[OSM-talk] Draft Trademark Policy

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Aug 4 17:28:27 UTC 2017

On 04.08.2017 17:59, Christoph Hormann wrote:
> 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.

Would have (the original) OAM project chosen OpenAerialMap if it wasn't
closely modelling itself on OSM at the time and in fact was intended as
a complimentary project building on  OSMs beginning popularity? No,
naturally not.. So, yes we have every moral and ethical right to limit
the use of a name derived from our marks and intentionally building on
the already well known name.

Matter of fact OAM is a good example of how a domainname can change
hands and end up with somebody completely different, exactly what we
don't want to happen.

> * 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.

Are we interested in companies using names that can be easily confused
(that is the criteria) with OSM for non-OpenStreetMap purposes? I don't
think so.

> 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.
You must be joking, there is no proposed strict policy, just a very
lenient one.


More information about the talk mailing list