[OSM-legal-talk] MoU between OSM and NLSF

Chris Hill osm at raggedred.net
Wed Jul 4 11:40:36 BST 2012

I'm cautious about quoting Wikipedia especially about anything legal, 
but it rightly says a MoU is an agreement between two or more parties. 
An understanding is an agreement. One party is the National Land Survey 
of Finland, but who is the other party? OSM? What is that? How am I (or 
more particularly someone adding Finnish data to OSM) to react to this? 
Who is agreeing to this and how will they be bound to this agreement? If 
it is not an agreement then it is not an MoU.

If the National Land Survey of Finland wants to clarify what their 
licence means, then they can do that without using an MoU, just issue a 
statement of clarification. If, however, that gives OSM some extra, 
special rights then that is a problem. What is to stop someone 
extracting such data and using it in some other Open dataset outside of 
OSM which has not received these extra rights? We say OSM data can be 
used for any purpose by anyone if they comply with CC BY-SA (and soon 
ODbL), yet any extra restrictions, such as special tags, negates this.

The proposed MoU states:

OSM are preparing guidelines for all OpenStreetMap data collectors on
how to include necessary tag-information for the OpenStreetMap data

Are these guidelines binding? If not, what does the 'necessary 
tag-information' mean? What if someone removes the tags later? This is 
part of what I mean by tying contributors' hands.

The idea that a body issues so-called Open data and we then have to go 
through some process to add extra paperwork and restriction to OSM 
before that data can be used in OSM is a dangerous precedent and should 
be avoided.

Get a letter / email saying the National Land Survey of Finland accepts 
that their open data can be used in OSM if you want, but don't go any 
further than that. If there is any doubt about this, or any further 
strings attached, then don't use the data.

Cheers, Chris
user: chillly

On 04/07/12 08:15, Pekka Sarkola wrote:
> Chris, Kate, Paul and Jaakko,
> Thanks about your comments. Here is few re-comments:
> This is Memorandum of Understanding, not an agreement. I think Wikipedia
> (again) explains carefully the differences between MoU and an agreement:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorandum_of_understanding. This could be also
> Gentlemen's Agreement, maybe.
> NLSF's Open Data License is more free than OSM licenses (CC-BY-SA or ODBl):
> http://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/en/NLS_open_data_licence_version1_20120501.
> Some Finnish OSMers has been worried about last item in sectin 2.2:
> "remove the name of the Licensor from the product or service, if required to
> do so by the Licensor." and some has been worried about other things in the
> license. So, this is maybe more for OSMers (OpenStreetMap Foundation,
> community, contributors and other fellows) to clarify the situation.
> Signing of the MoU: I thought that this won't be officially signed document.
> Easier to NLSF, they just can send email. It will be impossible to get
> signature of OSMers for this MoU.
> Tying mapper hands: I don't understand this. How? If I (as OSMer) will make
> guidelines, all necessary "mandations" is done by all OSMers. Other mappers
> will follow guideline or not: this just normal procedure in OSM world,
> right?
> Dangerous precedent: I don't understand this. I think more and more
> government data will be open in the future. In some areas it is very
> valuable to OSMers to benefit those data sources. I hope this will also help
> other agencies to open their topographic datasets. Did I miss something?
> Requirements of MoU: I see only one requirement: preparing guideline. I will
> do that. Do you see other requirements in this MoU for OSMers?
> Contract: this is not contract, this is Memorandum of Understanding. There
> is big difference between those.
> This MoU is more for OSMers than NLSF. As Jaakko mention, this could be
> titles as "License clarification". But this is not license clarification,
> because we didn't take any lines about licenses into this MoU. NLSF's
> license is more free than OSM licenses. So, we just need to attribute them
> in our wiki pages. And this MoU just clarifies that.
> I pick this title "Memorandum of Understanding", because it's widely known
> term and make sense about spirit of the document. I'm open to change title
> of the document, if you have good one.
> Rgs,
> Pekka
> ---- Pekka Sarkola – pekka.sarkola at gispo.fi – www.gispo.fi ----
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Hill [mailto:osm at raggedred.net]
> Sent: 3. heinäkuuta 2012 20:51
> To: pekka.sarkola at gispo.fi; Licensing and other legal discussions.
> Subject: Re: [OSM-legal-talk] MoU between OSM and NLSF
> On 03/07/12 17:02, Pekka Sarkola wrote:
>> Dear Friends,
>> I have prepared with National Land Survey of Finland Memorandum of
>> Understanding (MoU) about usage of their datasets by OpenStreetMap
>> activists. Hare is current draft text for everybody to comment:
>> ----
>> Memorandum of Understanding
>> This Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter “MoU”) is between the
>> National Land Survey of Finland (hereinafter NLSF) and OpenStreetMap
>> contributors (hereinafter OSM).
>> Background
>> NLSF started to use a new Open Data License for their topographic
>> information datasets (hereinafter Data) on 1st of May 2012. NLSF’s
>> Open Data License grants a worldwide, free of charge and irrevocable
>> parallel right of use to open data. This MoU clarifies how Data can be
>> used when OSM are collecting data to be part of OpenStreetMap database.
>> Usage of NLSF’s data
>> NLSF data can be used at least two (2) ways by OSM:
>> - As reference data: NLSF Data can be used as reference data. For
>> example NLSF’s raster maps or aerial photographs can used as source
>> data when OSM databases are digitized, corrected, validated or in any
> other way.
>> - As import source: NLSF Data can be imported to be an integral part
>> of OpenStreetMap database.
>> Attribution
>> OSM will add NLSF’s contribution to OpenStreetMap wiki pages as follows:
>>     Finland
>>       National Land Survey of Finland
>>         Contains data from National Land Survey of Finland Topographic
>> Database and other sources,
>>         data extractions started on 05/2012. More specific data sources
>> and data extraction dates are
>>         documented as part of data and in OSM wiki pages
>> OSM are preparing guidelines for all OpenStreetMap data collectors on
>> how to include necessary tag-information for the OpenStreetMap data
> features.
>> ----
>> Reasons to make this kind of MoU:
>> - Common understanding among OSMers what can and what cannot do with
>> NLSF datasets
>> - Clarify OSMers goals for NLSF when using their datasets
>> Some people may say that we don't even need this kind of MoU. IMHO:
>> maybe it's better to have something than nothing.
>> However, all comments are welcome!
> If the data is licensed in an open way, you don't need this agreement.
> You are tying mapper hands with this agreement and it is, IMO, completely
> unacceptable.
> Who will sign this on behalf of OSM? What authority would this person have?
> This sets a dangerous precedent that I strongly oppose it.
> --
> Cheers, Chris
> user: chillly

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