/or suppresses any warning or notification to the user by altering a setting or option compared to the reference XBMC Foundation product default configuration.
  • No media sources or other content may be pre-configured or installed within the product.

6 Packaged Distributions

Packaged distributions are defined as "all in one" distributions containing an operating system framework (most commonly based on a version of Linux) plus a pre-installed version of the XBMC Foundation product which makes use of XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks and logos.

The guidelines below apply:

  • The guidance for "Distribution for Existing Platforms" applies as a baseline, alongside the general guidelines.
  • Support from the XBMC Foundation is limited to the embedded Foundation product, and excludes the operating system, any other underlying mechanisms, drivers or their influence on correct operation of the XBMC Foundation product.

7 Rebranded Distributions

Rebranded distributions may be either stand-alone or packaged distributions, but do not make use of any XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks or logos in their user-facing interface, packaging or distribution media.

The following guidelines apply in such cases:

  • The usage of the term "Powered by Kodi" to indicate the basis of the product on the XBMC Foundation product is acceptable, as long as no claim is to be made for approval, endorsement or partnership with the XBMC Foundation.
  • It is recommended that an alternative skin to the standard XBMC Foundation one is used to fully differentiate the product and minimise any risk of confusion.
  • It is also recommended that a distinct backend infrastructure is used for downloads and for the supply of addons and repos to give the distribution full control and ownership. It is acceptable for this to be kept synchronised with the XBMC Foundation backend via rsync.
  • Extended or altered functionality may be distributed as desired, The upstreaming of any such improvements to the XBMC Foundation master branch via the normal PR mechanism would be appreciated.

8 Inclusion of Addons and Repos

Pre-installation or inclusion of addons and repos within XBMC Foundation product distributions may only be done under the following guidelines if XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks and logos are to be used (non-rebranded distributions).

  • Any pre-installed repo must be entirely under the control and responsibility of the distributor, with the sole exception of the official XBMC Foundation repo.
  • No addon or repo which violates the XBMC Foundation piracy policy may be distributed, whether pre-installed or as part of the distribution package. This includes any addon or repo which is a fork of or otherwise derived from anything on the XBMC Foundation banned addons list.
  • No addon which provides direct access to remote media sources of any sort may be pre-installed.
  • No material subject to copyright may be pre-installed or distributed without consent and approval being obtained from the copyright holder(s) of such material.
  • No mechanism to automatically post-install any addon or repo following the product installation may be included or triggered as part of the downloaded package or installation process.

9 Packaging Guidelines