[OSM-talk] Draft Trademark Policy

Jochen Topf jochen at remote.org
Sun Aug 6 17:37:43 UTC 2017

On Sun, Aug 06, 2017 at 03:55:04PM +0200, Simon Poole wrote:
> > I suggested it only be allowed if: (i) [THING] is a noun-like word which
> > refers to something that is mapped in OSM. (ii) You are making a map of
> > that subset of OSM. It might be a good idea to limit it to community
> > made, open, maps, or that it must not be massively commerical, and must
> > not try to immitate OSM (So no "OpenRoadMap")
> I've already given the examples that illustrate why allowing it in
> general is a bad idea, and for existing such projects in OSM space we've
> said that they would be grandfathered (with a couple of restrictions
> that guarantee that the projects remain OSM centric). As a tendency I
> would rather prefer not to add more worms to the can going forward, but
> I could imagine that we simply have a regime in which the OSMF registers
> and holds the domains (something that we've done in a couple of cases in
> the past).

I don't understand why the "OpenSomethingMap" issue has you so spooked.
I don't think anybody but you thinks something like "OpenWeatherMap" is
necessarily related to OpenStreetMap in any way. Why wood you? We all know
what a "weather map" is, so this is an "Open" one, which doesn't mean
much these days. The biggest problem we had with OpenSeaMap was always
not that they were somehow leaching from the great name we have, but
that they presented themselves as this great project when all they are
is a thin layer on top of OSM. They always downplayed their relationship
to OSM instead of using it to build their own reputation by piggybacking
on ours. I had to explain to many people that, no, they are just this
little offshoot of OSM. Albeit with better marketing.

Anyway, this is all moot, because nobody believes that the OSMF would
actually sue anybody, let alone a small helpless hobby project, to get
hold of their domain or force them to sign some agreement. Especially
not when all they are doing is using a name that a judge might or might
not see as similar enough to the OpenStreetMap trademark.

I am sure you have the best intentions of defending OSM against the big
bad conglomerates, but I think the best defense is having a large and
open community and eco-system, one where you don't have to ask for
permission before you contribute.

Jochen Topf  jochen at remote.org  https://www.jochentopf.com/  +49-351-31778688

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