[OSM-legal-talk] ODbL RC and share-alike licensing of Produced Works

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Tue Jun 9 10:41:07 BST 2009

Matt Amos wrote:
> RichardF's findings on tracing over photographs make me wonder 
> whether similar arguments can be made for tracing over rendered 
> images.

Well, the issue is whether licensing an image as BSD (or CC-BY-SA, or
all-rights-reserved, or whatever) automatically "overwrites" all other
rights, or lack of them, associated with the subject matter of the image. We
are learning that it doesn't: my interminable blog posting of the other day
about aerial photographs was just one example of that.

Here's another. I can lean out of my window here and take a picture of the
car park, and license it as CC-BY-SA. No problem with that.

There's a Volkswagen Passat parked outside the window. So is the distinctive
shape of the Passat now CC-BY-SA? Can I start up a business making
sharealike cars? Or does CC-BY-SA's clause that says "you may not impose any
terms on the Work that alter or restrict the terms of this License" prevent
me from taking the photo, because of the design right and copyright on the
Passat body shape?

Of course not.

Or I could go into the other office and take a picture out of that window.
I'd probably get several copyrighted Sainsburys slogans, a Sainsburys logo,
a Molson Coors logo, and several bits of architecture. If I took a video
instead, I'd get some cheesy house music from the chavs driving past and
maybe even the traffic light sequence at the crossroads, which as any Burton
resident will tell you, is a very "creative work" indeed.

All of this is variously copyrightable/trademarkable/wtf in different
jurisdictions. But again, though I'm entitled to license this photo/video as
BSD or CC-BY-SA, that doesn't "liberate" (yeuch) all the content within it.
Other rights can and do apply.

This seems, to me, to be what the revised ODbL is saying. But I may be

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