[OSM-legal-talk] CC-BY-SA and contractual obligations

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Apr 20 21:24:28 BST 2010


    CC-BY-SA means that the receiver of my derived work can do what he 
pleases, and I must not use technical or contractual methods to keep him 
from it.

Say I produce PNG maps that illustrate motorway traffic density, based 
on OSM; I give the PNG to a paying customer, that customer may now 
upload it to Flickr if desired. I am not allowed to make a contract with 
the customer that prohibits him from doing so.

I am, however, under no obligation to continue providing the service. So 
if I am selling subscriptions to my traffic service which allow a paying 
customer to retrieve updated maps at any time, and one customer then 
writes a script to pick up my data once per hour and upload it to 
Flickr, I can terminate the contract. (But not sue for copyright violation.)

It can hardly be wrong to advise the customer upfront of what I am going 
to do; so I could write into my terms and conditions something like:

"The CC-BY-SA license permits you the free distribution of any data you 
download from my site, however if you make use of that right, this 
contract shall be terminated immediately and any advance fees paid by 
you will not be refunded."

Do you agree that this is all perfectly legal - i.e. that CC-BY-SA 
governs only the copyright side of things, but the contractual side is a 
wholly different beast? Or do you think that by doing the above, I would 
somehow illegally circumvent the CC-BY-SA "don't add restrictions" rule?


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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