[OSM-talk] Draft Trademark Policy

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Aug 4 14:37:23 UTC 2017



Am 04.08.2017 um 15:12 schrieb Jochen Topf:
> On Thu, Aug 03, 2017 at 11:07:44PM +0200, Simon Poole wrote:
>> The LWG would like to start a period of public review and consultation
>> on our draft trademark policy, that we intend to bring forward to the
>> OSMF board for adoption as a formal policy, please see the text here:
>>
>>
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Trademark_Policy#OpenStreetMap_Trademark_Policy
> This is a very well-written document and the will to create a fair
> policy is clearly visible. But it immediately opens a whole slew of
> questions for me, many of them concerning my own projects.

Naturally we realize that parts of this policy are actually trying to
put worms back in to the can and that liberal amounts of grandfathering
will be needed to achieve that.

>
> * Section 2.1 forbids anything called something like "OpenThingMap".
>   This form of name is very popular, there are numerous existing
>   examples (OpenPOIMap, OpenTopoMap, OpenSeaMap, ...) Do all of these
>   have to change their names?
Yes and this is one of the big sore points, but we are not asking most
of them to change there name, just to get licensed/permission in some
form. To show why: there used to be an OSM based project called
OpenWeatherMap, somewhere along the road they sold out, abandoned use of
the name or whatever, in any case OpenWeatherMap is now a fully
commercial project that doesn't have anything to do at all with OSM. We
definitely want to stop the use of closeness to the OSM marks  as a
stepping stone to get rid of OSM when the undertaking is popular.

> * I have a written an open source software called "OSMCoastline" (among
>   many others), this clearly contains the "OSM" abbreviation. The use
>   of this software is very specific to OSM data. It doesn't make sense
>   for this software not to have OSM in its name really so much is it
>   tied to the OSM data. Can it keep this name? There is no mentioning
>   of software in the policy at all.
We haven't stated anything explicit, but you - can always simply ask for
permission and we may add a similar clause as we have for remixed logos .

> * I am running the website openstreetmapdata.com where people can download
> ....

As said, you simply need to ask for permission, we already have a
grandfathering policy for older domains were we essentially guarantee
that we will grant the permission, there is no reason we will not
grandfather/find a solution for more recent registrations we might
simply be more picky, that mainly because we believe there are some
domain names in circulation that should not be.

Naturally this is a lot of pain and work and it would have all been a
lot easier 10 years ago, but naturally anybody using such a name was
doing so at their own risk the whole time.

> If such a policy is introduced, I would hope that the OSMF provides some
> proactive guidance to the many many people already doing good things
> based on OSM and help them get into compliance. I fear many people will
> rather stop offering their services instead of understanding the legal
> issues involved. This is especially important, because - from my limited
> understanding of trademark law - it is necessary to actually defend your
> trademarks if you want to keep them. So unlike the data license
> violations which the OSMF can ignore as much as it wants to without
> limiting what they can do in the future, the OSMF has to actually
> defend its trademark. So if the OSMF says that, say "OpenSeaMap" is not
> according to our policy, it HAS to fight it (even if nobody really minds
> them using this name) to make this stick. So just ignoring some
> violations and fighting others isn't possible. Which opens the whole
> question of whether the OSMF is organizationally and financially in a
> position to actually do this fighting? If not, why have this policy?
>
> Jochen

We believe that it is in the best interest of the whole OSM community if
we exert control over our marks as outlined in the policy, to not do so
increases the likelihood of misuse as I've outlined and other issues
(see the  mappy hour case in the US). Because of that we hope that we
will see a lot of  use of the grandfathering scheme (the number are not
really that large).

Simon


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