What are trademarks and copyrights?
Trademarks and copyrights are types of Intellectual Property (IP).
Trademarks are words, phrases, images, logo designs, slogans or other material designed to identify the specific goods or services of its owner. Copyright refers to the rights that are granted to the authors of artistic or literary works. These may include a picture, painting, story, movie or some other form of original expression. Copyright covers a lot of the content on the Couchsurfing websites, both the things posted by Couchsurfing staff and by other Couchsurfing members.
For more information about Couchsurfing's trademarks, check out the Couchsurfing Trademark Policy.
Why do we care if you use our Trademarks?
Having a trademark allows us to protect our name and logo and prevent confusion for our members. For example, if someone started a tour company called “Couchsurfing Tours," our members might accidentally assume that this company was affiliated with us.
We want to ensure this doesn’t happen. If many people use the Couchsurfing marks without adhering to our guidelines, even for worthwhile projects, the ability of the Couchsurfing marks to function properly weakens over time, as does your ability to know with confidence what offerings are truly and genuinely associated with Couchsurfing and our community.
Can I use the Couchsurfing brand and logo?
Apparel, Banners, and Flags:
We encourage Couchsurfers to use the Couchsurfing logo to make their own clothing, banners, flyers, etc. to help spread the word about Couchsurfing. In fact, we’ve created a logo that’s made to customize! Whether you’re making a banner or sign for your events to help other Couchsurfers find you, t-shirts to give away at your Couch Crash or another creative project, we want to help you make your ideas a reality. But there are some requirements you must first follow.
Prior to using the Marks, please email us at email@example.com with a copy of your design and a description of your intended use so that we can review it beforehand. (Please note that if we do approve your use, you must also comply with our Trademark Policy and License Agreement). You can find a link to our Logo Pack (zip file) at the bottom of the License Agreement page.
Couchsurfing believes in promoting academic research. If you are a student or academic who would like to use the Couchsurfing marks in a research paper or academic presentation, we may grant you a limited license to do so. Please ensure that your usage is in compliance with these License Agreement.
We understand that you want your project to be identifiable as part of the Couchsurfing community (which is great!), but please do not use the Couchsurfing Marks in your own website domain name, keywords, social media user names, etc. Feel free to link to Couchsurfing on your website or reference Couchsurfing and to talk about the Couchsurfing community in your website content, so long as you do so in a way that does not state or suggest that Couchsurfing is sponsoring, endorsing or affiliated with your website. We also require that you follow some trademark use guidelines as follows:
- Always use as one word Couchsurfing with an initial capital 'C’ and lowercase 's’.
- When you refer to the term 'Couchsurfing' or 'Couchsurfer,' please make sure it is in reference to the Couchsurfing platform or community.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Books, Travel Guides, Movies, TV Segments:
If you are creating a book, travel guide, movie or documentary, first and foremost the title of your project must make it clear that the project is made by you about Couchsurfing, not by Couchsurfing International, Inc. For example, My Adventure Traveling Across Europe: How Couchsurfing Got Me There would be fine, but Couchsurfing: A Documentary would not. Similarly, the content of your work must not be misleading or directly state or imply that Couchsurfing was involved in the production, sponsored the production, or had some other involvement in the project. When you refer to Couchsurfing, just make sure it’s clear that you are a community member, not an official representative of the community.
For more information, check out the Couchsurfing Trademark Policy.
We generally only allow use of our Marks in the ways described in our Couchsurfing Trademark Policy and in accordance with our License Agreement. If your idea doesn’t fit any of the categories, contact us at logos@Couchsurfing.com to discuss approval of your project.
If you need further assistance, please contact our support staff directly.
Can I use material found on the Couchsurfing website?
Posted by the Couchsurfing Staff - We work very hard to produce the content that you see on our website. Please contact us if you are interested in using our content, as permission must be granted prior to use. If you would like to send us an inquiry, please contact our support staff directly.
Posted by other Members - The content that other Couchsurfers upload to the website may be owned by them. Please don’t use it without contacting the member directly and asking for permission.