[VisCom] Logo/branding effort

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at ccgis.de
Thu Sep 28 13:21:47 EDT 2006

Michael P. Gerlek wrote:
> I have made a proposal for the logo design work here:
>   http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/LogoProposal
> If we (VisCom) can vote on this tomorrow, then assuming it passes we can
> give it over the board for their meeting on the 29th.
> -mpg

go for it. I am so very fed up with not having proper logos that anything but what we not have now is better. I have also requested for proposals, one ranged at €10T one at €8T with comparable content. In our high price regions this seems to be the price tag. 

Sorry for the lengthy rest of this post. 

There are still some other things that I would like to discuss regarding Logo use (http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Logo_Use)- which has by now mutated into Trademark Guidelines (http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/TrademarkGuidelines) which sort of offends me a bit. My bit, a little. Whatever.

There has been some talk on whether we need to enforce usage of OSGeo with (tm) or (r). I have asked several times why this would seem a requirement and brought up some reasons on why I think it is not required but the issue was never resolved. 

Ubuntu policy (http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/TrademarkPolicy) is less complicated and enforcing with regard to adding the (tm) or (r) than Mozilla thus I like it more. I suggest to remove the tm/r bit from: 
Done. ((I am unhappy at deleting other people's thoughts, blabla and please do not feel offended - in the end it is just a Wiki...))

This article on Wikipedia differentiates trademark rights "use and registration":

>From Wikipedia:
The law considers a trademark to be a form of property. Proprietary rights in relation to a trademark may be established through actual use in the marketplace, or through registration of the mark with the trade marks office (or "trademarks registry") of a particular jurisdiction. In many jurisdictions, trademark rights can be established through either or both means. Certain jurisdictions generally do not recognise trademarks rights arising through use (e.g. China). If trademark owners do not hold registrations for their marks in such jurisdictions, the extent to which they will be able to enforce their rights through trademark infringement proceedings will therefore be limited.

Having the words "property" and "Proprietary rights" mentioned twice in the first dozen words shows in what realms we are moving. I don't believe that it will be necessary for OSGeo "to enforce their rights through trademark infringement proceedings". I simply cannot imagine that anybody would get anything at all out of misusing our Logo for any prolonged stretch of time. ((Having tm/r there or not does not make any difference with espect to the amount of back checking that we need to do)) It will only ruin the potential offender's reputation for quite a while. OSGeo only exists as it does because there is a large user base and OSGeo is NOT for profit. The situation is therefore very different to that of a commercial company trying to fight on the marketplace against another competitor with comparable products and services. OSGeo very explicitly says that it will *not* work (compete) against other existing initiatives but try to connect and collaborate. From this perspective 
the idea of somebody "stealing" the logo to make profit on the expense of OSGeo becomes rather negligible. Same is true for the communities we are delivering our goods. We do not compete with Microsoft for billions of browser users and predominance of the world.

This does not mean that we can just forget about defining in which context the logo and term OSGeo / OSGeo.org etc. are to be used. We need to have a very clear (make it simple) guideline that people understand without having to ask a lawyer. But I do not support the idea of relying on the beast that we are fighting with the Free and Open Source idea. This simply does not make sense. 

== Services Related to OSGeo Software ==
This aspect of logo use is highly interesting to service providers and closely related to the bold company listing that is being discussed elsewhere and starts to grow on the Drupal portal. 

I believe that this is going to be one of the natural and powerful branding multipliers for OSGeo visibility. Once people identify the OSGeo logo with some kind of 'certified' (insert other wording) services it will be a 'fast-selling item'. Just look at the CCGIS homepage and what do you see? The OGC logo :-( ...but not OSGeo because we cannot do it as there is no guideline yet. We (as a company) need more guidance on this and I am not going to get involved in designing the process / policy to avoid conflicting interests. 

== Logos and Merchandise ==
I don't think that merchandise actually is "that's how we make some of the money that keeps us around." We are very different in dimension compared to Mozilla. They might make some income but we don't and likely never will. Our user base is just too small. Additionally I would suggest to remove the unique selling point CafePress. Its good that we have it but there are other remote places where people might want to use OSGeo shirts and can get them a lot cheaper than having to ship them around the world. ((I am just imagining CafePress shirts being produced in China with fibers from Brazil, colors from Germany, someone sticking it into a package in the US shipping it back to China. We are not that mad, are we?))

Last but not least I will try to add the [[Category:Trademark Policy]] to all pages referring to logo, branding, linking, etc. We need to clean that out and come up with a stable version that can be approved by the board and moved to the Drupal Portal.

Best regards, 

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