[OSM-legal-talk] Reverse Geocoding

tinkerbell.REMOVE.SPAM at gsmpaaiml.com tinkerbell.REMOVE.SPAM at gsmpaaiml.com
Fri Apr 4 06:46:39 BST 2008


On Thu, 03 Apr 2008 21:04:17 +0200, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>  

> [ Some company has ] a GPS track and
> want some road names for it.
> (1) I'm not sure whether the minuscle amount
> of data you would use from OSM is actually protected by copyright and
> would trigger the viral SA element of the license, especially as the
> data is used around some corners.

IANAL, but no matter how teeny-weeny the data is, someone is using, still  
the data comes licenced under CC-BY-SA.
There is no „minimal size of data” for the CC-BY-SA to apply. Hence all  
„viral SA” elements are triggered.

What would be the worst case for the company?
They'd have to put the letter under the CC-BY-SA and mention OSM. This is  
what—since OSM is luckily enough still using CC-BY-SA—OSM really wants.
OSM wants to be attributed!
OSM wants the use of its data to be contagious!

Well at least as long as they use CC-BY-SA, which I still think is a good  

Therefore, tell the company to put their invoices under the CC-BY-SA and  
add a note about OpenStreetMap data in their fine print and they are safe.

That being said, and keeping requirements of CC-BY-SA in mind, someone may  
still, (at least according to US Copyright law),  be using data while  
ignoring the „viral SA” elements (although they do not vanish) and not  
breach law by fair use. However, not everyone is applicable to fair use  
[1]. From my point of view, fair use does not apply here. After all it's  
not meeting requirements as being

„for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching  
(including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research”  

and it's about a company using the data to make profit.

> (2) Even if it would make your
> invoice a derived work, what would you care?

Full ACK. It does not harm them. And indeed it allows the invoiced company  
to put it on their homepage, show it to their customers for review, ...
It's a good thing after all.

> Can a piece of business
> communication ever be a CC-BY-SA licensed derived work?

Surely, why not?
The party writing the invoice is not forced to keep it's communication  
secret. However, they may not compromise data that the second party does  
not want to be public.

At the end of the day the lawn-mowing company may send (CC-BY-SA'd)  
business letters to the invoiced company.

The invoiced company may then publish them.
The invoicing company should not publish them, as it will typically  
contain client specific data for which they typically do not have consent  
to publish from the other party.

Kind regards,

[1] http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/usc_sec_17_00000107----000-.html

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