[OSM-legal-talk] CC-BY-SA / Non-separatable combination of OSM+other

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Feb 1 18:17:55 GMT 2011


    this has arisen in a discussion on talk-gb, but I'm paraphrasing to
spare you the details.

Say you make a printed map that consists of an OSM base map with
something else sourced from elsewhere printed on top, e.g. an OSM map
with your private dataset of underground pipelines.

Until now it was my understanding that such a map can only ever be
licensed CC-BY-SA in full; you cannot say "the base map is licensed
CC-BY-SA but if you trace off the underground pipelines then you violate
my copyright".

I know that at OSM we always used to say: If the layers are separable
then you can have different licenses on each; if not, then not.

For example, several projects using terrain elevation data from CGIAR,
which is licensened "noncommercial use only", have gone to great lengths
to produce multi-layered tiled maps (OSM data on the base layer, then
CGIAR data on the semi-transparent intermediate layer, then OSM data
again on the top layer) because they have been told that if they merge
the data, then the whole tile must be licensed CC-BY-SA - you cannot
have a tile that says "CC-BY-SA but the contour shadings herein must
only be used in a noncommercial context".

Over on talk-gb, Peter Miller claimed the opposite; he says that even if
multiple sources are combined in an inseparable way (e.g. printed on top
of each other), you can still claim that this is a "collected work"
where the CC-BY-SA license applies only to the OSM bit, and not to
whatever you printed on top.

Of course this would result in a map that can *not* be copied under
CC-BY-SA because it is virtually impossible to make a copy and leave out
the foreign data that has been printed on top.

Peter says that

> I would consider the proposed resulting work to be 'two or more
> distinct, separate and independent works selected and arranged into a
> collective whole with the ccbysa content being used in an entirely
> unmodified form'.

For me, this would be the case if you produce a book with copyrighted 
data on one page and CC-BY-SA data on the next, but not if you print 
everything into one so that it cannot be separated and the CC-BY-SA 
content cannot be accessed separately. I was under the impression that 
OSM data cannot be used as a base medium to distribute proprietary data.

Peter invited me to continue the discussion here rather than on talk-gb, 
so here we are. Does anyone have an opinion on the matter? I'd be very 
interested to hear them because I have been explaining CC-BY-SA to a lot 
of people an I always told them that if they make a printed product it 
*has* to be CC-BY-SA, fully. Now if it turns out that project opinion is 
rather more on Peter's side I'd probably make some phone calls tomorrow 
and tell some people that contrary to what I said earlier, they can go 
ahead with their projects ;)


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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