Official:Trademark Policy

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


1 Referenced Pages and Further Reading


2 Introduction

Kodi (formerly known as XBMC) is open source media centre software, whose code is freely available for anyone to download, inspect, compile and fork. Because of this, proper usage of our brand name and trademarks are essential to inform users whether or not the product or service that they have or are using is recognised by and has the approval of the XBMC Foundation.

This document and its accompanying pages outline how our trademarks may and may not be used, and when approval for usage must be sought from the Foundation board. Usage of XBMC Foundation trademarks must only be done in accordance with this policy. A non-exhaustive list of the trademarks covered by this policy can be found here.

The overall aims of this policy are to:

  • make it clear and unambiguous whether a given product or service is provided by, supported by and/or approved by the XBMC Foundation.
  • ensure that any usage of XBMC Foundation marks do not cause confusion or mislead the end user.
  • maintaining our XBMC Foundation marks as a reliable indicator of source, quality and security of the Kodi brand and codebase.
  • permit and encourage our wider community, including developers, software distributors and others who collaborate with us, to promote and discuss Kodi and to accurately describe their affiliation to us.

As a Free and Open Source Software project, Kodi and the XBMC Foundation balances two separate requirements, the desire for widespread dissemination and usage with protection of our trademark rights. Whilst it is important to allow widespread usage of the products, it must be ensured that XBMC Foundation trademarks remain reliable the indicators of quality and source that users have come to expect.

Several unauthorized uses of our products and trademarks by bad actors in several jurisdictions have been observed and successful action has been taken. The XBMC Foundation will continue to enforce our rights with our limited resources. The policies on trademarks have always been clear and do not allow for any usage beyond what is clearly defined under the terms provided.


3 General Trademark Guidelines

3.1 Overall Guidelines

  • Underlying this policy are the general laws and definitions of trademarks. Above all else, if there is any doubt or requirement for clarification, if you wish to report a trademark being abused or misused, or if you wish to discuss your usage case with us then please email us at [email protected] .
  • A list of individuals or groups who have been granted approval to use XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks and logos is maintained here.
  • XBMC Foundation marks must only be used in a non-confusing, unambiguous, open, honest and truthful manner.
  • A disclaimer or attribution notice for material from copyright holders (XBMC Foundation and any third parties) must also be included in any derived works.
  • The XBMC Foundation reserves the right to modify or update this policy at any future date without notice. As the policy may be updated periodically, before making use of XBMC Foundation trademarks, please review the current policy available on our wiki pages.


3.2 What Is Allowed

Without requiring and receiving specific permission from the XBMC Foundation board, you may use Kodi trademarks, wordmarks or logos in the following ways:

  • to honestly and openly refer to and/or link to our applications, services or other official publicly established presences hosted on our official servers or maintained by Team Kodi elsewhere.
  • offer direct links to our website to download our products from our official host servers and their mirrors.
  • for marketing or other publicity material relating to the XBMC Foundation or its products for promotion of the brand.
  • to produce unofficial t-shirts, desktop wallpapers, baseball caps and other merchandise solely for personal "fan" use and not for commercial or retail distribution or sale.


3.3 What Is NOT Allowed

You may not use Kodi trademarks, wordmarks or logos:

  • in advertising, web pages or other media to imply or claim approval, association, sponsorship, partnership or endorsement from Team Kodi in cases where no such agreement formally exists.
  • as part of another brand, business, application, domain or service name where such use may cause confusion to end users between the 3rd party entity and the official Kodi one.
  • in a defamatory, disparaging, derogatory fashion, or in any way to undermine or damage the trust, quality, reputation and the general good name of the Kodi brand.
  • in a manner that causes confusion to the end user as to whom they are dealing with, where the software, product or service they are dealing with is coming from and who produced, supports or provides it.
  • in association with any product, service or application which is illegal, immoral or is against the ethical stance of Team Kodi and violates any of our related policies (e.g. our piracy policy).
  • in any altered, edited or derived form from our original items.
  • as part of any commercial product for retail sale, promotion or distribution, regardless of whether reimbursement or profit is made or not.


3.4 What You Need Permission To Do

For any circumstance not explicitly covered above, or if there is any doubt or ambiguity, permission to use the Kodi trademarks, wordmarks or logos must be obtained from the XBMC Foundation.


4 Distribution of Kodi Software

The requirements for providing and distribution software based on the Kodi codebase is detailed in our Distribution Policy.


5 Third Party Addons and Repos

5.1 What is NOT Allowed

  • No third party addon or repo not hosted in our official repo may use wordmarks such as "Kodi" or "XBMC" in its name.
  • The usage of any XBMC Foundation trademark, wordmark or logo must not imply that the addon, repo or software is an official XBMC Foundation product or that any relationship with or endorsement/approval by Team Kodi exists in cases where none truthfully does.
  • Where the addon or repo relates to other 3rd party trademarked names, sources products or services, the name or user-visible information for the addon must not claim or imply any official relationship, endorsement and/or approval exists between the author or the XBMC Foundation and the trademark owner unless such official agreement is proven to currently be in place.


6 Third Party Sites and Support Services

6.1 General Guidelines

Any support service for XBMC Foundation products that wishes to use our trademarks, wordmarks or logos must also prominently make the following statements on their website and promotional materials:

  • The XBMC Foundation product is available for free from our official website, and to provide a link to our download page.
  • The purchase, download, subscription or acquisition of your service is a separate transaction from the downloading of the XBMC Foundation, and is not linked to it or required for such a download.
  • Your service is not officially affiliated with, endorsed by nor representative of the XBMC Foundation.
  • The usage of XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks and logos on websites and other promotional media must be clear, unambiguous and not misleading or confusing.


6.2 What Is Allowed

  • XBMC Foundation marks may be used in marketing and other publicity materials related to XBMC Foundation or the relevant XBMC Foundation product to promote our brand.
  • This includes advertising stating that a person or organization is shipping XBMC Foundation products.
  • Any such use of a XBMC Foundation trademark however is subject to the overarching requirement that its use be non-confusing and is truthful and honest.


6.3 What is NOT Allowed

  • Software applications designed to reconfigure a pre-existing Kodi installation or install any addons, repos or builds into such may not use any XBMC Foundation trademark, wordmark or logo.
  • Usage of XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks or logos to falsely imply that a product, service or website is officially produced, maintained, supported, endorsed or approved by the XBMC Foundation, or that any partnership or relationship between the XBMC Foundation and the 3rd party is not permitted.
  • Third party websites must not copy the appearance, style or general look and feel of any XBMC Foundation website where this may cause confusion for users as to whom they are dealing with.
  • Support services using our trademarks, wordmarks or logos may not tie access to or download of XBMC Foundation products to the purchase of the service.


6.4 What You Need Permission To Do

For any circumstance not explicitly covered above, or if there is any doubt or ambiguity, permission to use the Kodi trademarks, wordmarks or logos must be obtained from the XBMC Foundation.


7 How to use our Trademarks

Although many uses of the XBMC Foundation Marks are governed by more specific rules, the following basic guidelines apply:

  • Proper Form - XBMC Foundation's trademarks must be used in their exact form -- neither abbreviated nor combined with any other word or words (e.g., "Kodi" rather than "KMC" or "KEC").
  • Accompanying Symbol - The first or most prominent mention of a XBMC Foundation trademark must 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 must 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 must 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 any XBMC Foundation website to prevent any visitor confusion 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:


8 Maintenance and Revocation of Approval

Any change of circumstance to the usage of XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks or logos which would violate this policy must be avoided. In such cases the XBMC Foundation reserve the right to revoke any and all previous approval to use the properties and where applicable require products to be rebranded.

If such a case occur, at its discretion the XBMC Foundation board will officially request resolution of the violation. If this is not completed within a suitable period of time (by default a 30 day period) then approval for usage may be revoked and the marks and logos can no longer be used.


9 How to Ask Questions and Report Abuses

If there be any questions concerning the usage of XBMC Foundation trademarks, wordmarks or logos, please email us at [email protected] and we will endeavour to answer your questions and to work with you to help resolve them and to allow fair and proper usage of our marks. We have also produced our Trademark Policy FAQ and Examples document which may offer guidance. But if in doubt, please ask.


If you have concerns that our trademarks, wordmarks, logos or brand are being incorrectly used or abused by a 3rd party, please also notify us via the above contact email address including links and as much information and detail as possible. We take protection of our marks seriously, and will endeavour to investigate the claim and take action where appropriate.