[OSM-legal-talk] post-migration terms for maps rendered by OSM?

Mike Linksvayer ml at creativecommons.org
Wed Jun 17 17:13:24 BST 2009

This may be a stupid or uninteresting question. Or the answer may be
obvious and I've completely missed it. Apologies in any of those

Currently I understand that all data and content on OSM is available
under CC BY-SA.  That is suboptimal for databases, which of course is
why ODbL is desired (or some instrument appropriate for databases,
I'll completely ignore the PD vs copyleft debate here, hoping it isn't
relevant to my question). At least one important re-user uses maps
rendered by OSM under CC BY-SA --

Under what terms will maps rendered by OSM be available after the
database is migrated to ODbL?  I can imagine some possibilities such

(a) Rendered maps will be under the permissive Database Contents
License http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/dbcl/  -- replacement
for the Factual Information License mentioned at

(b) Rendered maps will be under the ODbL itself.  I guess that could
be read into http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_License_FAQ#How_does_this_affect_Wikipedia_and_other_projects_that_want_to_use_our_maps.3F

(c) Rendered maps will be under some other terms distinct from the
database or database contents (CC BY-SA, public domain ...)

I'm not sure rendered maps are really "database contents" and they
don't seem to be databases themselves, though I guess one could make a
stretch for either. And (c), while not a stretch (maybe, modulo
related question below) isn't mentioned in the FAQ. so I'm assuming it
isn't on the table.  Which is it, or something else I'm completely

Related question:

Presumably the above question only applies to maps rendered by OSM.
One could presumably take the database under ODbL, render their own
map, and release under any terms compatible with satisfying the
notice/attribution requirement of ODbL for produced work -- 4.3 in
http://www.co-ment.net/text/1280/ -- which presumably includes any of
the main CC licenses, as well as many other possible release terms. Is
this correct?

Very marginally-related and even more probably stupid question:

What terms will non-map/data/database OSM contents (ie the wiki and
maybe other things I don't know about) be under post-migration?  Same
as current, ie no migration, ie CC BY-SA, or migration to something

Why do I ask?

Mostly because I couldn't find the answer (I have read recent threads
about produced works and didn't find it therein). :-)  And I'm hoping
that maps rendered by OSM (by far the most convenient source of maps
rendered with OSM data) may be combined with CC BY-SA works so that
another incompatible set of copylefted content isn't created, given
that the biggest incompatibility in the copylefted content universe is
about to be eliminated (Wikimedia sites adding CC BY-SA of course).  I
can imagine that this could be the case under any of (a), (b), or (c)
above, but I'd like to know for certain.

I do work for Creative Commons, but note that I'm not a lawyer, am not
stating a position for CC, and only talking about rendered maps, not
data or databases!


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