[cc-community] Can a public domain icon be a registered trademark to be used only on terms dictated by the icon author?

Jan Wrobel wrr at mixedbit.org
Tue Jun 4 13:10:52 EDT 2013


Hello,

I'm new to the group. I've received a take down request and I would
like to ask if in your opinion it is valid.

I used a following icon for a service I maintain:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sharethis.svg

According to the Open Icon Library, the icon was released to the
public domain. According to Wikipedia, it is quad-licensed under the
GPL, LGPL, BSD and  Creative Commons Attribution 2.5:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Share_icon

I've received a request from the icon author to stop using the icon
(forwarded at the bottom). I plan to comply with the request, because
I was not aware that the icon is associated with some specific
service, but I wonder if the request is valid? Can work that the
author requires to be used on very restrictive terms
(https://sharethis.com/usage-guidelines) be released to the public
domain or covered by some liberal license?

Best regards,
Jan Wrobel

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: XYZ <pubservices at sharethis.com>


Recently, we observed that the example.com website uses our registered
trademark Share icon to allow sharing of content. (Please see the
attached screen capture from the example.com website.) We are thrilled
that example.com is unlocking the value of its content with sharing
features. However, the ShareThis service does not power the icon that
appears on the site. We’d love for example.com to continue using our
trademarked icon, but we require that our sharing solution to be used
along with it.

Earlier this year, we experienced an increase in customer inquiries
regarding privacy concerns related to sharing. In many instances,
those inquiries were relevant to websites that used our ubiquitous
icon, but with another company’s service behind it.

 In order to avoid further customer confusion, we have changed our
terms of service. We now require that the icon be used in conjunction
with our own sharing service. This change furthers our mission to make
sharing a smooth and seamless process for consumers and publishers
alike. To comply with these terms of service, we ask that example.com
replace its current sharing service with ShareThis. Alternatively,
example.com can remove our icon from its site.

The ShareThis solution offers many benefits to consider:

 Engage: Maximize the social value of your content with powerful
sharing tools that extend to over 120 social sharing channels.

Optimize: Drive earned media from owned media with actionable tools
around sharing and content analytics.

Monetize: Leverage the Social Quality Index (S.Q.I.) as a tool for
audience extension in direct sales.

 If you’d like to learn more about ShareThis and our Publisher Network
solutions, I’d love to arrange a time with you to review our services
and discuss additional features and benefits.


Best Regards,
XYZ


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