IPR FAQs

IPR FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions About Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Intellectual Property

This page is currently under construction and not all of the information contained within is up-to-date. Please contact Jeff Burnett for clarification until this site is completed (you will know this is the case because this comment will be gone!!)

The aim of the intellectual property policies of the OGC is twofold:

  1. To encourage the wide spread dissemination of OGC work.
  2. To preserve the integrity of OGC work by eliminating confusion about its source and status.

OGC FAQ Table of Contents

  1. Which statements apply to specifications, Web pages, and software?
  2. Who holds the copyright on OGC documents?
    1. What about the trademarks/icons and how to I properly attribute them?
  3. What is the STATUS of a OGC document?
  4. May I link to the OGC site?
  5. OGC Documents
    1. I am a teacher. May I print out specifications and other documents for my class to read?
    2. I have a Web site that mirrors (has copies of) useful Web documents. Can I make copies of your documents and serve them from my site?
      1. Can I mirror your site?
    3. I am a writer and would like to make a "fair use" excerpt from a specification for my analysis. What do I have to do?
    4. I am a publisher and would like to publish a book that includes some of your specifications. What should I do?
    5. I really like the WMS 1.0 standard, but would like to make some changes. May I modify the 1.0 specification in a few places and redistribute it? May I call it WMS 1.0.1?
    6. May I translate one of your specifications into another language?
    7. May I create the "official" translation?
    8. May I annotate one of your specifications?
    9. May I publish your specification in a different format (e.g., PDF)?
    10. Is a schema or document definition covered by the document or software terms?
  6. OGC Software

 


 

1. Which statements apply to specifications, Web pages, and software?

IPR Notice and Disclaimers General web site copyright, trademark, and legal disclaimer statements. Document Notice Information on reproducing OGC work including Adopted Implementation Standards, Abstract Specifications, and Recommendation Papers and other documentation. Software Notice Information on using and modifying OGC standards.

2. Who holds the copyright on OGC documents?

The original author(s) of the document. Many documents are created by the OGC and we consequently hold the copyright. Owners who allow their works to be published on the OGC site retain the copyright, but agree to the OGC license for the redistribution of those materials from our site.

2.1 What about the trademarks?

Please see OGC Trademark and Servicemark License for information on the treatment of OGC trademarks. See OGC Logo and Icon Usage for policies on specific logos and icons.

Generically, we suggest the following text for attribution: "$mark$ is a (common law | registered) trademark of the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc."

3. What is the STATUS of a OGC document?

The STATUS of an OGC document is very important. It details its purpose, how the document was created or received, whether we are allocating resources to an activity related to the document, whether we have editorial control over the document, and how it may be referenced by other activities or documents. We disapprove and will act upon the misrepresentation of our work with respect to authorship, endorsement, or status.

4. May I link to the OGC site?

Of course. Links are merely references to other sites. You don't have to ask permission to link to this site -- or any other website. See ("link myths" created by the W3C for more on this).

However, you should never do anything (including making a link) that misrepresents what is being linked to, or implies a relationship with the OGC that does not exist. For instance, you may not use misleading frames, URL tricks, or redirections that misrepresent OGC content as being published by anyone other than OGC. Note, this requirement to be clear in your representations is your obligation - the OGC does not sign waivers about who may link to us.

5. OGC Documents

As documented, OGC documents can be redistributed or republished on the condition that you provide information so that others can easily find the original document, that you provide notice of the OGC's copyright, and that if the document has a "STATUS" section, you reproduce it.

5.1 I am a teacher. May I print out specifications and other documents for my class to read?

Yes. Fortunately most programs include the source URL when printing a document. You should also inform the class of the document's copyright notice.

5.2 I have a Web site that mirrors (has copies of) useful Web documents. May I make copies of your documents and serve them from my site?

Yes, provided that you clearly represent the status of the document and that the canonical version of the document can only be found on the OGC site. You should feel free to reference this FAQ or our other legal notices to make this representation clear.

5.2.1 May I mirror the OGC site?

OGC does not currently allow mirroring, however, this might change in the future. Please contact site-policy [at] opengeospatial [dot] org , if you are interested in mirroring our site.

5.3 I am a writer and would like to make a "fair use" excerpt from a specification for my analysis. What do I have to do?

If you believe your usage falls within the exception of fair use (e.g., in the U.S. § 107 Title 17. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use) we ask that your citation or reference to the excerpted material include the document's title, authors, publication date, URL and an indication of its status (e.g., Adopted Standard, Recommendation Paper, etc.).

5.4 I am a publisher and would like to publish a book that includes some of your standards. What should I do?

You must include a link or URL to the original OGC document, its status and its copyright notice. Conveniently, by including the complete standard you include much of this information since it is an integral part of the OGC document. In addition to the document and its STATUS information, URL, and copyright notice, we ask that you provide the full text of our document copyright license.

5.5 I really like the OGC WMS 1.0 Interface Standard, but would like to make some changes. May I modify the 1.0 standard in a few places and redistribute it? May I call it WMS 1.0.1?

No and no.

5.6 Can I translate one of your specifications into another language?

Yes, provided that you comply with the all of the following requirements:

  1. Inform the OGC of your plan to translate our content and inform us of when you've completed and published the translation. Such notice should be sent in English to site-policy [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.
  2. Prominently disclose in the target language the following 3 items:
    1. The original URL, the status of the document, and its original copyright notice.
    2. Notice that the normative version of the specification is the English version found at the OGC site.
    3. Notice that the translated document may contain errors from the translation.

    This disclosure should be made in a header and/or footer that wraps the translated OGC specification. No semantic changes should be made to any part of the OGC document including the STATUS, contributors, or appendices. If comments or annotations are absolutely necessary within the content of the specification, those annotations must be clearly represented as such.

  3. Agree:
    1. to the redistribution terms of the OGC document copyright notice. Consequently, your translation may be republished by the OGC or other entities if it is done in compliance with the notice's terms.
    2. That the OGC may rescind your right to publish or distribute the derivative work if the OGC finds that it leads to confusion regarding the original document's status or integrity.
5.7 Can I create the "official" translation?

No, the only official version of a OGC document is the English language version at the OGC site.

5.8 Can I annotate one of your specifications?

Annotations (including the reorganization and excerptation of copyrighted material) are covered by a policy much like the translation policy. Annotation systems which do not require the source document to be copied or changed in anyway by the annotator are not covered by this answer unless the display resulting from their implementation is likely to lead to misrepresentations or confusion regarding the technical content and STATUS of a OGC document. You may make a copy of our specification and annotate it only if you comply with the following requirements:

  1. Inform the OGC of your plan to annotate our content and inform us of when you've completed and published the annotation. Such notice should be sent in English to site-policy [at] opengeospatial [dot] org and -- if provided -- the comments e-mail list associated with that document.
  2. Prominently disclose that the resulting display or document is an annotation and the OGC is not responsible for any content not found at the original URL and that any annotations are non-normative.
  3. This disclosure should be made in a header and/or footer that wraps the annotated OGC standard. No semantic changes should be made to any part of the OGC document including the STATUS, contributors, or appendices. If comments or annotations are absolutely necessary within the content of the standard, those annotations must be clearly represented as such.
  4. Agree:
    1. to the redistribution terms of the OGC document copyright notice. Consequently, your work may be republished by the OGC or other entities if it is done in compliance with the notice's terms.
    2. That the OGC may rescind your right to publish or distribute the derivative work if the OGC finds that it leads to confusion regarding the original document's status or integrity.
5.9 May I publish your specification in a different format (e.g., PDF)?

The creation of a reformatted work is a derivative work, something we do not generically permit in our document copyright license. However (like translations) we do want our specifications to be as widely available as possible, though we must ensure that readers of derivative works understand the status of the derived work, its relation to the OGC, and how to get the original.

We grant specific permission to reformat a document if the requester complies with all of the following requirements:

  1. Inform the OGC of your plan to reformat our content and inform us of when you've completed and published it. Such notice should be sent in English to site-policy [at] opengeospatial [dot] org and -- if provided -- the comments e-mail list associated with that document.
  2. No semantic changes should be made to any part of the OGC document including the STATUS, contributors, or appendices.
  3. If you provide any information or context about the reformatted version you must prominently disclose the following 3 items:
    1. The original URL, the status of the document, and its original copyright notice.
    2. Notice that the normative version of the specification is the original version found at the OGC site.
    3. Notice that the reformatted document may contain formatting or hypertextual errors.
  4. Agree:
    1. to the redistribution terms of the OGC document copyright notice. Consequently, your version may be republished by the OGC or other entities if it is done in compliance with the notice's terms.
    2. That the OGC may rescind your right to publish or distribute the derivative work if the OGC finds that it leads to confusion regarding the original document's status or integrity.
5.10 Is a schema or document definition (DTD) covered by the document or software terms?

Schemas (and DTDs) are frequently part of our specifications and seemingly fall under the document copyright terms. However, as long as you do not use the same formal namespace or public identifier to identify that modified OGC schema/DTD (which might confuse applications), you may treat the schema/DTD under the software terms. This means that you are permitted to make a derivative or modified OGC schema/DTD, but even under the software terms you are obligated to include/retain the OGC copyright notice. We further appreciate a couple sentences regarding who made the modifications, when, and what changes were made in the original DTD -- a common software documentation practice.

We expect to revisit this topic as metadata schemas become an increasingly important part of OGC specifications and as the metadata schema definition capabilities of XML and other XML technologies advance.

6. OGC Software

As documented, OGC software can be modified and redistributed provided that you comply with the terms of the Software and Document Notice. Basically that means you must: include a link to its source on the OGC site, the copyright statement (the full notice for reference if possible) and other relevant terms and conditions; and that you respect the trademarks of its originator. In a few instances, software distributed by the OGC is provided by another entity under specific terms and conditions which must be followed. Please review any notices or disclosures that accompany the software itself.

OGC is only just now getting started in the software area, so stay tuned for more later.

Other questions about OGC policies should be directed to site-policy [at] opengeospatial [dot] org.