[OSM-legal-talk] ODbL and publishing source data

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Nov 27 23:54:26 GMT 2011


On 11/27/2011 11:00 PM, Ed Avis wrote:
> I believe I was thinking of this thread:
> <http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gis.openstreetmap.legal/6306>
> I see that you and Frederik disagreed here.


>> The "access to source data" clause in ODbL expressly applies to both
>> Derivative Databases and Produced Works. 4.6: "If You Publicly Use a
>> Derivative Database or a Produced Work from a Derivative Database, You must
>> also offer to recipients of the Derivative Database or Produced Work a copy
>> in a machine readable form of (etc.)"
> Right, so I guess what Kai Kruger wrote "you only have to share the last in a
> chain of derived databases that leads to a produced work, right?" is not so?

1. That's my quote, not Kai's.

2. I still believe it to be correct.

3. I don't think it is a contradiction to what Richard said above.

Maybe is introductory "the 'access to source data' clause applies to 
both..." is a bit misleading but careful reading of the quote 
immediately following that should make it clear:

If you public use a Produced Work, you have to offer the Derivative 
Database used to create it.

If you publicly use a Derivative Database, you have to offer the 
Derivative Database itself. You are not required to release the database 
from which the derivate was made; although you *could* do that along 
with a production rule to satisfy the requirement.

The idea behind this is that if you publish anything based on ODbL 
licensed data, the recipient of that "anything" should have available to 
him the database required to re-produce that.

Whatever you publish could have other ingredients than just data; 
perhaps, a few hundred hours' worth of a cartographer's editing in 
Illustrator. *That* you don't have to release; it is yours to keep. But 
someone else must have the option to get the source database from you 
(er be told by you how to obtain it) and then invest his own few hundred 
cartographer hours.

So yes, you could take an OSM database for London, and pipe it through a 
series of complex database processing steps until for example all that 
remains is, for each point in a 10x10 meter grid, the number of meters 
you have to walk until you reach a street with "a" in its name.

Then you make a nice picture from that - London coloured according to 
distance to nearest street with "a" - and release it. Your obligation to 
share and release now only affects your grid database and not any of the 
intermediate steps, and not the original OSM data either.  (For the 
purpose of this argument let's assume that the base map drawn in your 
final picture was a public domain map that doesn't affect the license 

I think that anything said until here will not be disputed by Richard; 
the bit that *can* be disputed is whether or not it is permissible to 
label your resulting image a database and then not release the database 
behind it. That, however, would have the consequence that you have to 
share the image itself, which would not be the case under the "Produced 
Works" provision.


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

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