[OSM-legal-talk] OS Opendata & the new license

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Fri Sep 24 14:36:39 BST 2010

On 09/24/2010 02:06 PM, 80n wrote:
>  From OS I have a "a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive"
> licence.  But for the CTs I need a "worldwide, royalty-free,
> non-exclusive, perpetual, *irrevocable*" license.

There's no revocation or termination language in the OS licence, so I 
assume you have such a licence, *but* my knowledge of how the law works 
runs out at this point so I don't know for sure.

> I don't have the right to grant an irrevocable license.
> For CC-BY-SA I have to grant a "worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive,
> perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license" which
> is revokable and term limited.  The OS OpenData license permits me to do
> that.  And what's more they explicitly state that the license is
> intended to be compatible with CC-BY-SA 3.0.

BY-SA isn't revokable. You can stop offering the work under BY-SA, but 
anyone who has already received it is free to continue to use it under 
BY-SA and to continue to offer it themselves. You cannot revoke their 

It's also not term limited, unless I've misunderstood something. Any 
copyright licence lasts at most for the duration of the copyright. Again 
it's an assumption on my part but I'd think copyright licences default 
to this.

(I'm now wondering if the OS licence is BY (and BY-SA) 2.0 compatible, 
as 2.0 lacks the non-endorsement language that the OS licence insists 
on... ;-) )

> It then goes on to say "If You are not the copyright holder of the
> Contents, You represent and warrant that You have explicit permission
> from the rights holder" which is the relevant clause.  It's obviously
> not clear enough for some people.

I still find it clear but I admit that it is a bit legalesey, yes.

> I think there's plenty of evidence to suggest that most people don't
> read them.  Here's an amusing example of such:
> http://www.pcpitstop.com/spycheck/eula.asp

I *never* read EULAs. Just alternative licences. ;-)

(I am not a lawyer, etc.)

- Rob.

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