Is TSO operating without a license to enforce copyright for PRINCE2?

Is a British Government website inaccurate or is APMG TSO operating without a license?

APMG says

APM Group has been granted delegated authority on behalf of OGC to issue sub-licenses for the re-use of OGC's trade marks (PRINCE2®, MSP®, M_o_R®, ITIL®, P3O®, P3M3™)

[Update: The IT Skeptic screwed up. The above quote refers to trademark and the following refers to copyright, so in fact the headline should read "Is TSO operating without a license to enforce copyright for PRINCE2?" since TSO manage the copyright, not APMG. Sorry folks.]

and yet the Office of Public Sector Information says

The Director of OPSI in her role as Queen’s Printer has been appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to manage all copyrights owned by the Crown on Her Majesty’s behalf. OPSI’s Information Policy team licenses on the Queen’s Printers behalf.

and then

Some government departments have delegated authority from the Controller of HMSO to license the re-use of the Crown copyright material which they originate. IFTS Accreditation is used as the method of regulating decisions about the licensing of Crown copyright information by those bodies. The Controller of HMSO has also granted limited delegations to parts of government departments which have responsibility for specialised forms of licensing activity
The following have delegations to license specific types of information
Office for Government Commerce (OGC) 23/12/05 December 2005 IT Infrastructure Library Framework

...nothing else, no "PRINCE2®, MSP®, M_o_R®... P3O®, P3M3™" .

It is all very arcane, but also the OPSI site seems pretty clear - I can't see what I've missed. So it begs the question: under what license or authority does APMG TSO enforce intellectual property rights over say PRINCE2?

[We discussed this previously here in the context of OGC and ITIL.]


IP Rights

There is also a difference between copyright and trademark licenses. For ITIL, TSO are responsible for the copyright license and APMG for the Trademark Licenses - though APMG seem also to be able to confer a copyright license if you want a trademark license at the same time.

Looking at what you've turned up for Prince2, say this would suggest to me as a non-lawyer, that people are free to use the Prince2 copyright material but must apply for the Prince2 trademark license. i.e. you can copy the Prince2 stuff but if you sell it on commercially you can't claim it is Prince2!

Work for the lawyers I'd suggest.


confused trademark and copyright

Duh, you're right - I have confused trademark and copyright. i can only plead post-Xmas fatigue :)

of course that doesn't change the situation that OGC seem to have no IFTS delegation for anything but ITIL

Terms of the contract


It seems to me that it all depends upon the terms of the contractual relationship here. It doesn't seem reasonable to me that the responsibility to enforce Crown IP rights would be delegated to a licensee. I could see this limited to the purposes of administering the certification programs or conformance with the terms of an agreement with a sub-licensee. I think that makes sense. Then again, it's all down to what's in the contract, eh?

For example, the Service Management Society (the "Society") has an official license agreement for the Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge (USMBOK), which the Society has adopted as its Body of Knowledge. In all cases, the original content owner retains his IP rights. It's not up to the Society to enforce those. Consequently, the Society is able to use the USMBOK to fulfill any legitimate corporate purpose consistent with its charter. The Society is responsible for ensuring proper use and protection of the licensed IP.

That being said, if the content owner doesn't take action to protect their rights, it could have a negative impact on anyone who licenses (or sub-licenses) the content. If the content is really worth anything, it's worth rigorous efforts to safeguard it, because it impacts the entire community who has a stake/investment in it as a whole.


TSO have no formal arrangement to enforce copyright

APMG have a formal licence to enforce trademark rights, as per the quote above.

I'm not sure what formal arrangement TSO have to enforce OGC copyright and in fact I know of instances where they just refer it back to the OGC lawyers. They may in fact have none. These are hectic times, my fact-checking is slipping. Not to be confused with the large amount of material TSO have generated for which they hold the copyright themselves (all of the ITIL Live site, for example)

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