[OSM-legal-talk] Community norms (was: ODbL and publishing source data)

Ed Avis eda at waniasset.com
Tue Nov 29 10:49:34 GMT 2011

Frederik Ramm <frederik at ...> writes:

>I am interested in exploring this further with the aim of finding good 
>community norms, nailing down the problem cases, and making the 
>introduction of ODbL for OSM a success.

I think you have to be careful about going too far with community norms.
They may give the misleading impression that copyright holders have endorsed
them so that they are legal statements of what you can do with the map, but this
is not the case.  Also, the contributor terms permit distribution under ODbL,
not 'ODbL with community norms', so it would not be within OSMF's mandate under
the CTs to introduce additional material to the licence, however well-

Community norms can serve to narrow the permission (as in: although X may be
permissible according to the letter of the law, we don't feel it fits the spirit)
but they cannot state anything with authority where the underlying legal
situation is unclear.

More to the point, would it not be better to fix up ambiguities in a new version
of the ODbL?  Migrating to it later would be pretty painless since the licence is

Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com>

More information about the legal-talk mailing list