[Osmf-talk] Question about permission to use OpenStreetMap name

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Thu Aug 22 16:32:20 UTC 2019


Am 22.08.2019 um 17:54 schrieb Christoph Hormann via osmf-talk:
> On Monday 29 July 2019, Steve Jackson via osmf-talk wrote:
>> Is it possible for the OSMF to prohibit an organization from using
>> the name OpenStreetMap, even if it had previously allowed it?
> Frederik already explained the situation - but since trademark stuff is
> complex i wanted to make sure to point out that you cannot probibit
> anyone from using your trademarks in a nominative/referential form,
> that is mentioning the term 'OpenStreetMap' when talking about
> OpenStreetMap.  That is explained on
>
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Trademark_Policy#3.3._Refer_to_OSM_projects_.28nominative.2Freferential_use.29
>
> But of course - as Frederik said - the situation of HOT US Inc. is one
> where it would be at least in principle be possible to prohibit use and
> where permission is required according to the trademark policy.  No
> matter if you think this use of the trademark is desirable or not, not
> having contacted the OSMF about a trademark license for such prominent
> use after the trademark policy has been in place for more than 1.5
> years is a serious leglect on their side IMO.

Just to be very clear, the trademark policy grants licence to use the
marks in many situations outside of referential / nominative use (which
is as has been correctly pointed out is always allowed for word marks).
Before the policy was put in place any such use was unlicensed. This is
the reason why, when we put the policy in place, we provided opportunity
to all to remedy the situation, which unluckily only a small number of
users have taken the opportunity to profit from. 

Use of the trademarks that is -not- allowed by the policy however
continues to be unlicensed, just as it was before the introduction of
the policy.  

While, as Frederik pointed out, we don't have total global registration
coverage, we do have it in most relevant countries and have used it in a
number of cases to get apps taken down and now have some measures in
place to stop further domain name registrations globally.

Everybody should understand that while this is mainly a defensive
strategy to stop the OSM community from being locked out of using the
marks, we will actively stop fraudulent  (as we have done with a number
of apps), and other uses that are deemed to be not covered by the
policy, particularly when used to solicit donations and other financial
transactions.

Simon


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