[OSGeo-Discuss] Proprietary GIS on our OSGeo website

Even Rouault even.rouault at spatialys.com
Thu Sep 21 12:10:52 PDT 2017

On jeudi 21 septembre 2017 11:20:54 CEST Jeffrey Johnson wrote:
> We have that kind of page here
> http://osgeo.getinteractive.nl/about/migrate-open-source-gis/ ... The
> link was removed from the hero area when Steve Feldman changed this in
> Boston, so there is no content there now.
> Are we not willing to even mention the names of these proprietary
> products for fear of 'promoting' them? Or do we want to present the
> user coming from outside our community some context about which open
> source projects are an analogue or replacement for the proprietary
> products they are already familiar with? Thats the real question in my
> mind.

I cannot honestly think that anyone would seriously believe we are promoting
proprietary software if they are mentionned under a "Migrate from" label. But
the point here about if we can legally use other product names (and if that
is a use of a trademark) in that context is a good one. They are probably rules
and good practices to follow in doing so, which can depend on juridictions (probably
US law applies here if the site is hosted in the US). 
Quickly researching about the topic leads to this article:
The bottom line is that there are legal ways of comparing to a competitor (is a
"Migrate from XXXX" mention considered as comparative advertising is another questio),
but you can still be sued even if you follow the rules, so it is a matter of
appreciating the benefit vs the risk. Funnily they recommand to explictly mention
that you're not affiliated with the other product owner! (I guess that's in the
same vein as the "Caution: Contents Hot" mention on coffee cups ;-))

I had a quick look at https://www.libreoffice.org/ to see if they for example
mentionned MS Office or Google docs. The only mention of MS Office I could find
is at the bottom of
https://www.libreoffice.org/discover/libreoffice/ and it is a link to an external
site (they do mention the compatibility with Microsft Word, Excel, *formats*,
but that's a bit different than comparing to the products themselves).
On http://www.openoffice.org/ similar situation, only mention of MS formats,
and for compraisons with MS itself, links to externals reviews from

Sandro mentionned GIMP's "like Photoshop, only better" motto but on
https://www.gimp.org/ no mention of Photoshop I could find

If you go on http://www.pitneybowes.com/us/location-intelligence/geographic-information-systems/mapinfo-pro.html,
no mention of ESRI
Same on http://www.hexagongeospatial.com/products/power-portfolio/erdas-imagine

Just trying to decrease the emotional level of the debate with facts ;-)

Spatialys - Geospatial professional services

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20170921/407d5b9c/attachment.html>

More information about the Discuss mailing list