[OSM-legal-talk] Questions about CTs 1.2.4

Francis Davey fjmd1a at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 23:06:10 BST 2011

On 13 April 2011 22:24, James Livingston <lists at sunsetutopia.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> After looking at the new CTs, I'm still a bit confused about whether I can agree or not and what a few things actually mean. I was wondering if someone could enlighten me.

Answers are my best (informal) guess - so don't rely on it as formal
legal advice.

> From clause 1 "If you contribute Contents, You are indicating that, as far as You know, You have the right to authorize OSMF to use and distribute those Contents under our current licence terms"
> To me, that says I can upload any data as long as it's compatible with whatever license we are using at the time. That is, I can agree to the CTs and then still upload ODbL incompatible data because our current licence is CC-BY-SA.
> * Is that a correct reading?


> * If so, how do we know what data must be removed in a switch to ODbL?

That clause doesn't appear to put any obligation on you to remove
data. All it requires of you is that _when you contribute_ you have a
right to give that authorisation.

> Clause 2 is a grant for certain rights. From previous discussion here, can I assume that I can agree if I'm not the copyright holder, and that I only grant the rights I can under the licence I received the data under?

That depends very much on the licence, but for many licences the
answer will be no. For example most CC licences don't give you the
right to grant such a licence.

> If that is correct, then OSMF may not be able to re-license under clause 3. For example I got data that could be re-licensed under CC-BY-SA and ODbL so I could upload it, it's not necessarily going to be able to be re-licensed under any arbitrary future licence. How do we indicate that?

It is not correct. So the problem doesn't arise. The problem you raise
illustrates why, in practice, you cannot give the grant in clause 2 if
all you have is a CC-licence to use the data.

> If my earlier reading of clause 1 was wrong, and I can't agree to the CTs and upload CC-BY-SA data - why? If it's related to clause 3, would that same reason stop people uploading ODbL-only data in future since it can't be re-licensed to CC-BY-SA (which is listed)?

I don't know why. I do know that the licence working group have
thought a great deal about it and are always happy to accept
constructive suggestions about it. I anticipate someone coming along
and explaining.

In answer to your last question: yes again. ODbL data does not allow
you to make a grant as wide as that in clause 2.

Whether any of these problems are real (rather than imagined) is
another matter. In practice I suspect the likelihood of anyone
bringing legal action for infringement is negligible.

Francis Davey

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