COLOURFULLY CONTROVERSIAL SOFTWARE THING Kodi is fighting trademark battles against a number of other software firms that have registered things based on its name and are damaging its reputation.
Kodi has a bad reputation already thanks to its name being associated with piracy. It does not like the association and can get rather uppity about it, and it certainly does not appreciate people trolling on its name so that they can shill pro-piracy wares.
"Many users are aware of the tug of war being played between piracy add-on writers on one side and legitimate services on the other that are using Kodi as a platform," said the firm in a statement.
"Far fewer are aware of the other battle the Kodi project is dealing with on a regular basis. For some reason, when we announced the name Kodi would be replacing the name XBMC back in August of 2014, a number of individuals with what appear to be less than altruistic motives decided to act as trademark trolls. They attempted to register the Kodi name in various countries outside the United States with the goal of earning money off the Kodi name without doing any work beyond sending threatening letters," said the firm.
"They attempted to register the Kodi name in various countries outside the United States with the goal of earning money off the Kodi name without doing any work beyond sending threatening letters," said the firm.
"We are not entirely sure why the name change prompted this behavior. When we went by XBMC, nobody ever did the trademark squatting thing. So when it started happening with the Kodi name, we were caught flatfooted without any real plan for dealing with these trolls or even tracking their actions."
Kodi has been Kodi for quite some time now and calls the troll trouble it's "Hidden Battle", presumably because the piracy one is so in our face. It has already applied lawyers to some outfits and had some successes, but it has also had some trouble.
"There have already been lawsuits involving these trolls, though none so far that we have been a party to. A few trolls, after being contacted by us, agreed to hand back their illegitimate trademark registrations. The ones who agreed tended to be helped along by ongoing piracy-related lawsuits against them," it added.
"At least one trademark troll has so far not agreed to voluntarily release their grasp on their registration of our trademark and is actively blackmailing hardware vendors in an entire country, trying to become as rich as possible off of our backs and the backs of Kodi volunteers everywhere. His name is Geoff Gavora."
As well as naming names the firm wants to raise awareness of this kind of nasty business that might end up costing its customers money.
"For the most part, this battle has been waged in lawyers' offices, rather than on the front page of newspapers, but because the freedom of Kodi hinges on it, it is no less important," it added.
"Right now, there is no call to action. There is nothing most of you need to do, save for reminding people that Kodi is free. We only ask that you be prepared for the future, as we move forward in defending the freedom of this software that we all take for granted. And if you happen to notice someone trademark trolling Kodi in your country, let us know." µ
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