[OSM-legal-talk] sharealike trigger

Jonathan Harley jon at spiffymap.net
Mon Jul 22 11:23:27 UTC 2013

On 22/07/13 11:46, Paul Norman wrote:
>> From: John Bazik [mailto:jbazik at gmail.com]
>> Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2013 10:19 PM
>> Subject: Re: [OSM-legal-talk] sharealike trigger
>> What consitutes substantial?  I've read many threads on this, but I
>> find myself no more able to determine what that might be.
> If there's ambiguity about the term substantial, it's coming from the
> relevant laws. The ODbL is just echoing the database directive.
> Insubstantial is much like fair use. The license should not attempt to
> define these terms.
> I don't see substantial as relevant for most use-cases discussed on the
> list, they have been substantial in quantity.

I agree that most use-cases discussed here have been obviously 
substantial, and I agree that the license shouldn't attempt to fix a 
definition of substantial in stone. But given that this is such a FAQ, 
clearly we should have some guidance available.

>> I fear the definition of a derivative work is akin to Justice Potter's
>> famous construction, "I know it when I see it."

Last time this issue was discussed on this list, last autumn, many 
people seemed to be in agreement that the current community guideline on 
substantial at

was too example-based and that what's needed was a statement of 
principle instead. Michael Collinson proposed the following wording:

OpenStreetMap considers Open Data to be a usefully collected set of
intelligently or machine-made physical observations only. Purely
algorithmic augmentation of data and re-casting of data to use, store or
transmit it in different manners is not part of the data IP. Share Alike
may however apply to physical observations inside the augmented or
re-cast data; in this case the physical observations must be provided to
the public in a commonly used or documented open format as per ODbL
clause 4.6b.

This makes it clear that share-alike isn't triggered just by associating 
information (such as user accounts) with the map, but by the addition of 
observed physical features (routes being taken by users, perhaps?)

A bunch of people expressed agreement with this at the time, but nobody 
has updated the wiki. Should I JFDI? Would anyone object?


Dr Jonathan Harley   :    Managing Director    :   SpiffyMap Ltd

md at spiffymap.com      Phone: 0845 313 8457     www.spiffymap.com
The Venture Centre, Sir William Lyons Road, Coventry CV4 7EZ, UK

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