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1 References

2 Introduction

This document is a companion to our main trademark policy.

Its aim is to informally answer some of the more common questions that may arise, and to give some case study examples to highlight and clarify the various points relating to our trademarks. But as always, if things are unclear or questions remain, please contact us at [email protected] and we'll endeavour to help.

3 General Key Points

  • Our code is freely available for use but our trademarks and brand name are not.
  • Any proposed usage of the Kodi brand marks must be clear and not misleading to customers in relation to who is offering products, support, services or any other resource. We do not want any public confusion caused.
  • We aim to be as inclusive and encouraging to the Kodi community and to open source developers as possible.
  • Any usage must not imply partnership, representation, endorsement or affiliation with the XBMC Foundation or the Kodi brand without specific written agreement and permission from the Foundation board.
  • The Kodi brand marks may only be used for marketing and other publicity materials relating to the XBMC Foundation and its direct products.
  • The use of modified or altered versions of our brand marks is not allowed without prior agreement and approval from the Foundation board.
  • Redistribution of unmodified Kodi binaries (including any installer) obtained directly from our download page is acceptable, as long as no fee is charged nor any tie to a subscription, ongoing service or collection of personal information is made.
  • The preferred method of redistribution is by linking to the download section of our main website.
  • We do not sell hardware boxes and we do not support or condone piracy. Use of our trademarks to imply either is not acceptable.
  • No Kodi brand mark may be used in association with media piracy or any other illegal activity.
  • You must receive explicit written permission from the XBMC Foundation to use our marks in any way not described as acceptable in the Guidelines.
  • Use is subject to your agreement to be legally bound by these Guidelines, including the terms of our trademark license provided.

4 Common questions and their answers

4.1 What are the XBMC Foundation Trademarks and Logos?

We have a list of our claimed 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").

4.2 Can I distribute any of the XBMC Foundation software from my website, by CD, or to my friends, employees or students?

If you are redistributing unaltered reference official stable binaries downloaded from, no further permissions are required from us.

We request that you distribute the latest stable version (and of course, we believe that it's in your best interest to do so as well). Please also ensure that you comply with all of the requirements of the applicable open source license when distributing binaries and/or code.

If you want to distribute one of our products and this answer does not apply to you, please contact us with a full description of your requirements and usage case.

4.3 Can I download one copy and install it on several machines in my company/school/university?

Yes. Our products are Free software, both as in speech and as in beer, and there are no fees or notification requirements.

If you plan to reconfigure it and then sell the machines, we do have a policy about that.

4.4 Can I use the Kodi name in the title of my product, application or domain?

We appreciate the desire of developers to associate their products and applications with our software. To ensure that you are able to promote your integration without creating confusion about whether or not it is a XBMC Foundation product, please use the following naming guidelines for your product and/or domain:

You may:

  • Name your website, product, or application with something unique, that satisfies the other Guidelines.
  • Use language on your site explaining that your application “Works with Kodi”.
  • Use "for Kodi" (or other marks) following the name of your application, provided that the name of your application is unique.

You may not:

  • Use our marks or derivatives thereof in the name of your application
  • Use “for Kodi” (or other marks) following the name of your application if the name of your application is not unique. For example, “Remote :* :* Control, Client, Player etc. are descriptive terms, and are not considered unique.
  • Register a domain containing one of our marks or misspellings thereof.
  • Apply for a trademark with a name including any of our marks.

These above are intended as non-exhaustive examples for the usage of the policy.

4.5 Can I use XBMC Foundation marks in my advertising and marketing campaign?

You may:

  • Use any of the XBMC Foundation brand logos or application icons as a link to a XBMC Foundation related service, in a manner that satisfies the other Guidelines.
  • Use any of the XBMC Foundation brand logos or application icons to show that your product is compatible with our products.

You may not:

  • Use the XBMC Foundation marks in a way that might imply a XBMC Foundation partnership with, or endorsement of, your product or business.
  • Distort or alter the XBMC Foundation marks in any way.
  • Use the marks in a way that confuses any of the XBMC Foundation brands with your brand or any other brand.
  • Use XBMC Foundation slogans or copyrighted works in a manner that would suggest a relationship or commonality with XBMC Foundation.
  • Use any XBMC Foundation mark in connection with any illegal activity.

4.6 Can I put a Kodi banners on my website? Can I link to you?

Yes you can. Just be sure to follow the Visual Identity Guidelines, Trademark Policy or any other restrictions mentioned on this page.

4.7 Can I make a t-shirt/desktop wallpaper/baseball cap with the logo on?

You can if it's just for you, or if it's for others and no money or other consideration changes hands.

If it's for a commercial enterprise or you intend to charge a fee or other reimbursement for the item, then that is not allowed without prior permission.

4.8 Can I modify your logos and distribute the result?

No, you cannot. The logos are trademarked, and so if the result is confusingly similar to the original, or used in a confusing manner, it's a violation of trademark law.

4.9 Can I use your marks when I write a review piece about Kodi?

You may use the marks:

  • If the title of your work clearly states that it is about Kodi (or other marks), and not written or endorsed by the XBMC Foundation. For example, "Guide to Improving ‘X’ with Kodi" is appropriate, whereas "The Kodi Guide to ‘X’" is not.
  • Where the Kodi mark is used as an adjective or noun. It is not acceptable to be used as a verb, or in the plural or possessive form.
  • When using "Kodi" as the name of the Kodi platform, use the generic term after the mark: "the Kodi platform."

You may not use the marks:

  • Use a confusing book title which might imply your book is endorsed or written by us.
  • Use our logo on your cover or in your title. This might be confusing and imply that the book is an official Kodi book.

4.10 Doesn't having trademark restrictions contravene the principles of free software?

No. Many free software licenses explicitly exclude rights to trademarks, and so trademark restrictions on otherwise free software is accepted by the community. We are using our trademarks as a mark of quality to protect customers - we think this is very much within the principles of free software.

5 Guidance Examples

5.1 Example 1

Acceptable - I want to include Kodi without pre-configuration as part of the standard OS image used on all my company laptops. The users will then configure it themselves to their own requirements.

Not Acceptable - I want to pre-install Kodi onto a batch of generic boxes, set them up including popular addons relevant to the target market and sell them.

Explanation - We do not allow unapproved distribution of pre-configured or modified Kodi installations that directly allow access to media sources, even if the modifications are Kodi settings or involve addons that are sourced from the official repo.

5.2 Example 2

Acceptable - I want to distribute Kodi and include an addon to simplify the set-up of networking, shares and other OS level functionality.

Not Acceptable - I want to distribute a fork of Kodi with 3rd party sources enabled by default, without changing anything else.

Explanation - Any configuration add-on should only be for the underlying OS features (beneath and outside of Kodi), and not for modifying Kodi settings themselves. The changing of default settings can easily confuse users as to who is delivering addons and services that they are installing and what source they are using to obtain them. As we do not know who is maintaining such external sources and what their content may be, this is explicitly forbidden and against our policy.

An add-on for manipulating network connections, Bluetooth settings and supporting server-type features like Bonjour, Samba, NFS etc would be acceptable. An add-on which presets sources within Kodi or enabled 3rd party sources by default would not.

5.3 Example 3

Acceptable - I want to fork Kodi and add a new feature/fix. This version will then be distributed for testing purposes, and the modification submitted upstream to the official repo for possible PR inclusion into the core code.

Not Acceptable - I want to fork Kodi and add a new feature/fix and then release that fork under the Kodi brand name. This feature/fix will only be included in this version and will not be submitted upstream via PR to the official Kodi repo.

Explanation - We obviously do not want fragmentation to occur, and it is in the open source culture on which Kodi is founded that changes and fixes should be shared upstream with the official maintainers of the code. We aim to provide a cross-platform player with as much of a common feature set as possible.

5.4 Example 4

Not acceptable - I want to fork Kodi and revert or change a fundamental behaviour of the reference Kodi version.

Explanation - Again we do not want fragmentation of the code base, nor can we properly support Kodi if there are altered variants available which work in unexpected ways compared to our own version. If we did not make the changes and are unaware of them, we cannot properly support the code in relation to the effects and repercussions of those changes. This can of course also lead to the introduction of issues and resulting negative criticism about which we are entirely innocent.

In case of any question not covered by the reference documents above, please contact the Foundation board via our contact email address - [email protected] .