[Imports] Calgary addresses

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Tue Jul 19 00:06:06 UTC 2016


Kevin Kenny <kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com> writes:

> On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 7:23 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
>> Before we get into the technicalities, I believe there might be a slight
>> problem on the legal side.
>>
>> OSM data is distributed under the ODbL 1.0 license which does not
>> discriminate against any fields of endeavour, including such that are
>> against the law.
>>
>> Your license however says that:
>>
>> "You may use the Data to create Derivative Works using the Data and
>> distribute said Derivative Works for any lawful purposes."
>
> This argument is, to put it bluntly, silly. In Common Law countries,
> this is a difference without a distinction. An contract to break the
> law is void as a matter of public policy. There is no enforceable
> difference between a license 'for any lawful purpose' and a license
> 'for any purpose whatsoever,' because the licensor cannot grant
> permission to break the law.

I think it's specious, too, but from a slightly different viewpoint.  If
someone were to use OSM unlawfully, that's between them and their
government.  The notion that they are also liable for some sort of
database copyright infringement seems odd.

But, if I follow, Kevin may be saying that a license to use data
unlawfully is void, and thus a license with the restriction and a
license without the restriction actually grant exactly the same
permission.

Another question is how other areas of the Free Software community have
interpreted these sorts of clauses.  I think it's pretty clear that "you
can use this software but you can't build missiles" is the sort of field
of endeavor discrimination that is intended to be prevented, rather than
a relatively harmless "we didn't mean to grant permission for anything
unlawful" caveat.
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