[OSM-legal-talk] Licensing Working Group report, 2009/01/22

andrzej zaborowski balrogg at gmail.com
Sun Jan 25 17:03:47 GMT 2009

2009/1/25 Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net>:
> andrzej zaborowski wrote:
>> Also a different question is bothering me.  The old license is
>> the well known CC-BY-SA, so it is automatically compatible
>> with sources (and consumers) using the same license.  So,
>> say I've uploaded a lot of information based on wikipedia,
>> conscious that I'm uploading under an "alike" license.
>> Now that the license changes, I would be obliged to leave
>> even if I agree with the principles of the new license
>> because I cannot agree to relicense data that is not my own
>> (derived works).
> Depends on the facts/data in question. I'd be interested to hear what they
> are, but strongly suspect that they would not be deserving of any copyright
> protection in the first place, and isolated facts on Wikipedia are not
> arranged in a sufficiently structured manner to merit EU database right
> protection.

True that the information is not structured and costs a person putting
the information on OSM a bit of "surveying" across wikipedia.  However
it wouldn't be available without the effort put by wikipedians into
gatherting the information.  The usual example is where a WP page for
a street in my city contains information such as "the street was
previously named X Y until date Z" and I tag it with old_name=X Y or
other information of not so much siginificance.

There are also many pages like
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulica_Rzgowska_w_%C5%81odzi where if you
click "[pokaż]" (under the picture box) will show you names of all
streets crossed together with which crossings have traffic lights, and
even names of interesting objects beside the way with postal addresses
which I like to tag too.

There's also a local garmin maps project in Poland that predates OSM
from where a lot of data has been initially imported.  Their page says
"they suppose their license terms are those of CC-BY-SA" although
asked on their mailing list they said they weren't interested in
cooperation which means they wouldn't agree to relicense unlike
concerned wikipedia editors might if I asked them.

I'm sure there are other such cases.

> By the same token, I don't have any qualms about relicensing information
> that I've found via CC-licensed photos on geograph.org.uk. If I see a photo
> on Geograph of a road sign pointing west saying "Whissendine 5" with a
> "National Byway" sign underneath it, I judge that the National Byway follows
> that road. The act of taking a (CC-licensed) photograph of that sign does
> not give copyright protection to the information expressed in the photo nor
> restrict the extraction of that information, because the photographer has
> not invested any creative/original work in placing the sign there.

I'm no lawyer but I thought that would be a bit in the grey area
already, especially considering that value of the photograph is
entirely in the information it contains (because it's not posted on a
family pictures site).

> ("Consumers" of OSM data are a different matter because in most cases,
> including Wikipedia, collective work provisions apply.)



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