[OSM-legal-talk] The OSM licence: where we are, where we're going

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Tue Jan 8 17:04:08 GMT 2008

It is good to see progress on this; I can see I am going to need to put some
time aside for this. I have not read every thread yet, but here are a couple
of quick questions of clarification:


Richard states that '"If you create something else then the 'something else'
also has to be copiable under the same terms and conditions (ShareAlike)".
Is this true? It is my clear understanding that the 'collective work' clause
in the CC-BY-SA agreement allows for inclusion of mapping data into
something else which can be copyright.


Richard states that "Most importantly, though, there is a strong body of
legal opinion that our existing licence is not valid (for our purposes) in
most of the world. Creative Commons bases its licences on copyright. In
Europe, however, geographical data is principally protected by database
right, and in the States, the only available protection is contractual."
What is this 'body of evidence' and why does in not impact on Navteq,
Teleatlas OS etc who protect their work using copyright; I have signed
contracts with both Navteq and with the Ordnance Survey for their vector
data (similar in scope to OSM data) and am required to put C Navteq or C
Ordnance Survey on the bottom of every map that incorporates their data. To
be clear they certainly do not own the actual rendering which is based on
our own proprietary software.


I would really prefer to hear a definite legal view on this from a real
lawyer. I know we all have own opinions but we need make sure we are not
just stirring urban myths around.


Thanks for all your work so far,





Peter Miller


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