[OSM-legal-talk] Substantial meaning

Mike Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Fri Apr 24 15:05:07 BST 2009

At 00:34 24/04/2009, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> 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.

>It hasn't been discussed a lot. I guess you have read the
>often-referred-to pp28-32 of
>http://edina.ac.uk/projects/grade/gradeDigitalRightsIssues.pdf which of
>course are not specific to OSM.

Thank you, I was looking for that.  As Frederick says, it is very well
worth reading.  An interesting point for us is that "Substantial" can
be both "quantitative" or "qualititative" in nature. Can we do with
anything with a "qualititative" description where we avoid numbers

I assume that for most of us, the common sense cut-off is really about
commercial value? Something like this? (this is a real question not a
statement) :-

Not Substantial:

1. An area too limited to be of commercial value. Something usually
applicable to  a personal or local community project: My house, my
street, our part of town or a complete but small village.

2. A non-systematic, ad hoc extraction of data tagged with a specific
tag or tags, even if over a wide or even global area. For example,
some historic= Points of Interest in an area used as reference or
adjunct of a commercial, educational or scientific project: Yes.  All
historic POIs in a defined area: No.


1. An extraction large enough or systematic enough to be of potential
commercial value, even if mixed with other data.

... Looking back at the above, I wonder if the best thing to do would
be define what we think of as "Not Substantial" and steer clear of
"Substantial" except to say that if an extraction is not *clearly*
part  of our "Not Substantial" list then we as Licensor expect our
License conditions to be applicable?


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