[OSM-legal-talk] A very brief brief for our new licence

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Sun Sep 28 04:29:30 BST 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: legal-talk-bounces at openstreetmap.org [mailto:legal-talk-
> bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Iván Sánchez Ortega
> Sent: 27 September 2008 23:35
> To: legal-talk at openstreetmap.org
> Subject: [Spam] Re: [OSM-legal-talk] A very brief brief for our new
> licence
> El Sábado, 27 de Septiembre de 2008, Frederik Ramm escribió:
> > Hi,
> >
> > > 2) Ensure that if people use the OSM dataset within any publically
> > > available work that they should attribute OSM in the resulting work
> > > appropriately for the medium, the space available and the relative
> > > significance of the OSM data to their final work unless they receive a
> > > formal request from the foundation for the work not to be attributed.
> [...]
> > Is it meant as a way for users to get a carte blanche from the
> > Foundation that they don't have to do attribution, or is it meant as a
> > way for the foundation to suppress attribution in certain cases? Both
> > would be questionable in my eyes.
> Having read the ODbL, my understanding is that section 4.3 (attribution
> when
> using data from the DB in a non-DB) is *not* waivable. In other words, the
> OSMF alone can not allow any party to not attribute OSM.
> (The only way to do that would be that every single contributor for the
> data
> used should multi-license his/her data under a non-attribution license)
> Resistance is futile. You will be attributed.
> On the other hand...
> El Sábado, 27 de Septiembre de 2008, Peter Miller escribió:
> > 3) It should allow people to do anything within reason they like with
> the
> > OSM dataset so long as they comply with 1) and 2) and do not bring OSM
> into
> > disrepute.
> I disagree with Peter here - the ODbL explicitly waives all moral rights.
> There would be absolutely no way to prevent people from saying "OMGWTFBBQ!
> OSM is a crap full of errors!!".
> (I don't know if the moral rights waiver (which includes waiving the right
> to
> be attributed as the author) would interfere with the attribution clause -
> I'd need a lawyer to unsderstand that bit).
> IMHO (IANAL, TINLA) the Open Database License *plus* Factual Information
> License duo (ODbL+FIL) can be summarized as:
> - The individual pieces of data that make OSM up are facts. Facts are
> free.
> - If you are making a "Database" with data taken from OSM, you have to
> publish
> the data back. This ensures that improvements to the OSM dataset benefit
> everyone. "Database" can mean a relational DB, a plain text file, or any
> large extract of raw or processed OSM data.
> - If you're making an "Integrated Experience" with data taken from OSM,
> you
> just have to tell everyone just so. You don't have to give anything back.
> This ensures freedom to use OSM data in more ways. "Integrated Experience"
> can mean an OpenLayers mash-up, a pretty map render, or a printed map with
> stuff on top.
> I'm still baffled by the term "integrated experience", as it has no clear
> definition. Let's see if the peer reviews of the ODbL drafts clarify those
> words.

I think we have exposed a valid issue here, that if we can't understand what
is intended by the proposed licence then I think that we can be pretty sure
that the same applies to potential users of the data!

Personally I think this is the weakest part of the current document, ie what
attribution is expected and how and where. This is particularly important
where the data is used in some end product or 'user experience', for example
a map on a web page. That needs to be very simple to understand by potential

I agree that attribution to individual users seems to be waved but I suspect
that there is actually method in the madness and that in reality
contributors can require attribution in the DB itself by use of notices, to
quote: 'ODL-Database does offer the possibility of adding other attribution
where another substantial data source has been imported (typically not under

However, I also don't understand how OSM can always insist on being
attributed as outlined on the wiki 'ODL-Database expressly requires that
credit is only given to the database, i.e. OpenStreetMap (4.2/4.3'. Sure, if
the main OSM DB is used then that is the effect of the example notice in the
licence in 4.2, 'This DOCUMENT TYPE contains information from DATABASE NAME'
however a Derivative or Collective database may be called something else and
therefore OSM will not be attributed.

One other question of clarification I have for OSMF is about whether this
licence is to be used for all individual contributors. It doesn't seem to be
very suitable for that purpose in that most contributors are just tweeking
an existing DB, and it is much too complex for that purpose.

I am now well of my depth as well and I suggest that we kick these questions
back to the OSMF team dealing with the lawyers and expect an official
response from them, or at a minimum a holding email while they check?

Is this the main area of concern with my 'brief brief', if so we are doing
very well :) or are there any others that we should consider?



> Cheers,
> --
> ----------------------------------
> Iván Sánchez Ortega <ivan at sanchezortega.es>
> A:	Dr. Livingston I. Presume.
> Q:	What's Dr. Presume's full name?

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