[OSM-legal-talk] [OSM-talk] OpenStreetMap License Change Phase 3 begins Sunday

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Fri Apr 15 20:30:03 BST 2011


On 04/15/2011 09:16 PM, Francis Davey wrote:
>>> In addition, it is imho not clear that not some of the many
>>> imports listed as "Attribution" licensed wouldn't fall into this
>>> category, too (rather than in category 3 as CC-BY).
> I haven't seen this list so cannot comment.

Sorry for that. I had been drawn into a legal discussion on talk and
decided to move it back here, without giving proper context. The context
is this:

Someone asked wether, if we someone has agreed to CT but
we later find out his contribution was "tainted" (their wording), we
would then delete all data contributed by that person. My answer was:

> If data is "tainted" in a way that makes in incompatible with the
> currently used license then it will have to be removed in order not
> to put the project at risk (e.g. data copied from proprietary
> sources). This is independent of the license change.
> If data is "tainted" in a way that makes it compatible with the
> currently used license, but it is likely that the data will have to
> be removed should OSM ever change to a different license under the
> CT "2/3 of active mappers" clause, then things are difficult - it
> would certainly be better in the long run to replace such data by
> data that is fully compliant, and I would estimate tools to be
> developed that would aim to gradually phase out such limited-release
> data and make sure such data is not used to "build upon" if it can be
> avoided. But I don't think it would be removed outright - I guess the
> decision will be delayed until such time as anyone actually proposes
> changing the license again.
> There's also a third kind of "tainted" that sits in the middle of
> these two, namely data that has e.g. been released CC-BY. Such data
> looks compatible at first, but closer inspection (see current
> discussion on legal-talk) reveals that CC-BY explicitly forbids
> sublicensing, and sublicensing is what the new scheme is all about.
> So in that case we'd have a legal outcome (data being distributed
> with attribution) but an untidy process that took us there. I don't
> know if this is a minor problem that can be ignored, or a
> showstopper.

Note that with this "third kind" I was basically trying to echo what you
(FD) had written earlier on legal-talk.

The "list" mentioned in the quote at the top of this email is

Someone replied to my message with:

> There's also a fourth kind of "tainted" data. Data that might be
> compatible with CC-BY-SA, and might be compatible with ODbL, but is
> incompatible with the CT's.

To which I again replied

> It would be very hard to construct something of that kind. The most
> common thing is certainly going to be the above "third" case, where
> you have the right to distribute data under CC-BY-SA or maybe even
> ODbL or maybe you even have the right to distribute it under any
> license with a BY component, but you do not have the right to
> authorize a third party (OSMF) to perform such distribution.
> For data of your "fourth" kind you would have to have a data provider
> who says "you can use my data under CC-BY-SA or ODbL, and you have
> the right to sublicense not only under these licenses, but you also
> under these licenses plus the additional privilege of further
> sublicensing". I'm not aware of such a situation even existing.

If you find anything wrong with that, I'm happy to correct my own 
statement on talk.

I shouldn't have started replying to legal stuff on talk in the first 
place. Normally i only say "if you want to discuss this come to 


More information about the legal-talk mailing list