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

80n 80n80n at gmail.com
Sun Apr 17 16:56:22 BST 2011

On Sun, Apr 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM, Francis Davey <fjmd1a at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 17 April 2011 13:30, 80n <80n80n at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The question is whether you can upload a CC-BY-SA licensed work under
>> any other license than CC-BY-SA?
> I am sorry if I misunderstood your original question. I am not quite
> sure I understand this one. What do you mean by "upload .. .under" a
> licence? That doesn't make sense to me. Do you mean, "does CC-BY-SA"
> permit a contributor to contribute to OSMF under the existing
> contributor terms? (Answer: no) or do you mean something else?

Sorry, I was using jargon here which probably only makes sense to
those very familiar with the OSM context.  I'll try to make myself a
little clearer.

Suppose there is a creative work that has been published with a
CC-BY-SA license.  Suppose I take that work and make from it a
derivative work.  Can I then give a copy of that derivative work to a
third party who insists that it is provided to them under an agreement
that is like the OSM Contributor Terms 1.2.4?

In other words, if I've agreed to the current contributor terms, does
the act of submitting CC-BY-SA licensed content to OSM voilate the
terms of the CC-BY-SA license?

As a bit of background, the process of modifying the OSM map is a
three step process:
1) A user gets a subset of the map from the OSM web-site
2) The user makes modifications to that map on their own computer
3) The user gives the modifications back to OSMF via the OSM web-site.

All content within the OSM database is published as CC-BY-SA 2.0.
This extends comprehensively however it is obtained.  There is no
special route that content takes when someone wants to edit something.
 They request a subset of the map (step 1) which is downloaded to the
user's computer where they then modify it (step 2).  This subset is
licensed under CC-BY-SA just like any other content from OSM and their
modifications are a Derivative Work.

When user has finished modifying the map they then send it back to OSM
(step 3) and in doing so they affirm that the modified content is
granted to OSMF under a "worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive,
perpetual, irrevocable licence", or whatever the version of the
contributor terms are that they originally signed up to.

It seems to me that the CTs get in the way of the loop that is
supposed to exist that permits someone to get OSM content, modify it,
and then give it back.  If the content in this loop is CC-BY-SA
licensed then putting up a CT gateway or barrier would appear to break
that loop.

>> If I grant you a license to use a creative work under CC-BY-SA, can
>> you then give it to some third party under a different license?  I
>> don't see that CC-BY-SA permits this.
> Yes, for some values of "a different licence". Eg, CC-BY-SA 3.0 (us version):

I mean a *really* different license, one such as CT 1.2.4 which is
known to be incompatible with CC-BY-SA 2.0.

> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/legalcode
> Clause 4(b) permits the distribution of the work under certain other
> licences, including "Creative Commons Compatible Licence(s)".
> Its a bafflingly drafted licence (if I may say) since it also says
> "You may not sublicense the Work" (in clause 4(a)) which directly
> contradicts what is said in 4(b). Clearly what is intended is that
> there is a general rule against sublicensing, subject to a specific
> set of permissions under clause 4(b) even though this comes under a
> heading "Restrictions". Re-distribution under a licence is
> sublicensing and cannot be anything else.

This is probably a bit of a red-herring and I'm not sure it's relevant
to the question at hand.

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