XBMC changes its name

We are excited to announce that the media center software we’ve all loved for so many years will have a new name, starting with version 14. Instead of XBMC 14, we’d like to introduce you to Kodi 14.

Since 2002, the software known as XBMC has gone through three namings. First, it was called Xbox Media Player. Upon realizing that it did a bit more than your traditional media player, in 2004 the development team elected to rename it Xbox Media Center. A mere 4 years later in 2008, the team once again elected to rename the software to simply XBMC, given that it had moved on from its original roots on the Xbox. Support for the Xbox was dropped shortly thereafter. Today it’s all happening one last time.

Beyond the nonsensical nature of the software’s name, there is a secondary issue. Because “XBMC” was originally based on the name Xbox, the developers of the software (that’s us) have never had any sort of legal control over the use of its name, which has resulted in a whole slew of problems.

In the past few years, we have seen the mass confusion that resulted from this lack of control first hand. Users have been fooled into wasting money buying boxes running hacked and typically broken versions of XBMC. News sites and blogs have gotten caught in confusing language numerous times. Unrelated fan communities, often founded under the best of intentions, have found themselves under attack, simply because no guidelines existed to simplify the process of clearly distinguishing themselves from the XBMC Foundation. What’s more, the Foundation itself and all of its developers have always operated under a potential legal threat from other companies that did have a legal trademark in a similar name. And that legal threat has actually gotten more problematic in recent years.

Because all these problems have been getting more and more pronounced, the Foundation decided to review its options with the help of the legal team at the Software Freedom Law Center. In the end, it was decided renaming the software that we all love so much was the most realistic solution. We’ve done it twice before. We believe this time Kodi will be the name we can keep forever.

Because of your generosity in t-shirt sales, straight-up donations, and word-of-mouth evangelizing, this project has lasted for 12 years and through four different names, and with your help, we all believe it can last twice that long again. So we figured we’d offer a t-shirt to commemorate the name change.

So instead of offering a bit of swag with the new name, we figured we’d offer the exact opposite. This is it. The last XBMC shirt or related piece of merchandise we’re ever going to sell.

XBMC.org: http://xbmc.org/introducing-kodi-14/