[OSM-legal-talk] Q&A with a lawyer

Jukka Rahkonen jukka.rahkonen at mmmtike.fi
Wed May 13 14:11:25 BST 2009

Ulf Möller <usenet at ...> writes:

> Jukka Rahkonen schrieb:
> > But what if OSMF is changing the license and somebody has
> > managed to base some business on top of derived database 
licensed under the old
> > ODbL license?  Dou you lawyers say that it is a sound basis 
for building a
> > business?  For me it would feel more fair if the derivatives 
could keep the old
> > license even if the mother OSM should update. Companies can
 then deside if they
> > would rather take the new license, or to make a fork.
> According to section 9 of the ODbL, "Releasing the Database under 
> different licence terms or stopping the distribution of the Database 
> will not withdraw this Licence (or any other licence that has been, or 
> is required to be, granted under the terms of this Licence)"
> So yes, companies would have that option.

I should have been reading the license text. It is clearly written, so let there
be forks. That is opening new interesting views. OSMF is still the major
licensor of the derived database that decides to continue its living but remain
in the old license version. Is OSMF after that effectively licensing data with
two different licenses?  And if the maintainer of the derived database has a
community that continues to collect new data under ODbL 1.0 terms, and the main
OSM has advanced to ODbL 1.1 or something, is it possible to exchange data
between these two systems? OSM is the licensor of the ODbL 1.0 fork but cannot
import the data itself, except by saying that ODbL 1.0 and the next license are

Another question:  If the major licensor "stops distributing or making available
the Database", can those who maintain derived databases immediately do the same?

-Jukka Rahkonen-

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