Kodi, the very popular media center, has declared war on people who use their name to promote “pirate addon(s).” Now that the Kodi Team has a trademark in the United States, they plan to enforce it.
People can still make Kodi add-ons and sell boxes with Kodi, but if you sell a box that has an altered version of Kodi that promotes pirating or “free movies and free TV shows,” they will use their trademark to stop you.
Kodi does allow people to make add-ons for their open source program and even allows you to sell boxes with Kodi as long as you do not alter Kodi in any way. If you sell a version of Kodi that has been altered, you have violated their terms of service, and Kodi intendeds to stop it.
Here is a part of the post the Kodi team made on their website.
Our solution to this problem is pretty straightforward. We now own the trademark to Kodi, and we plan to use it to finally battle the mass confusion created by those seeking to profit on unaware users.
This means we will issue trademark takedown notices anywhere we think the likelihood for confusion is high. If you are selling a box on your website designed to trick users into thinking broken add-ons come from us and work perfectly, so you can make a buck, we’re going to do everything we can to stop you. If you are making a video in which you claim to be a Kodi developer or Kodi team member or you are just using the Kodi name while assuring users that some pirate add-on is totally legal and isn’t going to break next week, we will do everything we can to take you down.
If you see somebody selling a box that’s “fully loaded” or comes with the phrase “Free movies and TV with Kodi,” please, ask them to stop. And let us know. It’s OK to sell a vanilla Kodi box. It’s OK to sell a fully loaded box that doesn’t have Kodi installed or fully rebrands Kodi to something else entirely. It is not OK to sell a fully loaded Kodi box.
If you see a Youtuber using the Kodi logo as part of his channel, constantly marketing Kodi as a source of free movies, ask him to stop pretending to be us and dragging our name through the muck. And, of course, let us know. Who knows, maybe the Youtuber has no idea that he or she is causing so many problems and a conversation might solve them.
Kodi is in a tough spot here. The members who make Kodi are volunteers, and they are facing a huge increase in requests for tech support on third-party apps they do not make to the point that it is flooding their forums and email accounts, and developers are looking at leaving the project.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out with many of these developers and more often box manufacturers living outside of the United States. Kodi’s ability to enforce their trademark will be a difficult and long process. Yet if they have the time it could be a successful one.
The real question here is what kind of following will Kodi have if they successfully shut down all the illegal third-party add-ons?
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