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https://orcid.org/trademark-and-id-display-guidelines states: "ORCID® is a registered trademark and the ORCID logo and iD icon are trademarks of ORCID, Inc."

Does this mean that ORCID is owned by a company? Does it have commercial interests? Could it limit services for paying customers in the future?

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by (51 points)

It is not:

ORCID is a not-for-profit organization, sustained by fees from our member organizations. Our work is open, transparent, and non-proprietary.


Non-profits can also own trademarks.

That said, non-profits also still need to fund themselves, and can still limit services for paying customers. I'm not sure what exactly you'd be afraid of them charging for, but I wouldn't expect that to be anything too egregious for academics' - in the end, their raison d'etre requires academics to sign up. That said, I don't think their self-sustaining yet, so who knows.

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by (60 points)
As said, orcid is a "non-for-profit organisation", which is in a sense commercial company (it is not allowed to make benefice but still needs to pay salaries). It would be much more difficult to buy than a normal company though (but not impossible).

What is important is that the data collected is open, transparent, and non-proprietary. "ORCID is releasing the Public Data File under a CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication developed by Creative Commons." (https://support.orcid.org/hc/en-us/articles/360006897394-How-do-I-get-the-public-data-file-)

Since the data is portable, there is no risk of being locked in the system.

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