[OSM-legal-talk] [OSM-talk] OSMF - OSM usage guidelines

Dair Grant dair at refnum.com
Fri Nov 23 18:56:27 GMT 2007

Ian Sergeant wrote:

>>3. "not using anything produced by MegaMapping Inc." could ever
>>make sure that OSM is *not* at the receiving end of a crippling
>>law suit.
>True again, but there is always the chance of a suit, but if we use
>the products of large mapping companies directly as part of the OSM
>mapping process (whether for comparision, or street names, or
>whatever) we inevitably increase the risks to the OSM project.

There are really only two cases though - one on frivolous 
grounds purely to stop the project, or one with some kind of 
evidence to show that data was obtained from MegaMapping.

You can never stop the former, and for the latter we 
(realistically) just have to delete the affected data if there 
is any question about its origin.

The best we can do, which helps either situation, is to be 
meticulous about recording the origin of data - keeping track 
logs, geotagged photos, reference to out-of-copyright map, batch 
import tag, etc.

I think usage guidelines would be helpful, since they help 
encourage a culture where doing things "by the book" is the norm.

That culture is ultimately what makes or breaks us - people will 
look at OSM and think that data just gets copied in from 
anywhere, or see that we are paranoid about this issue and have 
some standards for where data can come from and what you can do 
with it afterwards.

That won't stop someone taking you to court for the fun of it, 
but does mean you can stand up and say "we agree, that data is 
tainted and will be deleted" if a real problem is found.

dair at refnum.com              http://www.refnum.com/

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