[OSM-legal-talk] Using CC-BY as a source for Openstreetmap

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Wed Jan 2 13:09:43 GMT 2013

> From: Alex Sims [mailto:alex at softgrow.com]
> Subject: [OSM-legal-talk] Using CC-BY as a source for Openstreetmap
> Hi,
> I looked at wiki.openstreetmap.org and couldn't find a straight answer
> as to wheter CC-BY data sets can be used as a source for Openstreetmap.
> The South Australian State government Department of Transport, Planning
> and Infrastructure has started a small but potentially useful data
> portal at http://dpti.sa.gov.au/data_download_portal/
> The data is licensed Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence,
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/deed.en
> I'm proposing to use the Suburb boundaries as a basis for mapping and
> the Gazeteer for checking existing placenames.
> My understanding is that if attribution is made somewhere in
> wiki.openstreetmap.org then the data can be used.
> Or is there more than that?

It's a bit more complicated than that. Use of CC BY data comes down to what
is considered attribution "reasonable to the medium or means." OSM provides
attribution via a wiki page,
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Contributors. No other attribution can be

A data provider could consider this inadequate and insist on some more
obvious means of attribution (e.g. showing a dynamic attribution in the
lower-right like Bing imagery, Mapquest.com, Google imagery, etc).

Some of the legwork of confirming this for Australia has been completed
already. CC BY data on data.gov.au is okay, they have explicitly said that
the CC BY geodata sets can be published under ODbL provided that the
attribution is made on the wiki page and the datasets used are listed in the
form they want.

If you asked the SA DOT the same question and said that data.gov.au views it
as acceptable I expect you'd get a yes.

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