[OSM-legal-talk] ODBL enforcement: contract law and remedies
eda at waniasset.com
Wed Oct 28 17:16:36 GMT 2009
Matt Amos <zerebubuth at ...> writes:
>>In my ideal ponies world the database itself would be CC-compatible, so
>>people could generate excerpts ('list of all pubs in Swindon') and include
>>that in CC works.
>would the list of all pubs in Swindon be a database, or a produced
>work? if it's included, formatted as a table perhaps, in a web page it
>might be more appropriate to consider it a produced work. although, if
>alphabetically ordered, it might meet the definition of a database...
I'm not sure; the reason why it's good to allow the database itself to
be CC-distributed is to remove the uncertainty in these situations; if
you are distributing the result under CC-BY-SA, then it's permitted.
The distinction between database and produced work in the ODBL is interesting
but I don't know how much legal certainty can be placed on its interpretation.
(That would be more a question for those people-who-would-like-to-use-OSM-
>>That is good. To return to ponies for a moment, my licence would also
>>be quite clear that 'You do not have to accept this licence, since you
>>have not signed it.' So if there is no underlying legal reason why you
>>can't distribute the data, you are not required to accept any contract.
>that would basically mean the license would be equivalent to PD/CC0 in
>the US (where there are no database rights or copyrights on factual
>data), wouldn't it?
Assuming for the moment that OSM is purely factual and not creative,
nor has any element of judgement in how to tag facts about the world,
then yes. It would be freely distributable. I consider it a matter for
the US Congress and courts to decide what intellectual property rights
should be created for map data, and if their answer is 'none', then
OSM should fully support that enlightened policy.
>which would mean the share-alike parts only apply in the EU?
Essentially, in any place where map data can be publicly seen (e.g. on a
website) but yet not freely copied (because of copyright or database rights),
the share-alike licence needs to neutralize those rights, to make sure they
are passed on to everyone who gets the data.
In places where map data is freely copyable anyway, no share-alike is needed.
If there are in-between situations where other laws could be used to distribute
the data under non-free terms, for example by trying to make everyone who
gets it agree to some restrictive contract, we need to assess how serious
those are in practice. (Trade secrets, mentioned as one possibility, don't
really cause a problem because they only work as long as the information
is kept secret.)
Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com>
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