[OSM-talk] Draft Trademark Policy

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Fri Aug 4 15:59:33 UTC 2017

On Friday 04 August 2017, Simon Poole wrote:
> [...]
> 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.

Note the idea to ask for permission - apart from being inconvenient - 
comes with two significant problems:

* doing so removes the option to use a name without permission.  This in 
particular applies for the OpenXMap things.  When using such a name in 
a case where it makes sense and where it has nothing to do with OSM 
(OpenAerialMap comes to mind) the idea that the OSMF would have the 
right to deny such use is fairly far fetched and with thin legal basis.  
So if i really want to use such a name it possibly makes more sense not 
to ask.
* permission could be subject to restriction (like: you may use this 
name for your map as long as the map is partly/primarily based on OSM 
data).  For a business any such restriction would represent a 
significant constraint that would speak against asking for permission 
and using such a name.

I understand your reasons why you think the OSMF needs to have a strict 
policy here but it should be very clear that this would inevitably lead 
to the names "OpenStreetMap" and "OSM" and similar/composite terms 
being used much less even in fairly strictly OSM related projects that 
the OSMF would probably have no problem with using the name.

Christoph Hormann

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