XBMC Foundation Trademark Policy
- 1 List of XBMC Foundation Trademarks
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Overall Guidelines for Printed Materials and Web Sites
- 4 Software Distributions
- 5 Linking
- 6 Domain Names
- 7 Services Related to XBMC Foundation Software
- 8 XBMC Foundation Marks and Merchandise
- 9 Things You Can Do—Summary
- 10 Reporting Trademark Abuse
- 11 Questions
1 List of XBMC Foundation Trademarks
You can see a complete list of the XBMC Foundation trademarks. As other trademarks are created or registered, this list will be updated. As used in this policy, "trademarks" means not just the XBMC Foundation's logos, but also the names of its various products and projects, also called word marks, (collectively "XBMC Foundation Marks").
This document outlines the policy of the XBMC Foundation regarding the use of the XBMC Foundation Marks. Any use of any XBMC Foundation trademark must be in accordance with this policy. Any use that does not comply with our trademark policy or does not have written authorization from us is not authorized. Any goodwill generated by the use of any XBMC Foundation Marks inures to the benefit of XBMC Foundation.
XBMC Foundation's Trademark Policy attempts to balance two competing interests: the XBMC Foundation's need to ensure that the XBMC Foundation Marks remain reliable indicators of quality, source, and security; and XBMC Foundation's desire to permit community members, software distributors, and others with whom XBMC Foundation works to discuss XBMC Foundation's products and to accurately describe their affiliation with us. Striking a proper balance is a tricky situation that many organizations—in particular those whose products are distributed electronically—wrestle with every day and we've attempted to balance it here.
Underlying our trademark policy is the general law of trademarks. Trademarks exist to help consumers identify, and organizations publicize, the source of products. Some organizations make better products than others; over time, consumers begin to associate those organizations (and their trademarks) with quality. When such organizations permit others to place their trademarks on goods of lesser quality, they find that consumer trust evaporates quickly. That's the precise situation that the XBMC Foundation seeks to avoid. People's trust in our name and products is crucial to us—especially, when it comes to intangible products like software, trust is all consumers have to decide on which product to choose. We also are the caretakers of the trust our community members have placed in us. We created this Trademark Policy to protect both the public's and our community's trust in the XBMC Foundation Marks.
On an all too frequent basis, we receive reports about websites selling the XBMC Foundation's MEDIACENTER, using the XBMC Foundation Marks to promote other products and services, or using modified versions of the XBMC Foundation Marks. The problem with these activities is that they may be deceptive, harm users, cause consumer confusion, and jeopardize the identity and meaning of the XBMC Foundation Marks. Such cases range from good intentions but improper use of the trademarks (e.g., overenthusiastic fans), to people intentionally trading on the brand for their own benefit and/or to distribute modified versions of the product, to a clear intent to deceive, manipulate and steal from users in a highly organized and syndicated fashion. When we are notified of such activities, or identify problematic activities, we analyze the those situations and treat each case individually based on the intent and severity of the matter.
In creating our trademark policy, we seek to clarify the uses of the XBMC Foundation Marks we consider legitimate and the uses we do not. Although XBMC Foundation's Trademark Policy is composed of a number of specific rules, some contained in companion documents, most reflect the overarching requirement that your use of the XBMC Foundation Marks be non-confusing and non-disparaging. By non-confusing, we mean that people should always know whom they are dealing with, and where the software they are downloading comes from. Websites and software that are not created or produced by XBMC Foundation should not imply, either directly or by omission, that they are. By non-disparaging, we mean that, outside the bounds of fair use, you can't use the XBMC Foundation Marks as vehicles for defaming us or sullying our reputation. These basic requirements can serve as a guide as you work your way through the policy.
Our Trademark Policy begins by outlining some overall guidelines for the use of the XBMC Foundation Marks in printed materials. It then addresses a series of more specific topics, including the use of XBMC Foundation's trademarks on distributions of XBMC Foundation's binaries, linking to XBMC Foundation's website(s), and the use of XBMC Foundation Marks in domain names. At various points, this policy links to other documents containing additional details about our policies.
We also have a trademark policy FAQ as a companion document to this policy.
3 Overall Guidelines for Printed Materials and Web Sites
We encourage the use of the XBMC Foundation Marks in marketing, and other publicity materials related to XBMC Foundation or the relevant XBMC Foundation product. This includes advertising stating that a person or organization is shipping XBMC Foundation products. Of course, any use of a XBMC Foundation trademark is subject to the overarching requirement that its use be non-confusing. Thus, you can't say you're raising money for XBMC Foundation when you're actually raising it for a localization project, say that you're reviewing or distributing the XBMC Foundation MEDIACENTER when you're actually reviewing or distributing a modified version of MEDIACENTER, or use the XBMC Foundation logos on the cover of your book or on your product packaging.
Although many uses of the XBMC Foundation Marks are governed by more specific rules, which appear below, the following basic guidelines apply to almost any use of the XBMC Foundation Marks in printed materials, including marketing, articles and other publicity-related materials, and websites:
- Proper Form - XBMC Foundation's trademarks should be used in their exact form -- neither abbreviated nor combined with any other word or words (e.g., "MEDIACENTER" rather than "EXAMPLE HERE" or "ANOTHER EXAMPLE");
- Accompanying Symbol - The first or most prominent mention of a XBMC Foundation trademark should be accompanied by a symbol indicating whether the mark is a registered trademark ("®") or an unregistered trademark ("™"). See our Trademark List for the correct symbol to use;
- Notice - The following notice should appear somewhere nearby (at least on the same page or on the credits page) the first use of a XBMC Foundation trademark: "[TRADEMARK] is a ["registered", if applicable] trademark of the XBMC Foundation";
- Distinguishable - In at least the first reference, the trademark should be set apart from surrounding text, either by capitalizing it or by italicizing, bolding or underlining it. In addition, your website may not copy the look and feel of the XBMC Foundation website, again, we do not want the visitor to your website to be confused about which company he/she is dealing with.
- Comply with Visual Guidelines - any use of the XBMC Foundation Marks must comply with our Trademark and Logo Usage Policy and our Visual Identity Guidelines at:
4 Software Distributions
4.1 Unaltered Binaries
You may distribute unchanged official binaries (i.e., the installer file available for download for each platform (code + config) and not the program executable) downloaded from OURWEBSITE.ORG to anyone in any way, subject to governing law, without receiving any further permission from XBMC Foundation. If you want to distribute the unchanged official binaries using the XBMC Foundation Marks, you may do so, without receiving any further permission from XBMC Foundation, as long as you comply with this Trademark Policy and you distribute them without charge. However, you must not remove or change any part of the official binary, including the XBMC Foundation Marks. On your website or in other materials, you may truthfully state that the software you are providing is an unmodified version of a XBMC Foundation application, keeping in mind the overall guidelines for the use of XBMC Foundation Marks in printed materials, detailed above. We suggest that, if you choose to provide visitors to your website the opportunity to download XBMC Foundation product, you do so by means of a link to our site, to help ensure faster, more reliable downloads. (See the section on Linking, below.)
If you choose to distribute XBMC Foundation binaries yourself, you should make the latest stable version available (of course, you probably want to do so as well). If you compile XBMC Foundation unmodified source code (including code and config files in the installer) and do not charge for it, you do not need additional permission from XBMC Foundation to use the relevant XBMC Foundation Mark(s) for your compiled version. So that users get the latest code and security releases, we encourage you to always distribute the most current official release. The notification requirements of the GNU General Public License have been met for our binaries, so although it's a good idea to do so, you are not required to ship the source code along with the binaries.
In addition, if you are distributing XBMC Foundation binaries yourself, and wish to use the XBMC Foundation Mark(s), you may not (a) disable, modify or otherwise interfere with any installation mechanism contained in a XBMC Foundation product; (b) use any such installation mechanism to install any plug-ins, themes, extensions, software, or items other than the XBMC Foundation product; or (c) use or provide any program, mechanism or process (other than an installation mechanism contained in the XBMC Foundation product) to install such product. Any use of a meta-installer would require our prior written permission.
If you are using the XBMC Foundation Mark(s) for the unaltered binaries you are distributing, you may not charge for that product. By not charging, we mean the XBMC Foundation product must be without cost and its distribution (whether by download or other media) may not be subject to a fee, or tied to subscribing to or purchasing a service, or the collection of personal information. If you want to sell the product, you may do so, but you must call that product by another name—one unrelated to XBMC Foundation or any of the XBMC Foundation Marks (see the sections on "Modifications" and "Related Software" below). Remember that we do not want the public to be confused.
If you're taking full advantage of the open-source nature of XBMC Foundation's products and making significant functional changes, you may not redistribute the fruits of your labor under any XBMC Foundation trademark, without XBMC Foundation's prior written consent. For example, if the product you've modified is MEDIACENTER, you may not use XBMC Foundation or MEDIACENTER, in whole or in part, in its name. Also, it would be inappropriate for you to say "based on MEDIACENTER". Instead, in the interest of complete accuracy, you could describe your executables as "based on MEDIACENTER technology", or "incorporating MEDIACENTER source code." In addition, you may want to read the discussion on the "Powered by XBMC Foundation" logo.
In addition, if you compile a modified version, as discussed above, you will require XBMC Foundation's prior written permission. If it's not the unmodified installer package from OURWEBSITE.ORG, and you want to use our trademark(s), our review and approval of your modifications is required. You also must change the name of the executable so as to reduce the chance that a user of the modified software will be misled into believing it to be a native XBMC Foundation product.
Again, any modification to the XBMC Foundation product, including adding to, modifying in any way, or deleting content from the files included with an installer, file location changes, added code, modification of any source files including additions and deletions, etc., will require our permission if you want to use the XBMC Foundation Marks. If you have any doubt, just ask us at OUR-TRADEMARK-E-MAIL-ADDRESS.
4.3 Add-ons, Skins and other extensions
At the same time as we seek community involvement in the development of the XBMC Foundation products, we want to protect the reputation of these products as high-quality and lightweight, with simple, usable interfaces. If you want to ship add-ons, skins or other extensions installed by default or as part of the same installation process as the XBMC Foundation products, and you plan on distributing them under any XBMC Foundation Marks, you must first seek approval from us. What we find acceptable will depend on the effect of the add-ons, skins and other extensions on the XBMC Foundation product. To give examples, changing the skin of one product to another, equally high-quality and aesthetically pleasing skin would be considered. A combination of various add-ons with intrusive pop-up boxes, with loud and distracting UI sounds, probably wouldn't be. See our Partners page to find out more about contacting us to discuss your proposed changes.
4.4 Related Software
XBMC Foundation products are designed to be extended, and we recognize that community members writing add-ons and supplemental software need some way to identify the XBMC Foundation product to which their add-on/software pertain. Our main concern about add-ons and related software is that consumers not be confused as to whether they are official (meaning approved by XBMC Foundation) or not. To address that concern, we request that add-ons and supplemental software names not include, in whole or in part, the words "XBMC Foundation", "MEDIACENTER", or "ANOTHER NAME" in a way that suggests a connection between XBMC Foundation and the add-on or software (e.g., "Frobnicator for MEDIACENTER," would be acceptable, but "MEDIACENTER Frobnicator" would not).
We invite you to link to XBMC Foundation's website(s) for the purpose of allowing your visitors to download MEDIACENTER, by using the banners and buttons we provide, subject to the restrictions below.
This use is allowed as long as you:
- Follow the XBMC Foundation Trademark Policy.
- Point the destination URL to the official XBMC Foundation product website . You may not use a XBMC Foundation banner or button to point to your own web site and/or to download a modified version of MEDIACENTER.
- Don't alter any of the XBMC Foundation Marks including our logos.
- Don't do anything that might confuse visitors to your website into mistaking the origin of software being downloaded—whether the software is XBMC Foundation's or yours.
You may customize the buttons in the following ways:
- Modify the background color of the button or banner.
- Localize the text (but not the XBMC Foundation Marks).
- Change the size of the button or banner.
- Remember the XBMC Foundation Marks must not be altered in any way. If your use of these banners or buttons violates our Trademark Policy, your use is unauthorized.
Site Icons (favicons). If you plan to use a XBMC Foundation trademark as a site icon, you need to request permission.
6 Domain Names
If you want to include all or part of a XBMC Foundation trademark in a domain name, you have to receive written permission from XBMC Foundation. People naturally associate domain names with organizations whose names sound similar. Almost any use of a XBMC Foundation trademark in a domain name is likely to confuse consumers, thus running afoul of the overarching requirement that any use of a XBMC Foundation trademark be non-confusing. If you would like to build a XBMC Foundation, MEDIACENTER promotional site for your region, we encourage you to join an existing official localization project.
To receive written permission, please download and follow the directions as outlined in the Domain Name License.
7 Services Related to XBMC Foundation Software
If you offer services related to XBMC Foundation software, you may use XBMC Foundation's word marks in describing and advertising your services relating to a XBMC Foundation product, so long as you don't violate these overall guidelines for the use of XBMC Foundation's trademarks or do anything that might mislead customers into thinking that either your website, service, or product is a XBMC Foundation website, service, or product, or that XBMC Foundation has any direct relationship with your organization. For example, it's OK if your website says, "Media center customization services for MEDIACENTER available here." It's not OK, though, if it says, "MEDIACENTER media center customization services sold here," or "custom MEDIACENTER media centers available here," since the first suggests that XBMC Foundation is related to your business, and the second is confusing as to whom -- you or XBMC Foundation -- performed the customization. In addition, your website may not copy the look and feel of any XBMC Foundation website. Again, we do not want the visitor to your website to be confused with whom she/he is dealing. When in doubt, err on the side of providing more, rather than less, explanation and information.
If you are offering services for XBMC Foundation software (for example, support), you may not tie the download of the XBMC Foundation product with the purchase of your service. The download of the XBMC Foundation product using the XBMC Foundation trademark may not be connected in any way to the purchase of your service. The purchase, download, or acquisition of your services must be a completely separate transaction from the download of the XBMC Foundation product. You must provide a prominent statement that (i) the XBMC Foundation product is available for free and link directly to our site; (ii) the purchase, download, or acquisition of your service is separate from the download of the XBMC Foundation product; and (iii) your service is not affiliated with XBMC Foundation.
8 XBMC Foundation Marks and Merchandise
When it comes to the XBMC Foundation Marks, there are some cool things you can do and some cool things you can't do - at least not without asking XBMC Foundation.
You may make t-shirts, desktop wallpaper, or baseball caps with XBMC Foundation Marks on them, though only for yourself and your friends (meaning people from whom you don't receive anything of value in return). You can't put the XBMC Foundation Mark(s) on anything that you produce commercially (whether or not you make a profit) -- at least not without receiving XBMC Foundation's written permission. XBMC Foundation contracts with third party vendors that provide XBMC Foundation products for sale.
There is one additional broad category of things you can't do with XBMC Foundation's Marks.
- Produce modified versions of them. A modified mark also would raise the possibility of consumer confusion, thus violating XBMC Foundation's trademark rights (remember the overarching requirement that any use of a XBMC Foundation Mark be non-confusing?).
9 Things You Can Do—Summary
To summarize, provided that the use adheres to our trademark policy and visual guidelines, here are some of the things that you can do with the XBMC Foundation Marks that do not require our permission:
- use the XBMC Foundation Marks in marketing, and other publicity materials related to XBMC Foundation or the relevant XBMC Foundation product;
- distribute unchanged XBMC Foundation product(s) (code + config) for each platform downloaded from WEBSITE.ORG as long as you distribute them without charge;
- describe your executables as "based on XBMC Foundation technology", or "incorporating XBMC Foundation source code;"
- link to XBMC Foundation's website(s) by using the banners and buttons we provide to allow your visitors to download MEDIACENTER;
- use XBMC Foundation's word marks in describing and advertising your services or products relating to a XBMC Foundation product, so long as you don't do anything that might mislead customers. For example, it's OK if your website says, "Media center customization services for MEDIACENTER available here;" and
- make t-shirts, desktop wallpaper, or baseball caps though only for yourself and your friends (meaning people from whom you don't receive anything of value in return).
10 Reporting Trademark Abuse
We have a central place for everyone to report any misuse of the XBMC Foundation Marks. All you have to do is fill out the relevant information on the web form. The more information you supply when you file the report, the easier it is for us to evaluate and respond appropriately. Having the support and help of our community makes our work easier and more worthwhile.
We have tried to make our trademark policy as comprehensive as possible. If you're considering a use of a XBMC Foundation trademark that's not covered by the policy, and you're unsure whether that use would run afoul of XBMC Foundation's guidelines, feel free to contact us at TRADEMARK-QUESTIONS-E-MAIL-ADDRESS and ask. Please keep in mind that XBMC Foundation receives lots and lots of similar questions, so please review all available documentation, including the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) before contacting us.