[OSM-legal-talk] Database rights and who has them
peter.miller at itoworld.com
Thu Apr 2 22:40:16 BST 2009
On 1 Apr 2009, at 14:53, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>> 'Remember that a database can attract copyright as well as database
>> rights. The reduction in the scope of protection under database
>> may mean that the makers of databases seek to rely more on copyright
>> in order to protect their investment.'
> Copyright, in connection with databases, never means copyright on the
> contents, just a copyright on the layout, structure, or modes of
> to the database. I don't think there is a lot of copyrightable
> like that in OSM, and if it were, then the copyright owners would
> neither be OSMF nor the mappers, but the individuals who have designed
> the database.
Note that it is our lawyer's opinion that much of OSM data is
protected by copyright and that the license does not reflect this
adequately and relies on database rights too much:-
"Linked to point 2 above, the ODbL relies too heavily on database
right. Copyright is briefly mentioned, but key aspects of copyright
are also restricted in sections of the ODbL. Database rights may well
apply to the Database, however, there must be considerable doubt on
this point (particularly in light of several recent court judgements).
The wisest (and most usual) course of action would be to ensure that
the ODbL covers all possible applicable rights, without over reliance
on any single one. It would appear that the ODbL had originally been
drafted with a very different type of database in mind to that of the
OSM Database. Possibly intended for use with databases containing
references to contained copyright works (such as film clips, art works
etc.). In this respect the ODC Factual Information Licence v0.9
referred to in the announcement by the OSMF, is unhelpful. The rights
granted by this Licence are more limited than those in the ODbL and
the rights and obligations are not framed in the same manner, thereby
leading to some conflict between the provisions of both agreements.
Such conflict would cause obvious difficulty. This is easily remedied
by the application of a broader definition of rights, the removal of
specific restrictions relating to copyright in particular and a
reworking of the definition of “Database” to exclude the appropriate
class of individual copyrighted works which are held within (but do
not form part of) the Database. The current definition of Data is too
wide to achieve this purpose.
I understand from the licensing working group passed these comment to
the OSMF lawyer for consideration on or around the 19th March.
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