[OSM-legal-talk] Substantial meaning

Mike Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Sat Apr 25 09:25:47 BST 2009

I've tried to capture all the comments made with some strawman wording below.  Please feel free to cast arrows at it.

I've also copied it to


I am not happy that I have captured 2 properly. I am trying to build on Russ' comments and build a case that a systematic extraction of a single criteria is Substantial in a qualitative sense (even if a minute quantity of the entire database).

The overall rationale for the wording is 

a) it is safer to define non-Substantial than Substantial; 

b) to encourage as much as possible the worry-free use of our data for personal projects, local community and local educational projects, for commercial projects where our data is either a very small adjunct to the main thrust of the product/service or where the commerciality is clearly cottage-industry, for example village map OK, town map not OK;

c) build a case for the "qualitative" interpretation of Substantial (http://edina.ac.uk/projects/grade/gradeDigitalRightsIssues.pdf, p28)


"We regard the following as being not Substantial within the meaning of our license provided that the extraction is one-off and not repeated over time for the same or a similar project:

1. 100 features. In OpenStreetMap parlance, a feature can be a way, such as part a road with the same characteristics, or an independent node, (Point Of Interest), such as an eating place. 

2. You can go over the 100 feature limit, provided that the extraction is non-systematic and clearly based on your own qualitative criteria.  For example, we would regard the extraction and use of all eating places or all castles in an area as Substantial.  But if you extract the locations of restaurants you have visited for a personal map to share with friends or use the locations of historic buildings as an adjunct in a book you are writing, we would regard that as non Substantial.

3. A single systematic extraction and re-use of an entire area of up to 1,000 inhabitants .  The area can be a small densely populated area,(for example, a European village but not a town), or a large sparsely-populated area, (for example, Australian bush).

If your extraction of data does not fall within the above guidelines, then we would expect it to be Substantial and therefore you should comply with the provisions of our license."

More information about the legal-talk mailing list