[OSM-legal-talk] using osm data and other sources in a project

Ian Sergeant isergean at hih.com.au
Mon Aug 22 07:05:11 BST 2011

Jukka Rahkonen <jukka.rahkonen at latuviitta.fi> wrote on 19/08/2011 06:30:29 
> The blue sea is coming from one database, borders from another and red 
> motorways from a third. All with one request and end user cannot 
separate the
> sources from the png image. 

This use-case has been discussed many times on this list, and it may be 
worthwhile for you to look back through the archives to see the results of 
these discussions.

Although most opinions are given by non-lawyer types, I would say that 
there is that a fair consensus of opinion that if the OSM data is 
maintained in a separate database, and presented as a separate layer (say 
using open layers) then it can be treated as separate.

There is little definitive in the way of legal interpretation on this, and 
most people are applying their own interpretation of the licence, and 
yours may be as good as anyone else's.  ODbL at least may simplify the 
situation with the resulting tiles when the licence is switched.  It is, 
however, entirely within the bounds of possibility that the current 
licence may apply virally to any combined tile you could produce with OSM 
data on it, and if you will suffer loss if it does, then you should seek 
legal advice and not rely on this list.

Even in your worst case you only have to licence what you distribute under 
CC BY-SA.  That which is undistributed can remain unencumbered, and you 
are under no obligation to distribute it.  In other words if you don't 
distribute your data except as rendered tiles you only need to apply the 
licence to the tiles, and the modified data or other databases can be kept 
secure and do not need to be shared.

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