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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to GEM's FAQ section, offering insights on sponsorship, participation, intellectual property rights, licensing, and trademarks. This resource aims to address common queries and assist in better understanding GEM's operations and engagement opportunities. Explore our FAQs for clear guidance on various aspects of involvement with us.

How to sponsor and participate

1. What kind of institution is GEM?

The GEM Foundation (Italian registered name “Fondazione GEM”) is a non-profit foundation regulated by Italian law and based in Pavia (hosted by EUCENTRE).


2. How can my company or institution collaborate with GEM?

The first and most complete option is to become a GEM sponsor (for more details, please see the following FAQ). If this is not possible for any reason, you can consider starting a specific project and then signing an institutional collaboration agreement. “Institutional” means that the object of the collaboration must fall within the institutional aims of the GEM Foundation, which are described in detail in art. 2 of the statute.


Our legal team can provide you with an agreement template for institutional collaborations.


3. How can my company or institution become a sponsor of GEM?

As provided in art. 3 of GEM Statute, to become a GEM sponsor you should submit your application to the GEM Governing Board, specifying the sponsorship category, the Sponsorship duration, and the name of the designated member of the Governing Board. Should the Governing Board accept the new sponsorship application, the candidate will have to sign a sponsorship agreement through which they commit to: respect the Statute and the GEM Foundation rules and regulations; disburse the annual contribution in support of the Foundation’s activities set by the Governing Board for the specific participant category to which they belong.


Our legal team can provide you with a sponsorship agreement for your specific category.


4. Can GEM support my company or institution just as a consultant or a service provider?

Yes, it is possible but is not our preferred approach. Italian law does not prohibit non-profit organizations from doing business as a commercial entity. However, this approach is less in line with our core values and mission. Commercial activities are also more expensive for GEM to carry out due to increased administrative overheads and taxes. For these reasons, GEM undertakes commercial activities only where doing so benefits the community as a whole. GEM reinvests any surplus revenue from commercial projects for use in institutional activities.


5. Which categories of sponsors are available?

The GEM Statute includes three macro-categories of sponsors:

   a. Governor: they are voting sponsors and need to pay a financial contribution …

   b. Advisor: they are non-voting sponsors and need to pay a financial contribution …

   c. Associates: they are non-voting sponsors and do not need to pay any financial contribution; they may nominate a delegate to attend Governing Board meetings (without voting right).

How to use intellectual property rights and licensing

6. What are the main GEM Foundation intellectual products?

As part of its institutional activities, the GEM Foundation produces software, datasets, hazard models, scientific and informative articles, research reports, slides presentation, infographics, maps and pictures. As is well known, these types of materials are protected by intellectual property rights and, except where otherwise specified, the GEM Foundation is the sole rights holder.


7. What is GEM's approach to product rights and licensing?

The GEM Foundation adopts an open approach to the management of rights on its products and supports the spread of phenomena such as free software/open source software, open access, open data. With a few limited exceptions, all intellectual products by the GEM Foundation are released with open licenses, such as the Free Software Foundation licenses for software and the Creative Commons licenses for creative contents, datasets and models. Every file that is released on our websites is accompanied by the corresponding license. From time to time, please check the license applied. If in doubt, you can contact

8. How to use GEM intellectual products? What types of licenses can be applied?

In order to perform analyses using the OpenQuake engine, one needs both the engine software and a model.  In order to use a model one must respect both software and data licenses.

  a. Software, AGPL

The software license used by GEM, the GNU AGPL,

allows users to use the software for any purpose, including

commercial purposes, without having to request a specific

permission and without needing to become active supporters of

our projects.


The AGPL does restrict (re)distribution and integration of the

software - in particular it is not permitted to link AGPL software with

closed-source software systems, even if this linkage is performed

via a network.


Users are permitted to modify AGPL software, however, users must

remember to release any derived/modified versions openly under

the terms of the AGPL.

In essence this means that GEM software must remain open and

cannot be made into closed products without permission.


  b. Data and Models

The Creative Commons licenses applied to our creative contents,

datasets and models, allow users to freely use and modify

(by making derivative works) our products and require that the

authorship of GEM Foundation is always correctly attributed and in

some cases impose some additional restrictions on use.

GEM models and datasets are distributed with either the CC BY-SA license which allows commercial use or the CC BY-NC-SA license which prohibits commercial use. Both are Share-Alike licenses; this means that the product and any modified or derived products may only be (re)distributed under the terms of the same license. In essence this means that GEM models must remain open and cannot be made into closed products without permission.

  c. Other content (slides, images, articles)

Some content is distributed under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND license which prohibits both commercial use and the creation of derived products; this means that you are free to redistribute the content but you may not modify or make commercial use of the content.


Content published in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings or other publications may have a different license, please check before using.

understanding gem products intellectual

GEM Foundation registered trademarks

The GEM Foundation has two registered trademarks: GEM Global Earthquake Model (see graphics) and OQ OpenQuake (see graphics).








They have been registered in the following countries: European Union, United States, Switzerland, Australia, Turkey, Japan. More details about the usage of our trademarks are available below.

9. What are the rules and policies applicable to Marks owned by GEM Foundation?

In addition to the generally applicable rules, there are a few specific rules that we ask everyone to follow when using trademarks owned by GEM Foundation.

  • Use the full form of any trademarks (e.g., “GEM Global Earthquake Model”) in the first reference in all documents of mass communication, including marketing collateral and web pages.  You may then use any abbreviated or short form references (e.g. “GEM”) within the same the document where the full form has already been used.

  • Do not use GEM Foundation trademarks in a manner that would disparage GEM Foundation or its projects (e.g., untruthful advertising, false/misleading promotional materials, etc.).

  • Do not use a GEM Foundation logo on the cover of a book or magazine without written permission from GEM Foundation.

  • Do not use GEM Foundation trademarks more prominently than your own company, product or service name.

  • Do not use a logo of GEM Foundation on posters, brochures, signs, websites, or other marketing materials to promote your events, products or services without written permission from GEM Foundation.

  • Do not attempt to claim or assert any ownership rights in any mark of GEM Foundation and do not attempt to register any GEM Foundation trademark as a trademark, trade name, domain name, or “doing business as” name, alone or (unless specifically licensed) in combination with your own trademarks.


DOs and DON'Ts on the use of GEM logos and links

GEM Foundation marks have been created and their use is expressly permitted for a specific purpose.

DON'T: Do not use logos or names of GEM Foundation in any commercial or marketing context other than as expressly permitted in this policy unless you have obtained explicit written permission from GEM Foundation to do so.

DO: Do use our trademarks for private and personal use to make t-shirts, stickers, and caps for yourself and your friends (meaning people from whom you don’t receive anything of value in return) in a manner that is consistent with the preservation of the goodwill and value of the mark.


DO: You are also allowed to use a trademark or logo of GEM Foundation as a link to the home page of the applicable project or to a web page on GEM Foundation web site that is relevant to the reference so long as the link is in a manner that is consistent with the preservation of the goodwill and value of the mark. 

DO: The link and all other usage of a logo of GEM Foundation shall be done using the official versions of GEM Foundation logos obtained from GEM Foundation or its projects.
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