[OSM-legal-talk] [OSM-talk] Canadian data: new license is more permissive

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at crschmidt.net
Fri Apr 6 03:02:27 BST 2007

On Thu, Apr 05, 2007 at 04:19:03PM +0200, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Hi,
> > Would it be OK if we just said
> > "Portions © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, Department of
> > Natural Resources." on our web site, but let further distribution not
> > say that?
> Either "facts are free", then attribution requirements - ours and  
> theirs - are moot.
> Or facts are not free, then it doesn't matter for an OSM user whether  
> he or she has to attribute 1,000 OSM contributors or 1,000 OSM  
> contributors and the Queen ;-)

Right. This is a standard attribution copyright license. If you're
making a collection, you have to credit 'parts copyright' or some other
similar wording.

The problem here is that OSM doesn't (afaik) have a standardized tag for
attribution yet. (or does it?) With no API to see who has contributed to
a particular collection, it's hard to know who should be credited for
each part of the map -- and in a case where all the data on a map is
populated by Canadian data, that could be seen as an actual violation of
the terms of use of the data.

If something like that exists -- either social or technical -- then I
don't see any reason, speaking as someone who has had some legal
advice on creating collections of geodata (though not as a lawyer), that
this data couldn't be integrated. Including this copyright message then
becomes the responsibility of the mapmaker.

Christopher Schmidt
Web Developer

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