Official:Kodi name change FAQ

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Revision as of 08:04, 4 August 2014 by Natethomas (talk | contribs) (added sellout question)
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1 The big one: WHY are you changing the name?!

  • A few reasons, actually. Be sure to read our full announcement post by clicking here.
  • We've actually been considering a name change as a possibility for years, but never got around to it.
  • Finally cut the lingering connections to the old Xbox.
  • In recent years there has been more and more third party use of the XBMC name or derivatives thereof, which has proven confusing for users, and potentially damaging to our reputation.
  • We cannot trademark the "XBMC" name due to concerns from other software related groups that are very close to this name.
  • Even without trademarking anything, we have an agreement with another party to change the name away from "XBMC" before 2015.
  • This is not a new "marketing strategy" or direction for the software. It's really just a name change that we couldn't avoid.

2 The XBMC Foundation is still the same name?

  • The current situation allows us to use the XBMC name for our legal Foundation.
  • The XBMC Foundation is the name of the non-profit organization that controls donations and various business affairs for our software projects.
  • Think of the XBMC Foundation and Kodi in the same respects as the Mozilla Foundation and Firefox, or any other situation where the group name is different from the product name. We're like that, only with less dinosaurs.

3 What about Team XBMC?

  • Team XBMC will now be known as Team Kodi.

4 Are you aware that XXX company also uses the name Kodi?

Probably yes. The trademark search after the name was suggested was extremely rigorous. The only other companies owning a similar trademark are in very unrelated businesses.

5 The name "Kodi" is a bad one, why not switch it to XXX?

The primary reason is that we have already formally submitted our registration for this name and changing that now would be extraordinarily difficult. The secondary reason is that most user suggestions that vaguely relate to what this software does are already either trademarked or extremely similar to existing trademarks. For example, "Helix," which is a popular user suggestion, is currently trademarked and owned by Real Networks.

6 Why wasn't the community involved in selecting a new name?

There were two problems with involving the community in selecting a name. The first, and most important problem, is that an open name selection process was practically guaranteed to result in copycat groups rapidly snatching domain names up before the Foundation had an opportunity to do so. Similarly, copycat groups could easily have applied for a trademark before the Foundation was able to, preventing the use of that name.

The second, somewhat less important problem with this suggestion is purely time based. In order to make a valid name suggestion, a person must have first vetted the name, which includes searching for prior use, searching for available domains, and searching for competing trademarks. In selecting Kodi, the Team actually went through several hundred different names, vetting almost all of them. To open that process up to the community likely would have resulted in several thousand more names, all of which would have required vetting. The process already took roughly 9 months. Opening it up to the community likely would have tripled or quadrupled that timeframe.

7 What does "Kodi" mean?

What does Google mean? What does Ford or Mercedes mean? What does Firefox or Chrome mean? Simply put, they meant nothing until the organization behind them provided the software or hardware that made them who they are. The fact that XBMC theoretically had a meaning was far more an exception to the rule than a requirement. Right now "Kodi" means nothing. It's up to the software and the community to give it true meaning over the coming months and years.

8 Was this name change done so that the organization could somehow sell out or better position itself to communicate with other companies, like Netflix or Hulu?

No, and no, respectively. In both cases, the simple fact of the matter is most companies aren't stupid. No one is going to be fooled by a simple name change. The odds are that the very companies that were willing or unwilling to work with XBMC are going to be the same companies that are willing or unwilling to work with Kodi. Further, none of the companies that have contacted us with the specific intent of working with us on software have ever required a name change or anything even remotely related to a name change.

9 Will I be in trouble if I don't update the software to use the new name?

  • No, not at all. While we hope to you update to take advantage of new features and bug fixes, you as a user are not required to do anything in relation to this change.

10 I can't believe you guys are doing this! How could you rename XBMC?!

  • We are still connected to our old name since it will remain the name of our foundation, the XBMC Foundation.
  • The decision was not an easy one for any of us. Even within our group it is something we've discussed and struggled with, but ultimately decided was the best course of action. Many of us feel a deep attachment to the old XBMC name, and it always feels weird to change something like that when it has been around for a long time. C'est la vie.
  • New name or not, it's still the same great project with the same great users, people, features, and goals. We're still out to make the best media center with the best 10 foot user interface.

11 Can the new Kodi name be used in websites and other communities or products?

  • See here for our new trademark usage policy.

12 How did you come up with the new name?

  • We all got drunk as hell and then spun around as fast as we could. When everyone fell on the ground we had spelled out "Kodi". Then a great heavenly light shown through the clouds at us, lighting the name.
  • We considered a TON of names. We had a number of requirements for the new name, such as being reasonably pronounceable in various languages and not be a mouth full to say, not be used as a trademark for someone else's media-related product, be easy to remember, etc. The group came up with a list of names and had our lawyer go over them. We then got back a smaller list that had been checked for various legal issues, and then we voted on the final name.
  • "KODI" can be spelled using playback control symbols, although our curent logo does not do this. It was one of the ideas that was being tossed around, and a number of words that could be spelled that way were generated. While we did not go with the playback symbol idea, we liked the name in general, and it quickly became one of our top picks that was later sent off to the lawyer. See this forum post for a more in depth explanation.
  • The letters "KODI" do not stand for anything, nor does the name have any specific meaning, but one of the ideas was to work in the word "code" in there.