[OSM-legal-talk] License question, user clicking on map

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Fri Mar 1 05:16:03 UTC 2013

The fact that you can’t mix OSM + proprietary data and then distribute it as some kind of “OSM but better” without releasing the proprietary data is a feature of share-alike licenses, not a bug. 


The public domain argument is a bit of a red herring. If OSM used a PD-like license like PDDL or CC0 then we would be unable to make use of most of the external sources that we use, having to drop at a bare minimum 40% of the ways in the DB, and likely much more. Even if OSM went with PDDL or CC0 we wouldn’t truly be PD, and that could still pose issues.


In many ways this is similar to GPL vs BSD license debates from the software world, although ODbL is closer to LGPL with its weaker share-alike and produced works. Both licenses have their benefits and drawbacks.


From: Alex Barth [mailto:alex at mapbox.com] 
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:21 PM
To: Licensing and other legal discussions.
Subject: Re: [OSM-legal-talk] License question, user clicking on map



On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 7:17 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

I think that the OSM community is already very open towards commercial use;


This is bigger than just commercial use. The ODbL is an obstacle to contribute to OSM for anyone - business or not - who is bound by the constraints of using third party data whose license they can't control or for anyone who's bound by law to keep their data in the public domain.


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