[OSM-legal-talk] Database and its contents (was: Best license for future tiles?)

Grant Slater openstreetmap at firefishy.com
Mon Nov 22 23:04:49 GMT 2010

On 22 November 2010 22:25, Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com> wrote:
> 80n <80n80n at ...> writes:
>>The relationship between ODbL and DbCL is not very clear and I'm not convinced
>>that lawyers really understand the distinction between a database and it's
>>content.  I'm certain that it isn't understood by most ordinary people.

Database definition as per the ODbL (definition modelled on EU
Database Directive 96/9/EC):
“Database” – A collection of material (the Contents) arranged in a
systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic
or other means offered under the terms of this License.

Anything "substantial" is governed by the ODbL otherwise DbCL.
See the guideline on substantial here:

Database is not the tech definition; Postgresql, MySQL... SQL etc.

> I work with databases every day and I don't understand how the 'database' versus
> 'contents' distinction is meant to apply to maps and to OSM in particular.

See above. OSM is a database collection of factual information which
when rendered makes a map. OSM's main product is not a map but a


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