[OSM-legal-talk] Open Data Commons Database Licence

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Thu Sep 27 10:46:48 BST 2007

Jordan S Hatcher wrote:

> There was some mention of attribution on the list, and I wanted to
> clarify that in general, this is not an 'attribution' licence in the
> sense that derivative databases must attribute to the original
> database.  It does however require the notice mentioned in Section
> 4.3, which requires that output of data carry a notice as to source.

As I read it, 4.2.b (derivative databases) says you must "Keep intact  
any copyright or Database Right notices for the Database"; and 4.3  
(combined output) says "You must include a notice reasonably  
calculated to make users of the integrated experience aware that  
content was obtained from the Database and that the Database is  
available under this Licence".

So under 4.2.b a user would have to say "(c) OpenStreetMap  
(www.openstreetmap.org)", and under 4.3 "This map contains information  
from OpenStreetMap (www.openstreetmap.org) made available here under  
the ODCL". That's as much attribution as we get at the moment, so it  
seems to work.

On a personal angle, 4.4.c ("if hyperlinks are not possible, You must  
include the plain text of the required URI’s with the above notice")  
is a bit prescriptive for print uses. It would be better to add an  
easement equivalent to 4.2.c ("If it is not possible... then You must  
include the notice in a location... where a user would be likely to  
look for it."). A big long URL is too large for most  
newspaper/magazine credits, but all copyright notices are usually  
gathered together in a single flannel panel for the publication which  
neatly works as "a location where a user would be likely to look for  

Incidentally, I'm interested in the comment that "the policy of CC for  
future versions of the licences in Europe, will be to waive any  
Database Rights". So we're moving from "CC-BY-SA 2.0 probably not  
valid for OSM" to "CC-BY-SA 4.0 definitely not valid for OSM". ;)


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