[OSGeo-Conf] OSGeo and FOSS4G as a trademark
cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Sep 19 14:07:23 PDT 2014
Thanks Jeroen for bringing this forward.
I've updated the foss4g cookbook to include mention of OSGeo branding.
On 18/09/2014 3:03 am, Jeroen Ticheler wrote:
> Hi all,
> In the past we have had discussions on the different mailinglists
> about the FOSS4G trademark and if there is an owner for this or not.
> I'd like to bring this up again since I think it is relevant in the
> context of the discussions about e.g. a relationship / collaboration
> between OSGeo and LocationTech. It would be good if the existing
> disambiguates would be resolved :-)
> History has it that OSGeo takes the lead in organizing the annual
> global event under the name FOSS4G. Local conferences can also use
> FOSS4G in their name.
> There is not a clear event policy for the use of the FOSS4G brandname.
> Reading the Official OSGeo Event Policy , you are safe to use it as
> long as this has been approved by the OSGeo board. The OSGeo
> Conference Policy page  doesn't provide much more information,
> except that history has shown OSGeo runs the conferences according to
> the described "vanilla" FOSS4G model. The FOSS4G Cookbook actually
> leaves the decision to the Conference Committee  stating "/Use of
> the name "FOSS4G" is managed by the OSGeo Conference Committee. As a
> courtesy, events which wish to make use of the "FOSS4G" name should
> request permission to do so from the conference committee. Permission
> will be granted if the event being described is predominantly (say
> >90%) about Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial./"
> Venka Raghavan and Shinji Masumoto agreed to donate the foss4g.org
> <http://foss4g.org> domain name to OSGeo on 3rd October 2007 with
> the understanding that there will be no restrictions on the free usage
> of the FOSS4G acronym for the legitimate purpose of promoting Free and
> Open Source Software for Geoinformatics. 
> So from a historical perspective OSGeo is the effective trademark
> holder of FOSS4G and the board or conference committee votes who can
> use it or not. Except (and this is crucial I think!) that there is an
> understanding that "/there will be no restrictions on the free usage
> of the FOSS4G acronym ... etc .../".
> It would really help if Venka and Shinji amend the agreement so that
> OSGeo is the sole entity that can decide who is allowed to use the
> FOSS4G trademark or not. This doesn't mean OSGeo should change its
> policy, after all the foundation has as its core mandate to promote
> FOSS for Geospatial.
> Removing this issue will help OSGeo when collaborations / MoU's are
> It will also ensure that the relationship between OSGeo and a LOC is
> clearer. The LOC should follow certain requirements OSGeo puts up
> (such as having a booth, having a very clear OSGeo marketing strategy
> (marketing the OSGeo brand at FOSS4G), etcetera). This has been an
> issue with almost all conferences.
> It would also help to protect OSGeo's financial interest in the
> conferences, ensuring the proceedings benefit the foundation as much
> as possible. This has so far never been a real problem, we've had
> great LOC's with fantastic, responsible teams.
> As a consequence, OSGeo could actually decide to invest let's say $15k
> to employ a person parttime to assist the LOC and PCO. Some more
> resources could be invested in ensuring we run a conference website
> that is reused every year. It could take a lot of load off the LOC and
> help continuity.
> OSGeo has a vested interest in running the annual FOSS4G event
> effectively and ensuring LOC's won't burn out easily. And frankly, if
> OSGeo can't have the guarantees it requires to be the sole,
> unrestricted owner of the FOSS4G trademark, I think we shouldn't be
> scared of using another name for the annual conference (nor local ones
> that wish to associate themselves with OSGeo).
> Conference_dev mailing list
> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
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