[OSM-legal-talk] Creative-Commons 4.0 (first draft)

Ed Avis eda at waniasset.com
Tue Apr 10 11:32:54 BST 2012

Frederik Ramm <frederik at ...> writes:

>>It looks like with the release of CC 4.0 there may be two share-alike
>>licenses suitable for data with different copyleft provisions. CC with a
>>stronger copyleft and ODbL with a weaker one that allows produced works
>>under a non-free license.
>I don't think it is as simple as that; the requirement to share the 
>derivative database that stands behind a produced work seems to be 
>"stronger" than what CC does.

The way I see it is that there are two ways to play.

If you want to be fully open then you distribute your new work in data form
so that it is easy for others to build on further.  You distribute it as a
Derivative Database, and under the exact same terms you received the input data.
In that case the licence does not (or should not in my view) put any obstacles
in your way.  You are giving others exactly the same rights you yourself
received, so you can just get on with your work and distribute the result
without further hassle.

However, for those who don't want to be quite so open, the ODbL has made a
concession by allowing the concept of a Produced Work.  Your resulting work
does not have to be licensed under any particular terms.  However, if you want
to take advantage of this option, then it is your responsibility to publish the
intermediate databases you used.

The one thing that CC does allow which ODbL may or may not (depending on the
legal definition of 'database') is to make a derived work which is much simpler
in structure and publish it under the same terms you received the data, without
disclosing anything further.  For example, making a human-viewable map image
from the computer-readable OSM map.  I would argue that this can be done too
in the ODbL case, by publishing your map tiles as Derivative Databases under
the ODbL, since I've not seen anything to suggest that a raster image file is
not also a database in law.  But opinion differs on this point.

I believe your example of a route planner producing directions is similar here:
it is a much simpler work ('turn left, then right') derived from the larger
map database.  But certainly a set of directions is itself a database, as anyone
who programmed LOGO knows.

Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com>

More information about the legal-talk mailing list