[OSM-legal-talk] Substantial meaning

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Fri Apr 24 08:28:04 BST 2009

On 23 Apr 2009, at 19:42, SteveC wrote:

> Has there been any discussion on what people here feel 'substantial'
> means in the context of the definitions of the ODbL? I've banged
> around the wiki looking but might might have missed it. Here's the
> first important bit relevant to this in the ODbL:
> ""Extraction" – Means the permanent or temporary transfer of all or a
> Substantial part of the Data
> to another medium by any means or in any form. "
> Which I believe follows the language of the EU database directive.
> Basically, what do we feel substantial means when someone takes some
> part of the data? How much is 'substantial'? I won't frame the
> question further as I can see a number of ways and we, the license
> working group, would like to get a feel for the communities views.
> We're not looking for a legal opinion on that here, clearly case law
> one day has to play a role. Rather, what do we think it means?

I added some specific examples to the Use Cases pages some time ago to  
explored where the boundary of 'substantiality' were or should be:-

"The license allows the free extraction of non-substantial amounts of  
data. People will be allowed to extract anything below this threshold  
and use it completely free of any restrictions. What constitutes a  
"substantial" extract. Which of the follow extracts from OSM would be  
treated as substantial?

  "   *  UK[2]
  "   * An English county [3]
  "   * The Isle of white (an island off the south of the UK) [4]
  "   * Newport (a small town on the isle of white) [5]
  "   * A list of places to eat in Newport [6]

I would suggest that all except possibly the last to be seen as  
substantial. Do others agree?  If we were to codify this in numbers  
would it come down to something like more that 50-100 features is  
substantial (ie more that 50-100 ways or independent nodes).

Seeing the limit higher may allow more 'unexpected applications' to  
emerge that would find it hard to meet the rules of the license - not  
sure what they would be (that's why they are unexpected!).

The real question I suppose is 'what are we wanting to stop'? Are we  
wanting to protect every last node or just stop clones of OSM setting  
up and diluting effort? If it is the latter then we can set the count  
quite high.



> Best
> Steve
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