Difference between discourse.org hosting and Communiteq

I’m confused as to what is what. So here goes: what is the difference between this:

And the discourse I’m on now.

Hi @ondrej,

Communiteq (formerly DiscourseHosting) is a different company than discourse.org

We both offer hosting for Discourse software, but discourse.org is also the company creating the Discourse software.


Ohh so you provide same software under different company?

Yes. We (discourse.org) develop the Discourse software alongside the community here on meta. Anyone can download the Discourse software for free and host it themselves.


@ondrej, kind of, Discourse is open source, you can tweak and play around to host it yourself on your own server, or use the https://www.discourse.org/ service so they host it and maintain it for you.


@joffreyjaffeux, @david so it means anyone can use word discourse in domain name(like discourse.business or discourse.center or any other domain extension) and provide discourse platform hosting service, right?

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Lawyer for CDCK (discourse.org) here.

You should speak to a (different) lawyer about legal rights to use a name in business. In the US that is a “trademark” kind of legal conversation, though most general business lawyers will be plenty able to have it, not just trademark specialists.


@kemitchell, so how Communiteq (formerly DiscourseHosting) is using discourse word in domain name? I’m not a lawyer, help me understand :slight_smile:

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@sat, I am not your lawyer. I’m afraid you’ll need to do a bit of background reading, or find a lawyer who can help you.


I dont need lawyer :slight_smile: I was just curious about this so asked you.

I am not a lawyer.

I am a full time consultant who makes a living supporting, installing, and migrating data to discourse.

I have been advised not to use discourse in my domain name, though that person wasn’t a lawyer.

I think that a lawyer would be likely to tell you that if you wanted to start a business with the discourse software that you’d be better off not using Discourse in the name. if you have a business that is about conversation analysis that using Discourse in the name would be just fine.


I bet that allowing a competing company to use the name happened before hiring the lawyer.


I do see there are many sites use trademark. like androidforums .com or iphoneforums .net, iphone and android are trademarks. You can find many such examples.

I feel it is bad idea to use trademark but that is my view.

Here is what Jeff says…

again, I’m not a lawyer but there may be some way…that is why Communiteq (formerly DiscourseHosting) is using discourse in domain name.


This is completely irrelevant, and totally unrelated to the topic raised in the original post.


Co-founder chiming in here to avoid that we look like a scammer :smiley: because we did consult a lawyer before we went to market.

Even when a name is trademarked, the WIPO (the organization that governs intellectual property) has decided that using it in a domain name is allowed under a few conditions (commonly known as the Oki Data conditions). This is actually a very, very common practice.

The two most important conditions are:

  • make sure there is no confusion (hence the too big and too annoying footer on our website)
  • do not offer products from competing brands

Of course we meet all four conditions. And like Jeff said: there is no trademark on this English word. There is a trademark on the colored Discourse logo by the way, and using that would be confusing.


@michaeld thanks for clearing this up for me :grin::smile:


@michaeld, good to know that. Thanks for sharing details. I was curious how this works :slightly_smiling_face:


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