Simon Poole | 1 Feb 16:22 2013

Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Dear OSM Contributors

As you may have noticed we have removed all links displaying the Google geocoding service from the wiki. These changes are a consequence of a legal issue with respect to the trademark GEOCODE owned by Geocode, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia, USA. There are likely to be further related edits and changes both on the wiki and the help site. Please do not add such removed links back or undo any such edits. If you find use of the term “geocode” on our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for example "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.


Both the use of the term “geocode” and the use of the Google API are merely incidental to us. Doing without them does not in any way impact the core goals or operation of OSM.



Please address any questions on the matter to me by e-mail and not to the list.

Thank you

Simon
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Jochen Topf | 1 Feb 16:48 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Well, geocoding and search are different things.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocoding

I don't think use of the English language is "merely incidental" to what we are
doing here. Can you explain why we suddenly can't use words from the English
language any more?

And no, I don't think this is something for private emails.

Jochen

On Fri, Feb 01, 2013 at 04:22:24PM +0100, Simon Poole wrote:
> Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2013 16:22:24 +0100
> From: Simon Poole <simon <at> osmfoundation.org>
> To: openstreetmap <talk <at> openstreetmap.org>
> Subject: [OSM-talk] Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue
> 
> Dear OSM Contributors
> 
> As you may have noticed we have removed all links displaying the Google
> geocoding service from the wiki. These changes are a consequence of a
> legal issue with respect to the trademark GEOCODE owned by Geocode, Inc.
> of Alexandria, Virginia, USA. There are likely to be further related
> edits and changes both on the wiki and the help site. Please do not add
> such removed links back or undo any such edits. If you find use of the
> term "geocode" on our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic
> term (for example "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.
> 
> Both the use of the term "geocode" and the use of the Google API are
> merely incidental to us. Doing without them does not in any way impact
> the core goals or operation of OSM.
> 
> Please address any questions on the matter to me by e-mail and not to
> the list.
> 
> Thank you
> 
> Simon

> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk <at> openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk

--

-- 
Jochen Topf  jochen <at> remote.org  http://www.remote.org/jochen/  +49-721-388298
Andreas Labres | 1 Feb 17:06 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 01.02.13 16:48, Jochen Topf wrote:
> I don't think use of the English language is "merely incidental" to what we are
> doing here. Can you explain why we suddenly can't use words from the English
> language any more? ... And no, I don't think this is something for private emails.

100% agreed.

Simon, please be more elaborative on what's going on here. Without knowing US
trademark policies by heart, but "to geocode" is a generic term that cannot be
used as a trademark. One can of course use this term with regard to, e.g., the
process of transferring a postal address into geographic coordinates.

/al
Cartinus | 1 Feb 17:16 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Plugging "google geocode trademark issue" and several variations of it
in three different search engines didn't give any meaningful results.

So unless you can explain to us why a foundation in the UK with servers
in the UK should be bothered by a trademark conflict between two other
parties on the other side of the Atlantic I'm going to ignore the
request not to use the word geocode.

On 02/01/2013 05:06 PM, Andreas Labres wrote:
> On 01.02.13 16:48, Jochen Topf wrote:
>> I don't think use of the English language is "merely incidental" to what we are
>> doing here. Can you explain why we suddenly can't use words from the English
>> language any more? ... And no, I don't think this is something for private emails.
> 
> 100% agreed.
> 
> Simon, please be more elaborative on what's going on here. Without knowing US
> trademark policies by heart, but "to geocode" is a generic term that cannot be
> used as a trademark. One can of course use this term with regard to, e.g., the
> process of transferring a postal address into geographic coordinates.

--

-- 
---
m.v.g.,
Cartinus
Cartinus | 1 Feb 17:44 2013
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Picon

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

If you search for "geocode" in the EU trademark database[1], then you'll
find that the trademark was refused last year, with no possibility for
appeal.

[1]<http://oami.europa.eu/CTMOnline/RequestManager/en_SearchBasic>

--

-- 
---
m.v.g.,
Cartinus
Jean-Marc Liotier | 1 Feb 17:10 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 01/02/2013 16:22, Simon Poole wrote:
the trademark GEOCODE owned by Geocode, Inc.

If you find use of the term “geocode” on our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for example "search")
Why is Openstreetmap yielding to such blatant appropriation of the English language ?

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Richard Fairhurst | 1 Feb 17:14 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Jean-Marc Liotier wrote:
> Why is Openstreetmap yielding to such blatant appropriation of 
> the English language ?

Because we have bigger battles to fight. Let Google piss their money away on
defending the term "geocode". If OSM has $1m to spend, which it doesn't, I'd
rather it spent it on making the site easier to use and attracting more
mappers, rather than throwing lawyers at a trademark troll.

cheers
Richard

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Pierre Béland | 1 Feb 17:26 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Should we distinguish between the service and the usage of the name geocode?

It seems that the term geocode was first used in the fourtheen century and comes from old french. Google trademark?
See http://www.memidex.com/geocode

 
Pierre

De : Richard Fairhurst <richard <at> systemed.net>
À : talk <at> openstreetmap.org
Envoyé le : Vendredi 1 février 2013 11h14
Objet : Re: [OSM-talk] Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Jean-Marc Liotier wrote:
> Why is Openstreetmap yielding to such blatant appropriation of
> the English language ?

Because we have bigger battles to fight. Let Google piss their money away on
defending the term "geocode". If OSM has $1m to spend, which it doesn't, I'd
rather it spent it on making the site easier to use and attracting more
mappers, rather than throwing lawyers at a trademark troll.

cheers
Richard





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Steve Doerr | 1 Feb 17:42 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 01/02/2013 16:26, Pierre Béland wrote:

It seems that the term geocode was first used in the fourtheen century and comes from old french. Google trademark?
See http://www.memidex.com/geocode

I think you'll find that's the word 'code', not 'geocode'.

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Jochen Topf | 1 Feb 17:45 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On Fri, Feb 01, 2013 at 08:14:23AM -0800, Richard Fairhurst wrote:
> Jean-Marc Liotier wrote:
> > Why is Openstreetmap yielding to such blatant appropriation of 
> > the English language ?
> 
> Because we have bigger battles to fight. Let Google piss their money away on
> defending the term "geocode". If OSM has $1m to spend, which it doesn't, I'd
> rather it spent it on making the site easier to use and attracting more
> mappers, rather than throwing lawyers at a trademark troll.

There is no way to get rid of bullies but to stand up to them. That was right
in kindergarden and it is right in the real world.

Jochen
--

-- 
Jochen Topf  jochen <at> remote.org  http://www.remote.org/jochen/  +49-721-388298
Richard Weait | 1 Feb 17:49 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

<at> andres / <at> cartinus, such a trade mark has been issued by USPTO
Anyone who cares to pick up this fight with their money, is likely to be able to do so very simply. 
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Richard Weait | 1 Feb 17:51 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue


Now, I'm going mapping. :-)
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colliar | 1 Feb 18:15 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue


On 01/02/13 17:49, Richard Weait wrote:
>  <at> andres /  <at> cartinus, such a trade mark has been issued by USPTO
> 
> http://weait.com/content/trade-mark
> 
> Anyone who cares to pick up this fight with their money, is likely to be
> able to do so very simply.

Oh, come on:

"Get up, stand up..." and "I shot the sheriff" come to my mind.

I always hear money. Is that really all that counts.

Let us fight and win and not behave like the octopuses want us to.

This would be much better publicity than we can get by connecting our social
community with main stream social media.

Colliar
Manfred A. Reiter | 1 Feb 18:21 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 01/02/13 17:49, Richard Weait wrote:

> <at> andres / <at> cartinus, such a trade mark has been issued by USPTO
>
> http://weait.com/content/trade-mark
>
> Anyone who cares to pick up this fight with their money, is likely to be
> able to do so very simply.

Oh, come on:

"Get up, stand up..." and "I shot the sheriff" come to my mind.

I always hear money. Is that really all that counts.

Let us fight and win and not behave like the octopuses want us to.

+1
 
This would be much better publicity than we can get by connecting our social
community with main stream social media.

+1 



 
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Jeff Meyer | 1 Feb 19:06 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Team - 


The OSMF BoD is doing the job for which its members were elected. Thank goodness.

There's a trademark. We've been served notice (I believe). The board has made a decision. The chairman of the board (probably a (tm) term...) has communicated this decision.

Fine, disagree, but please disagree with a plan for how to fund your alternate plan, describing in detail the source of new funds or what other OSMF activities should be de-funded to support this plan.

Yes, it sounds silly to trademark geocode, yes, it's a US-only thing, but these issues are solved in courts, with real money for real lawyers, not well-reasoned arguments on email threads supported by personal moral and ethical constructs and not law.

Personally, I'm glad the OSMF BoD is taking care of this so I don't have to. As Mr. W said, I'd rather be mapping...

- Jeff


On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 9:21 AM, Manfred A. Reiter <ma.reiter <at> gmail.com> wrote:
On 01/02/13 17:49, Richard Weait wrote:
> <at> andres / <at> cartinus, such a trade mark has been issued by USPTO
>
> http://weait.com/content/trade-mark
>
> Anyone who cares to pick up this fight with their money, is likely to be
> able to do so very simply.

Oh, come on:

"Get up, stand up..." and "I shot the sheriff" come to my mind.

I always hear money. Is that really all that counts.

Let us fight and win and not behave like the octopuses want us to.

+1
 
This would be much better publicity than we can get by connecting our social
community with main stream social media.

+1 



 

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--
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Global World History Atlas
www.gwhat.org
jeff <at> gwhat.org
206-676-2347



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Michael Krämer | 1 Feb 19:29 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Am 01.02.2013 19:06, schrieb Jeff Meyer:
> Yes, it sounds silly to trademark geocode, yes, it's a US-only thing, but
> these issues are solved in courts, with real money for real lawyers, not
> well-reasoned arguments on email threads supported by personal moral and
> ethical constructs and not law.
I fully agree - this is not about argument or logic but about laws. 
Unfortunately also about US laws where things easily get really, really 
expensive. Those large cooperations tend settle these things for 
millions simply because legal action is unpredictable in it's outcome 
and even more expensive.

Yes, I would like the story to end with David winning against Goliath. 
But I there's quite some risk that this could end up more like Achilles' 
story...

> Personally, I'm glad the OSMF BoD is taking care of this so I don't have
> to. As Mr. W said, I'd rather be mapping...
Yes, let's use our manpower for mapping, not for fighting possibly 
invalid trademarks.

Michael
Cartinus | 1 Feb 19:32 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 02/01/2013 07:06 PM, Jeff Meyer wrote:
> We've been served notice (I believe).

O really, we've been officially served? Then that should not be a secret
is it?

Please put whatever communication the OSMF received in a place we can
see. So we know what is actually "forbidden". Stop treating the
volunteers as mushrooms.

As Ilya just pointed out, the edits to the wiki look really weird. With
the tiny bit of information we have been given, it actually looks as if
Simon removed too much.

--

-- 
---
m.v.g.,
Cartinus
f.dos.santos | 1 Feb 19:47 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

It's here :

https://docs.google.com/a/osmfoundation.org/document/d/19wLhnezowHBio9zGaJkNaCbDX-gmWNHUSdx1kdQJYY0/edit

----- Mail original -----
From: "Cartinus" <cartinus <at> xs4all.nl>
To: talk <at> openstreetmap.org
Date: 01/02/2013 19:32:44
Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

>O really, we've been officially served? Then that should not be a secret
>is it?
>
>Please put whatever communication the OSMF received in a place we can
>see. So we know what is actually "forbidden". Stop treating the
>volunteers as mushrooms.
>
John F. Eldredge | 1 Feb 20:12 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

f.dos.santos <at> free.fr wrote:

> It's here :
> 
> https://docs.google.com/a/osmfoundation.org/document/d/19wLhnezowHBio9zGaJkNaCbDX-gmWNHUSdx1kdQJYY0/edit
> 
> 
> ----- Mail original -----
> From: "Cartinus" <cartinus <at> xs4all.nl>
> To: talk <at> openstreetmap.org
> Date: 01/02/2013 19:32:44
> Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue
> 
> >O really, we've been officially served? Then that should not be a
> secret
> >is it?
> >
> >Please put whatever communication the OSMF received in a place we can
> >see. So we know what is actually "forbidden". Stop treating the
> >volunteers as mushrooms.
> >
> 
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk <at> openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk

You did not give a link to the actual cease-and-desist letter, as requested; you only gave a link to minutes
stating that such a letter had been received.  So, ordinary rank-and-file mappers still haven't been told
the details of what is forbidden.

--

-- 
John F. Eldredge -- john <at> jfeldredge.com
"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all." -- Hypatia of Alexandria
Jean-Marc Liotier | 2 Feb 18:29 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 02/01/2013 07:47 PM, f.dos.santos <at> free.fr wrote:
It's here : https://docs.google.com/a/osmfoundation.org/document/d/19wLhnezowHBio9zGaJkNaCbDX-gmWNHUSdx1kdQJYY0/edit

"Cease+Desist letter “Geocode(TM)”

OSMF received C+D letter from someone who trademarked the word “Geocode(TM)” and asks us to remove all references to this from our web site where it is connected in some way with Google services. Simon is in contact with a lawyer about this. We might actually remove the few occurrences because they are not essential to us."

Is a cease & desist letter all it takes for the OSMF to cave in to silly demands from random parties ? Can't we at least make a symbolic stand and let the aggressor escalate before we capitulate ? From a purely material point of view, that would be cheap publicity for the project.

I thought that a free software project such as Openstreetmap (yes - geographic data is software too) would have, out of its principles, shown a stronger backbone under such disgusting pressure. I am disappointed.

The OSMF board's action are the precautionary measures that best protect the interests of the Openstreetmap project in the strictest sense and in the short term. But while we may acknowledge the wisdom of precaution before rash reaction, do we really want to project the image of a project that can be so easily pushed around ? Is that in our best interests ?

And more important :
are those the actions that best foster the spirit embodied by a project whose members have a strong interest in protecting the commons.

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Kai Krueger | 2 Feb 20:31 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Jean-Marc Liotier wrote
> Is a cease & desist letter all it takes for the OSMF to cave in to silly
> demands from random parties ? Can't we at least make a symbolic stand
> and let the aggressor escalate before we capitulate ? From a purely
> material point of view, that would be cheap publicity for the project.
> 
> I thought that a free software project such as Openstreetmap (yes -
> geographic data is software too) would have, out of its principles,
> shown a stronger backbone under such disgusting pressure. I am
> disappointed.

Do you really want the OSMF to gamble all of OSM's server infrastructure and
other resources on a random legal battle about a possibly invalid trademark?
Particularly without first a thorough due diligence of getting qualified
legal advice from their counsel?

These trademark issues seem have the potential to quickly escalate to
$100.000s of dollars in cost. Either for legal fees or for damage fees if
one looses. That is more or at least on the order of the entire assets of
the OSMF. Is it really worth that risk to "show a stronger backbone"?
Particularly as it isn't impossible to first comply and then if after
thorough consideration or due to negotiations with the originator the matter
is resolved reinstate those changes.

So far I have seen no changes that actually negatively impact the project in
any real way other than for ideological reasons. So complying in the short
term doesn't seem to be an immediate problem.

That said, I do hope the board will work intensely together with legal
counsel and the rest of the community to find a way to dismiss these
seemingly ridiculous claims (although I don't yet understand what exactly
the issue is or what the C&D actually covers).

Given the genericness of the term geocode, I would assume that a number of
larger companies might equally be effected who have much more resources than
OSMF to defend against these claims. Or a another question is what is
different about the use in OSM that they specifically targeted the OSMF?

Kai

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andrzej zaborowski | 1 Feb 20:54 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 1 February 2013 19:06, Jeff Meyer <jeff <at> gwhat.org> wrote:

The OSMF BoD is doing the job for which its members were elected. Thank goodness.

There's a trademark. We've been served notice (I believe). The board has made a decision. The chairman of the board (probably a (tm) term...) has communicated this decision.

Fine, disagree, but please disagree with a plan for how to fund your alternate plan, describing in detail the source of new funds or what other OSMF activities should be de-funded to support this plan.

I agree with what you're saying although I can't help thinking that if the OSMF can't take the risk of having some things in the wiki, the solution, for everyone's benefit, is to move the wiki to a server that's not paid for by the OSMF.  I'm positive finding such a server wouldn't be difficult (in fact the home page says it is hosted at UCL & ByteMark -- so if the OSMF is neither hosting nor writing the content, should it accept the C+D?  The admins *are* OSMF members, but they're not OSMF).  The OSMF has at some point started assuming responsibility for what is being published in the database and now on the wiki.  In the case of the database it makes sense for someone to give some level of warranty that the data in it in fact is legally usable, although the consequences of this step have had a terrible effect on the map and the community so far.


Yes, it sounds silly to trademark geocode, yes, it's a US-only thing, but these issues are solved in courts, with real money for real lawyers, not well-reasoned arguments on email threads supported by personal moral and ethical constructs and not law.

You know, anything someone will say, who is not the judge, is just a well reasoned argument (or not that well reasoned) and the law will have a final word.  Doesn't mean that someone pointing out that the law makes it unlikely for the owner of the GEOCODE trademark to sue a company in UK, or for it to be costly to resolve, shouldn't be listened to.

Cheers
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Jean-Marc Liotier | 1 Feb 22:07 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 02/01/2013 08:54 PM, andrzej zaborowski wrote:
On 1 February 2013 19:06, Jeff Meyer <jeff <at> gwhat.org> wrote:

Fine, disagree, but please disagree with a plan for how to fund your alternate plan, describing in detail the source of new funds or what other OSMF activities should be de-funded to support this plan.

I agree with what you're saying although I can't help thinking that if the OSMF can't take the risk of having some things in the wiki, the solution, for everyone's benefit, is to move the wiki to a server that's not paid for by the OSMF.  I'm positive finding such a server wouldn't be difficult (in fact the home page says it is hosted at UCL & ByteMark -- so if the OSMF is neither hosting nor writing the content, should it accept the C+D?  The admins *are* OSMF members, but they're not OSMF).

Bad idea because a link to the OSMF can still be established.

But it reminds me of an obvious response - let's streisand them ! I have no relationship to the OSMF in any way and I volunteer to mirror the wiki with the infringing words - read-only since I have limited processing power on my host. Does anyone have an archive of the latest infringing version ? Let's produce a mirroring kit and spread it far and wide !

The verb 'to geocode' is generic English language word and I'll stand by that even if a US court decides otherwise. Silly fight ? Yes - I have absolutely no skill whatsoever in choosing my battles ! Good thing I'm not a US citizen.

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Michael Kugelmann | 2 Feb 09:23 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 01.02.2013 22:07, Jean-Marc Liotier wrote:
> The verb 'to geocode' is generic English language word and I'll stand 
> by that even if a US court decides otherwise.
+1
And there was also mentioned that tradmark was rejected in EU.
Additionally: if i search for the some information in the WWW I always 
found the trademark for GEOCODE in all capital letters. =>  a question 
to all experts: does this matter? I guess so...
http://trademark.markify.com/trademarks/wipo/geocode/1131057
http://socialmedia.trademarkia.com/socialmedia/username-geocode-78663072.htm
http://www.trademarks411.com/marks/78663072-geocode
...even if I search at the USPTO directly:
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4009%3A48lrkt.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl~%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=GEOCODE&p_tagrepl~%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Query

Best regards,
Michael.
Paweł Paprota | 2 Feb 13:25 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 02/01/2013 08:54 PM, andrzej zaborowski wrote:
> I agree with what you're saying although I can't help thinking that
> if the OSMF can't take the risk of having some things in the wiki,
> the solution, for everyone's benefit, is to move the wiki to a server
> that's not paid for by the OSMF.  I'm positive finding such a server
> wouldn't be difficult (in fact the home page says it is hosted at UCL
> & ByteMark -- so if the OSMF is neither hosting nor writing the
> content, should it accept the C+D?  The admins *are* OSMF members,
> but they're not OSMF). The OSMF has at some point started assuming
> responsibility for what is being published in the database and now on
> the wiki.  In the case of the database it makes sense for someone to
> give some level of warranty that the data in it in fact is legally
> usable, although the consequences of this step have had a terrible
> effect on the map and the community so far.

+1000000

Current situation is getting silly to the point that I'm seriously
considering abandoning this project and leaving history tab, vector
tiles and my other projects unfinished just to have peace of mind and
work in a sane project with sane organization behind it like KDE.

On one hand OSMF is telling us they don't want any strategic planning
and involvement, on the other they are redacting and editing data and
wiki. And this is possible mostly because what Andrzej said - that they
host the servers (which I am personally grateful for - to the admins -
no to people who use it for political bullshit like this).

This is NOT how a project should work and you will only discourage
people by doing such stunts.

Either finally get your act together and prepare a proper organization
like KDE e.v (http://ev.kde.org/) or get out of the project and
leave it be. There is still plenty of energy that will fill the void
after you (I'm talking to OSMF).

Paweł

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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

If there were no BoD, but OSM were still a true crowd driven

organization, there would not have been a place to address this notice….

 

Put up a tree and you are sure to catch wind !

 

Geert

 

Van: Jeff Meyer [mailto:jeff <at> gwhat.org]
Verzonden: vrijdag 1 februari 2013 19:07
Aan: Manfred A. Reiter
CC: talk <at> openstreetmap.org
Onderwerp: Re: [OSM-talk] Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

 

Team - 

 

The OSMF BoD is doing the job for which its members were elected. Thank goodness.

 

There's a trademark. We've been served notice (I believe). The board has made a decision. The chairman of the board (probably a (tm) term...) has communicated this decision.

 

Fine, disagree, but please disagree with a plan for how to fund your alternate plan, describing in detail the source of new funds or what other OSMF activities should be de-funded to support this plan.

 

Yes, it sounds silly to trademark geocode, yes, it's a US-only thing, but these issues are solved in courts, with real money for real lawyers, not well-reasoned arguments on email threads supported by personal moral and ethical constructs and not law.

 

Personally, I'm glad the OSMF BoD is taking care of this so I don't have to. As Mr. W said, I'd rather be mapping...

 

- Jeff

 

 

On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 9:21 AM, Manfred A. Reiter <ma.reiter <at> gmail.com> wrote:

On 01/02/13 17:49, Richard Weait wrote:

> <at> andres / <at> cartinus, such a trade mark has been issued by USPTO
>
> http://weait.com/content/trade-mark
>
> Anyone who cares to pick up this fight with their money, is likely to be
> able to do so very simply.

Oh, come on:

"Get up, stand up..." and "I shot the sheriff" come to my mind.

I always hear money. Is that really all that counts.

Let us fight and win and not behave like the octopuses want us to.

 

+1

 

This would be much better publicity than we can get by connecting our social
community with main stream social media.

 

+1 

 

 

 

 


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 f: GWHAThistory

 

 

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Russ Nelson | 3 Feb 23:27 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Richard Fairhurst writes:
 > Jean-Marc Liotier wrote:
 > > Why is Openstreetmap yielding to such blatant appropriation of 
 > > the English language ?
 > 
 > Because we have bigger battles to fight. Let Google piss their money away on
 > defending the term "geocode". If OSM has $1m to spend, which it doesn't, I'd
 > rather it spent it on making the site easier to use and attracting more
 > mappers, rather than throwing lawyers at a trademark troll.

Exactly. There are much bigger fish in this pond, and once they crush
these idiots, "geocode" will be a generic term again. It hurts us, but
it's not a problem we need to solve.

On the other hand, there is no generic term for "geocode" NOW, so our
position should be, until advised otherwise, that "geocode" is the
generic term for "geocode". And once advised otherwise, we will
promptly knuckle under, as is appropriate for a small fish.

--

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Ilya Zverev | 1 Feb 18:57 2013
Picon

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Hi. Regardless of that trademark business, I've checked Simon's edits 
and they mostly consist of removing links to google maps, which contain 
empty "geocode" parameter and them (and many other redundant parameters 
that editors didn't bother to omit). Some of the edits are quite funny, 
for example, 
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Essex_Way&diff=prev&oldid=861689 
(removed a link to display kml with google maps).

I cannot understand why links to google maps have become prohibited in 
our wiki, but there are probably one or two meaningful edits and lots of 
what can be called vandalism. For example, cleaning "Copyright Easter 
Eggs" pages from links to mentioned easter eggs.

So, I vote for 1) reverting all those edits; 2) explaining in detail 
what is prohibited (what words, which links etc.) and what is not; 3) 
editing wiki more thoroughly, so every edit could be understood.

IZ
Simon Poole | 1 Feb 19:41 2013
Picon

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue


Because of the time constraints the removal of the google links is quite rough, however most (as in all except a handful)  of the links were either old, outdated, or/and unused, as for example essentially all links to old errors in Google maps based on TeleAtlas data, which should have been deleted years ago. Naturally you can add back sanitized links, however I would in general question why we would want to use google data in our own documentation in the first place (that is naturally a different discussion).

As for the rest Jeff Meyer has summarized it nicely.

Simon

Am 01.02.2013 18:57, schrieb Ilya Zverev:
> Hi. Regardless of that trademark business, I've checked Simon's edits and they mostly consist of removing links to google maps, which contain empty "geocode" parameter and them (and many other redundant parameters that editors didn't bother to omit). Some of the edits are quite funny, for example, http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Essex_Way&diff=prev&oldid=861689 (removed a link to display kml with google maps).
>
> I cannot understand why links to google maps have become prohibited in our wiki, but there are probably one or two meaningful edits and lots of what can be called vandalism. For example, cleaning "Copyright Easter Eggs" pages from links to mentioned easter eggs.
>
> So, I vote for 1) reverting all those edits; 2) explaining in detail what is prohibited (what words, which links etc.) and what is not; 3) editing wiki more thoroughly, so every edit could be understood.
>
>
> IZ
>
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk <at> openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk



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Eugene Alvin Villar | 1 Feb 22:15 2013
Picon

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

You mentioned cleaning up the Wiki and the Help Q&A site.

What about mailing list archives? Will the OSMF then start deleting emails if they contain Google Maps links?


On Sat, Feb 2, 2013 at 2:41 AM, Simon Poole <simon <at> poole.ch> wrote:

Because of the time constraints the removal of the google links is quite rough, however most (as in all except a handful)  of the links were either old, outdated, or/and unused, as for example essentially all links to old errors in Google maps based on TeleAtlas data, which should have been deleted years ago. Naturally you can add back sanitized links, however I would in general question why we would want to use google data in our own documentation in the first place (that is naturally a different discussion).

As for the rest Jeff Meyer has summarized it nicely.

Simon

Am 01.02.2013 18:57, schrieb Ilya Zverev:

> Hi. Regardless of that trademark business, I've checked Simon's edits and they mostly consist of removing links to google maps, which contain empty "geocode" parameter and them (and many other redundant parameters that editors didn't bother to omit). Some of the edits are quite funny, for example, http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Essex_Way&diff=prev&oldid=861689 (removed a link to display kml with google maps).
>
> I cannot understand why links to google maps have become prohibited in our wiki, but there are probably one or two meaningful edits and lots of what can be called vandalism. For example, cleaning "Copyright Easter Eggs" pages from links to mentioned easter eggs.
>
> So, I vote for 1) reverting all those edits; 2) explaining in detail what is prohibited (what words, which links etc.) and what is not; 3) editing wiki more thoroughly, so every edit could be understood.
>
>
> IZ
>
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk <at> openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk




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Richard Fairhurst | 1 Feb 22:22 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Eugene Alvin Villar wrote:
> What about mailing list archives? Will the OSMF then start deleting 
> emails if they contain Google Maps links?

I'd quite like the OSMF to start deleting e-mails that don't quote the
previous message properly. ;)

cheers
Richard

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Simon Poole | 2 Feb 16:45 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue


I've taken the time and at least on more or less current pages have redone the edits with a bit a finer brush, essentially with a very small number of exceptions there should be no noticeable impact on actual content now.

I'm reaching out to our counsel to see if we can release the C&D, but IMHO it is unlikely. Further I know that the statement has caused some unease and questions about problematic/unproblematic use of the term in question and the scope of our request to refrain from using it, I will again see if we can issue a clarifying statement on that.

Simon


 
Am 01.02.2013 19:41, schrieb Simon Poole:

Because of the time constraints the removal of the google links is quite rough, however most (as in all except a handful)  of the links were either old, outdated, or/and unused, as for example essentially all links to old errors in Google maps based on TeleAtlas data, which should have been deleted years ago. Naturally you can add back sanitized links, however I would in general question why we would want to use google data in our own documentation in the first place (that is naturally a different discussion).

As for the rest Jeff Meyer has summarized it nicely.

Simon

Am 01.02.2013 18:57, schrieb Ilya Zverev:
> Hi. Regardless of that trademark business, I've checked Simon's edits and they mostly consist of removing links to google maps, which contain empty "geocode" parameter and them (and many other redundant parameters that editors didn't bother to omit). Some of the edits are quite funny, for example, http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Essex_Way&diff=prev&oldid=861689 (removed a link to display kml with google maps).
>
> I cannot understand why links to google maps have become prohibited in our wiki, but there are probably one or two meaningful edits and lots of what can be called vandalism. For example, cleaning "Copyright Easter Eggs" pages from links to mentioned easter eggs.
>
> So, I vote for 1) reverting all those edits; 2) explaining in detail what is prohibited (what words, which links etc.) and what is not; 3) editing wiki more thoroughly, so every edit could be understood.
>
>
> IZ
>
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk <at> openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk





_______________________________________________ talk mailing list talk <at> openstreetmap.org http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk

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Jochen Topf | 2 Feb 17:39 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On Sat, Feb 02, 2013 at 04:45:56PM +0100, Simon Poole wrote:
> I'm reaching out to our counsel to see if we can release the C&D, but
> IMHO it is unlikely. Further I know that the statement has caused some

Come on. That's rediculous. What's this? A secret government order? What do you
fear will happen if you publish it?

Thousands of C&D letters have been published on http://www.chillingeffects.org/ .
What makes you think that this one is so special that you can't do that?

Jochen
--

-- 
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Kai Krueger | 2 Feb 20:16 2013
Picon

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Jochen123 wrote
> On Sat, Feb 02, 2013 at 04:45:56PM +0100, Simon Poole wrote:
>> I'm reaching out to our counsel to see if we can release the C&D, but
>> IMHO it is unlikely. Further I know that the statement has caused some
> 
> Come on. That's rediculous. What's this? A secret government order? What
> do you
> fear will happen if you publish it?

If I am not mistaken, non of the OSMF board are lawyers. So it is not really
in their realm of expertise to know what will happen legally. However, it is
clear that one wrong move in these legal battles has the potential for
serious consequences either for the individual or OSM(F) as a whole. So it
makes absolute sense that the OSMF board first consults with legal counsel
to be on the safe side! After all, once something is published on the
internet you can't take it back if it turns out to be a mistake.

That said, I very much hope that the letter can be published so that more
people can judge its consequences and for OSM to possibly get some "sympathy
PR" out of it, as it does seem ridiculous that they would try and forbid the
use of the term geocoding (btw, is it just one spelling that is trademarked
and e.g. geo-coding or geo coding ist fine?).

But then if you look at the fact that e.g. Apple has seemingly managed to
design-patent a device with round edges or that Deutsche Telekom tried to
defend a trademark on the generic colour magenta (which apparently cost a 4
man start-up  over 60.000 EUR in legal fees to defend against and if they
had lost would have cost them in the range of a million EURs), it is clear
that this area of law is illogical, insane and an absolute mine field!

Kai

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Russ Nelson | 4 Feb 00:13 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Simon Poole writes:
 > I've taken the time and at least on more or less current pages have
 > redone the edits with a bit a finer brush, essentially with a very small
 > number of exceptions there should be no noticeable impact on actual
 > content now.

 > I'm reaching out to our counsel to see if we can release the C&D, but
 > IMHO it is unlikely. Further I know that the statement has caused some
 > unease and questions about problematic/unproblematic use of the term in
 > question and the scope of our request to refrain from using it, I will
 > again see if we can issue a clarifying statement on that.

There's a simple way to get a copy of the C&D -- just publish the
Google Geocoding URL. Like this:

http://www.osolaw.com/areas-of-practice/professional-liability/2-uncategorised?format=feed&type=atom

--

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Martin Koppenhoefer | 1 Feb 19:11 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

2013/2/1 Simon Poole <simon <at> osmfoundation.org>:
> issue with respect to the trademark GEOCODE owned by Geocode, Inc. of
> Alexandria, Virginia, USA. There are likely to be further related edits and
> changes both on the wiki and the help site. Please do not add such removed
> links back or undo any such edits. If you find use of the term “geocode” on
> our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for example
> "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.

What about replacing it with the German term "geokode" ?

I fully support what been written by colliar and joto. What comes
next? Corporation inc. registering a trademark for mapping party,
mapper or crowd-sourced?

cheers,
Martin

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Christopher Woods (IWD | 1 Feb 19:17 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue


On 01/02/2013 18:11, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
> 2013/2/1 Simon Poole <simon <at> osmfoundation.org>:
>> issue with respect to the trademark GEOCODE owned by Geocode, Inc. of
>> Alexandria, Virginia, USA. There are likely to be further related edits and
>> changes both on the wiki and the help site. Please do not add such removed
>> links back or undo any such edits. If you find use of the term “geocode” on
>> our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for example
>> "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.
>
> What about replacing it with the German term "geokode" ?
>
> I fully support what been written by colliar and joto. What comes
> next? Corporation inc. registering a trademark for mapping party,
> mapper or crowd-sourced?
>
> cheers,
> Martin
IMHO if they are arguing solely upon basis of the word then Geocode's 
lawyer's argument is specious. To that end, they're just trademark 
trolling in a retcon attempt to show defence of a trade mark they 
shouldn't arguably have been granted in the first place.

On what grounds do they issue the C&D against OSMF? Has it been detailed 
anywhere? I'm very curious about the contents of the issued C&D if one 
exists and I'd very much like to see the notice. (Happy to discuss by 
email with relevant people off-list).

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Ilya Zverev | 1 Feb 19:51 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Hi. Since no one has explained, I'd quote a part from OSMF Board 
Meeting Minutes:

> OSMF received C+D letter from someone who trademarked the word 
> “Geocode(TM)” and asks us to remove all references to this from our web 
> site where it is connected in some way with Google services. Simon is 
> in contact with a lawyer about this. We might actually remove the few 
> occurrences because they are not essential to us.

So, you can still use "geocode" as a word. But you cannot, as it seems, 
use it in relation with Google services. That is, no "geocode using 
google" and such. That's why some links to Google Maps were removed. I 
don't know about Nominatim, especially MapQuest's Nominatim, but to be 
on a safe side, better use "search". And if you don't mention any 
services, you can use that word freely, as in "now having parsed 
coordinates, do the reverse geocoding to aquire their human-readable 
locations". After all, the wikipedia page for "Geocoding" doesn't 
mention any trademarks (although it has Google Maps as its first 
reference).

IZ

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Paul Norman | 2 Feb 10:04 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

> From: Ilya Zverev [mailto:zverik <at> textual.ru]
> Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue
> 
> Hi. Since no one has explained, I'd quote a part from OSMF Board Meeting
> Minutes:
> 
> > OSMF received C+D letter from someone who trademarked the word
> > “Geocode(TM)” and asks us to remove all references to this from our
> > web site where it is connected in some way with Google services. Simon
> > is in contact with a lawyer about this. We might actually remove the
> > few occurrences because they are not essential to us.
> 
> So, you can still use "geocode" as a word. But you cannot, as it seems,
> use it in relation with Google services. That is, no "geocode using
> google" and such. That's why some links to Google Maps were removed. I
> don't know about Nominatim, especially MapQuest's Nominatim, but to be
> on a safe side, better use "search". And if you don't mention any
> services, you can use that word freely, as in "now having parsed
> coordinates, do the reverse geocoding to aquire their human-readable
> locations". After all, the wikipedia page for "Geocoding" doesn't
> mention any trademarks (although it has Google Maps as its first
> reference).

I have no more information than what's publically available but my bet is that the trademark owner is going
after Google. Without any more detail than what has been released it's hard to say, but I quite understand
if the board is holding off on releasing more details until after they get more legal advice.

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Paweł Paprota | 2 Feb 13:15 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On 02/01/2013 04:22 PM, Simon Poole wrote:
> Please address any questions on the matter to me by e-mail and not to
> the list.

Why?

Paweł

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Alex Barth | 2 Feb 14:08 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

On Friday, February 1, 2013, Simon Poole wrote:

If you find use of the term “geocode” on our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for example "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.

 
Hey Simon - I find this hard to believe. Can you confirm that OSMF was requested to entirely cease the use of the term 'geocode' in any of its properties? If that's the case, I wonder how much legal ground this has. Even if it was sadly possible for someone to trademark an everyday term it seems we should be able to use it in documentation like the wiki, in help forums, in a blog article, etc.
 

Can you publish the notice?
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Johan C | 2 Feb 14:48 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

+1 to many responses in this thread. I'm in favour of a bit more centralized steering of OSM. Not only by OSMF, but also by other people (within and outside working groups) who will put a bit more coordinated energy in thinking about strenghts, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Like addressing this threat: http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2012-December/001951.html


The board resolves to strengthen the OSMF position with respect to its intellectual property, in particular trade and service marks. The board requests the Chairman to engage suitable, cost effective, legal support to
a) register the OpenStreetMap mark and logo in the USA, if not possible as separate marks, as a combined mark.
b) register the same in any other territories key to the further development of OSM (example: Russia)
c) the same as for any other potentially valuable marks (including registration in the EU)
d) to complete the transfer of the EU OpenStreetMap mark to the OSMF 

It would be unimaginable if we couldn't use the word Openstreetmap anymore in the Wiki, because someone in some state on this globe trademarks it :-)

I also believe it's simply not always possible to have 100% transparancy, so I like Simon's offer to address him personally.

Let's act on these kind of threats (go on with that, OSMF), and let's act on other important things for the future of OSM, with a bit more coordination.  

Cheers, Johan

2013/2/2 Alex Barth <alex <at> mapbox.com>
On Friday, February 1, 2013, Simon Poole wrote:
If you find use of the term “geocode” on our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for example "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.

 
Hey Simon - I find this hard to believe. Can you confirm that OSMF was requested to entirely cease the use of the term 'geocode' in any of its properties? If that's the case, I wonder how much legal ground this has. Even if it was sadly possible for someone to trademark an everyday term it seems we should be able to use it in documentation like the wiki, in help forums, in a blog article, etc.
 

Can you publish the notice?

_______________________________________________
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Alex Barth | 2 Feb 13:46 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue


On Feb 1, 2013, at 10:22 AM, Simon Poole <simon <at> osmfoundation.org> wrote:

>  If you find use of the term “geocode” on our wiki or help site please replace it with a generic term (for
example "search"), or report it to my e-mail address.

Hey Simon - I find this hard to believe. Can you confirm that OSMF was requested to entirely cease the use of
the term 'geocode' in any of its properties? If that's the case, I wonder how much legal ground this has.
Even if it was sadly possible for someone to trademark an everyday term it seems we should be able to use it in
documentation like the wiki, in help forums, in a blog article, etc.

Can you publish the notice?

> 
> Both the use of the term “geocode” and the use of the Google API are merely incidental to us. Doing
without them does not in any way impact the core goals or operation of OSM.
> 
> Please address any questions on the matter to me by e-mail and not to the list. 
> 
> Thank you
> 
> Simon
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk <at> openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk

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Peter Barth | 2 Feb 19:57 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Hi all, hi Simon,

I tried to wait a day and think about what's been written and to calm
down about this unspeakable issue. But I can't stop myself from 
replying.

I don't mind about the word/trademark GEOCODE, nor do I mind about your
wiki changes. But what makes me furious is your/the OSMF's handling of a
community project.

Simon Poole wrote:
> Please address any questions on the matter to me by e-mail and not to
> the list.

It is unacceptable that an issue like this is/should be processed in a
private manner when in fact everyone in the community is concerned. 
Second, I'd like to see the C&D. As a matter of course this should be 
the first thing that happens: Publish the C&D before any other actions 
are taken, even before you contact a laywer.

I'm really disappointed and angry about this issue. What happens here is 
not the understanding of a *community project* I have. I'd like the OSMF
to become more democratic and community based. It should be the mappers
that decide and be able to decide (and thereby I don't mean voting some 
members every few years) and not the board. Therefore, it would be a 
great start if OSMF members could file a motion that has to be decided 
on (mine would be to publish the C&D ;)). I also still hope, Frederik 
will give a statement in this thread, too.

Peda

--

-- 
Richard Weait | 2 Feb 22:05 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

You might think that OSMF is not being transparent enough at this point.  I think we'll learn more in time.  I've gone into detail on my blog if you want more words.  :-) 

But, looking at the C&D as a negotiation, it would be foolish to discuss settlement terms in advance in public.  For example, if OSMF as a settlement were to decide, "we'll ask the person for $1 million to settle this, but we'll take $200,000 at the low end", well, that would be silly.  You've just told the other side to offer 200k as a counter. 

So some of this will stay less-transparent, at least for a while.  Many more words on my site, about litigation and trade marks in general. 
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Johan C | 2 Feb 22:24 2013
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Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

I'm not a lawyer with experience in this area, so for me it would make no sense to take a look at the C&D at this moment. If there's such a lawyer among the readers of this list or in our related friends/family, he/she can advice the OSMF board directly with the needed level of professional advice. And maybe such an advice would be that we shouldn't fight, but let others with more money do the fight. Let OSMF move on to protect the use of the word and logo Openstreetmap. And let us help OSMF in that to look out for malicious people who want to abuse our logo and name somewhere in this world.


Cheers, Johan

2013/2/2 Richard Weait <richard <at> weait.com>
You might think that OSMF is not being transparent enough at this point.  I think we'll learn more in time.  I've gone into detail on my blog if you want more words.  :-) 

But, looking at the C&D as a negotiation, it would be foolish to discuss settlement terms in advance in public.  For example, if OSMF as a settlement were to decide, "we'll ask the person for $1 million to settle this, but we'll take $200,000 at the low end", well, that would be silly.  You've just told the other side to offer 200k as a counter. 

So some of this will stay less-transparent, at least for a while.  Many more words on my site, about litigation and trade marks in general. 

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Russ Nelson | 3 Feb 23:22 2013

Re: Recent edits in the wiki / Trademark issue

Simon Poole writes:
 > As you may have noticed we have removed all links displaying the Google
 > geocoding service from the wiki. These changes are a consequence of a
 > legal issue with respect to the trademark GEOCODE owned by Geocode, Inc.
 > of Alexandria, Virginia, USA.

WRONG, and FAIL. First, it's not your job to enforce somebody else's
trademark. Since you didn't tell us, I can only speculate that the
OSMF received a demand letter. If so, then SURELY the letter contains
advice for the generic term for "geocode". If the letter did not
contain such a term, then you should write back to the authors of the
demand letter saying "Surely we have no intention of infringing your
trademark, so please tell us what is the generic term for geocoding? 
This should be a term which uniquely identifies the service for which
you claim "geocode" is a trademark for. Until you tell us this, we
intend to take no action, but as a good faith measure, once you tell
us, we will act as promptly as humanly possible to ensure that we do
not infringe your trademark."

The way trademarks work (and it surely seems that the OSMF is ignorant
of this hence your actions) is that a trademark is an *adjective*
modifying a *noun*. Thus, it is a Ford automobile, or an Apple
computer. Ford is the adjective, automobile is the generic
noun. Anybody is free to use the generic noun. (Or in the case of
services, adverb/verb).

Honestly, it's like you never talked to a lawyer about this.

 > If you find use of the term "geocode" on our wiki or help site
 > please replace it with a generic term (for example "search"), or
 > report it to my e-mail address.

WRONG and FAIL. "search" is not the generic term for "geocode". The
two actions are in no way related. A better term but still inadequate
for the task is "translation", since the action translates from one
addressing system into another.

The generic term for "geocode" seems to be, without any further advice
from the trademark holder, "geocode". I imagine that a generic term
could be "geographical encoding", or "geocode" for short. Oh, oops,
trademark infringing. How about "geographical translation"?
Oh, oops, "GeoTran".com exists, so they probably think that
"geographical translation" infringes their trademark.

What IS the generic term that "geocode" trademarks??? Surely the
trademark holder knows!!! The OSMF should ask them.

 > Both the use of the term "geocode" and the use of the Google API are
 > merely incidental to us.

If the Google API contains a word claimed as a trademark, I would be
happy to create a gateway which uses but does not make public the
infringing trademark. You could link to that using a generic term like
"geocode" or "geographical address translation", as you wish.

 > Please address any questions on the matter to me by e-mail

CC'ed.

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