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

Andy Robinson (blackadder) blackadderajr at googlemail.com
Fri Jan 11 12:09:31 GMT 2008

Peter Miller wrote:
>Sent: 11 January 2008 10:05 AM
>To: legal-talk at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: [OSM-legal-talk] where we are, where we're going
>> Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2008 17:00:27 +0000
>> From: Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemeD.net>
>> Subject: Re: [OSM-legal-talk] The OSM licence: where we are,	where
>> 	we're	and are, where we're going
>> To: legal-talk at openstreetmap.org
>> Cc: talk at openstreetmap.org
>> Message-ID: <20080109170027.ssvnxkooxkw08gwg at webmail.systemed.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=ISO-8859-1;	DelSp="Yes";
>> 	format="flowed"
>> (follow-ups to legal-talk, please)
>> Peter Miller wrote:
>> > There are clearly uncertainties and complications with the current
>> licence,
>> > however it does allow for the license to be upgraded without going back
>> to
>> > original contributors for permission.
>> In OSM's case that's unlikely to be true.
>> Copyright in OSM contributions is owned by the original contributors,
>> not by OSMF. As the CC-BY-SA 2.0 summary says, "A new version of this
>> license is available. You should use it for new works, and you may
>> want to relicense existing works under it. No works are automatically
>> put under the new license, however."
>> Since no works are automatically put under the new licence, every
>> contributor would have to choose to move to (say) CC-Data-BY-SA just
>> as they would any other licence.
>Not true. The licence upgrade clause in CC-BY-SA 2.0 states in clause b:
>"You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly
>digitally perform a Derivative Work only under the terms of this License,
>later version of this License* with the same License Elements as this
>License"(my emphasis). This allows the OSMF (on anyone else) to distribute
>OSM data using CC-BY-SA 3.0, 4.0 or whatever  I am really concerned that
>this whole drama is being built on false foundations.
>> > As such I feel confident that CC could
>> > come up with a derivative of CC-BY-SA 3.0 that covers our needs and
>> the
>> > gaps (and those of other gedata/DB type datasets generally); after all,
>> if
>> > the ODL can do it then why can't CC do it
>> The following background is absolutely crucial. It's in the
>> OpenGeoData post but I'll take the chance to restate it. I'd encourage
>> you, Longbow4u and others to reflect on it.
>> * The Open Data Commons Database Licence is a share-alike licence with
>> attribution elements. It is, as you say, "in the spirit of CC-BY-SA".
>> * Its authors are working with Creative Commons.
>> * Creative Commons has a strong policy that "facts are free"[1]. They
>> have therefore now introduced a "licence" for factual information, but
>> this is essentially public domain (CC0/PDDL) with a voluntary request
>> to share info. We are _not_ recommending that OSM adopts that licence.
>> The ODC Database Licence is entirely separate.
>> So to specifically answer your point about "if the ODL can do it then
>> why can't CC do it":
>> * CC doesn't believe factual information should be subject to
>> restrictions, so _won't_ do it.
>> * But if CC were to do it (if, for example, they were lobbied to do
>> so), their existing collaboration with ODC makes it very likely that
>> they would actually adopt the Open Data Commons Database Licence.
>> In other words, this option is significantly _more_ copyleft than CC
>> themselves propose.
>I am not really convinced by your argument on copyright/DB rights. A map is
>not a factual in the same way that a gazetteer would be or a telephone

Agreed, but surely we need to be careful not to think OSM is one or the
other when in fact it's both. OSM is a database of both factual and
non-factual data (by virtue of some data being artistically represented by
the contributor). That's really what the OSM licence covers since that's
what SteveC started. The maps (renderings) came later and arguably a
different set of copyright and licence rules apply because the "map" and the
database are different.

>Other mapping companies using copyright combined with contract.
>You say that we don't have a contract but the CC-BY-SA 3.0 licence says:
>SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS*" (my emphasis). 

Perhaps the question here is whether there is any contract with OSM. What
consideration is being given by a user of the data for one to be formed?

>So.... we OSMF can distribute
>under CC-BY-SA 3.0 or above, CC-BY-SA 3.0 (and above) is a contract (to the
>extent that it can be in law), and this is the very similar to the legal
>arrangements protecting Navteq's $8billion asset base. If we stick with
>CC-BY-SA then we don't have to ask permission of our contributors and the
>risk of any split removed.
>> > Btw, where should this debate be happening? Personally I suggest the
>> legal
>> > nerdy details are discussed on legal-talk but any discussion about
>> > principles are discussed on 'talk'
>> It's a good point, but in practice legal-talk will work best because
>> it's very difficult to separate the two, and because discussions will
>> drift from one to the other. We also don't want to overwhelm the rest
>> of the project with it!
>Fine. Can I suggest that you respond to discussions that leak across onto
>talk and encourage them back to legal-talk or we will end up having two
>discussions in parallel.
>Keep up the good work!
>> cheers
>> Richard
>> [1] From their database FAQ: "As you know, Creative Commons and
>> Science Commons work to promote freely available content and
>> information. Our preference is that people do not overstate their
>> copyright or other legal rights. Consequently, we adopt the position
>> that 'facts are free' and people should be educated so that they are
>> aware of this."



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