[OSM-legal-talk] hands on commercial applications

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Jun 19 22:43:56 BST 2008


    first of all, from a license viewpoint it doesn't matter what you 
use the data for (whether you do routing on it or just display it or 
whatever). It also doesn't matter what your personal views on the matter 
are. You say that you wouldn't like it if someone sold OSM data, but in 
fact this is permitted by the license.

The license is simply: When you produce a *derived* work involving OSM 
data, the derived work has to be licensed CC-BY-SA (and attributed but 
that's the easier part).

What you want to do is make sure you produce a *collected* rather than 
derived work, which will enable you to license different parts of it 

A common rule of thumb (by no means legally tested) is separatability 
(sp?). If your aeronautical data and the OSM data you distribute can be 
easily separated (e.g. two different files on the SD card, osm.dat and 
aeronautical.dat) then it is likely that only the osm.dat file is 
CC-BY-SA and the aeronautical.dat is whatever you please.

If, on the other hand, everything is mixed and mingled into one giant 
database file you produce, then it will be hard to argue that this is a 
collected work *even if* you have not actually changed one dataset based 
on the other.

(Enabling your customers to upload OSM data to the device by simply 
offering some sort of converter software would of course be your safest 
bet - if you don't touch OSM data yourself then your data cannot be 
infected by the share-alike aspect.)

Be aware however that making a collected work may in some cases just 
shift the burden on to your users. For example, imagine you would allow 
your users to save the flightpath in a file and later generate a film 
sequence that re-plays the in-flight view, and save that as a movie 
file. That movie file would contain pictures of aeronautical data and 
OSM data and would clearly fall under CC-BY-SA. Supposed your 
aeronautical data is under closed licensing, that would mean that you 
cannot allow your users to give such animations to anybody as this would 
immediately set them free unser CC-BY-SA...

There's a lot of fun to be had with licensing, welcome to the club.


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