[OSM-legal-talk] Are CT contributors are in breach of the CC-BY-SA license?

Francis Davey fjmd1a at gmail.com
Sun Apr 17 12:21:11 BST 2011

On 17 April 2011 12:09, andrzej zaborowski <balrogg at gmail.com> wrote:
> I asked a similar question in
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/legal-talk/2010-August/004270.html
> and the answer (which I can't find now) from Frederik and others is
> that most likely "your contribution" in this case equals to only the
> *modification* of the original data.  So you're granting OSM a license
> on your modification of the original data, and not the exact contents
> of the XML document being uploaded.

If I have understood the question correctly - and I am not clear on
the technical details (*) - then I think this must be right. The CT's
aren't particularly clear on this point, but I am fairly confident a
court would understand:

<<Thank you for your interest in contributing data and/or any other
content (collectively, “Contents”) to the geo-database of the
OpenStreetMap project (the “Project”).>>>

to mean by "contributing data", that data which will change OSMF's
database. Since anything which is uploaded that is already their
cannot be properly understood as a "contribution".

The context in which OSMF operates suggests this is the intention of
the terms as well.

(*) Not that I can't understand them - I may be a lawyer but I have
some technical competence - just that I don't know how they work
specifically. I've fiddled with OSMF a bit, but don't know all the
ways in which one could download and edit information and what
implications that could have for the database. I am assuming that
there is a usual way of working which involves a download of parts of
the OSMF database, editing that downloaded data structure and then
uploading so that the changes made change the OSMF database.

Francis Davey

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