Kodi claims ‘trademark trolls’ are trying to stop it from being free

Nowadays, whenever there’s a news story about Kodi, it’s fairly safe to assume that it’s about copyright infringement. But now Kodi has revealed that it is facing a similar battle of its own. 

According to a blog posted posted on the Kodi website, “trademark trolls” are trying to capitalize on the Kodi name by illegitimately claiming the trademark for Kodi in countries outside of the US. 

Apparently this all started happening when Kodi changed its name from XBMC in August 2014, and given that no one had ever tried to do it with the previous name, Kodi (self-admittedly) was “caught flatfooted without any real plan for dealing with these trolls or even tracking their actions.”

Named and shamed

Now Kodi seems to have a plan, that involves directly name-checking these ‘trolls’. While the blog post references a number of different people trying to make money off the Kodi name, there is only one that is ‘outed’ by name: Geoff Gavora.

Geoff Gavora is the current trademark owner for the Kodi name in Canada, and has been using this to actively remove competing companies' Kodi boxes from Amazon. So if you buy your box from amazon.ca, chances are you’re helping to line Gavora’s pockets.

According to its blog post, Gavora had previously sent “several letters to the Foundation over the years, expressing how important XBMC and Kodi were to him and his sales…We had hoped, given the positive nature of his past emails, that perhaps he was doing this for the benefit of the Foundation. We learned, unfortunately, that this was not the case.”

At present there are no court-cases active in which Kodi is trying to take down these trolls, but it does say “while our goal has always been to avoid going to the court to ensure Kodi remains free in countries where trolls are attempting to get rich off of the Kodi name, we will not back down from protecting the free, open source nature of our software. If that time comes for legal action, we hope to have the community's support.”

From: Kodi

Via: Engadget

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.