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

Olov McKie olov at mckie.se
Mon Mar 4 16:07:19 UTC 2013

Hello All!

Forgive me for the previous unfinished version of this mail, here is the complete version.

Again thank you for all your feedback. Unfortunately after the feedback that I have gotten so far on my initial 4 use-cases, and the 4 extra sub-use-cases I added later, I still do not know for sure if the use-cases I presented would trigger the ODbL share alike clause or not. My confusion about this has though forced me, over the last weeks, to dig a lot deeper into the licenses and rules surrounding our map than I have ever done before as a contributor and a casual user. It is obvious that there still is a lot of discussion going on on how to interpret the license and what cases of copying and use, should trigger the share alike and attribute clauses, and what should not.

I would like to argue that a lot of these questions are no longer open for debate. The set of rules that the redaction bot followed, to enable the license change, is by the bots work now coded into the history of our database in such a way that changing them would force us to revert the entire license change. I would suspect (I am no lawyer) that if a license dispute about OSM ever end up in court, we will not be able to argue for more copyright protection than what we gave to those contributors who did not want the license to change. I would also like to argue that, when a question comes in if a user can or can not do something without breaching our copyright, we should always start the discussion by looking for similar examples in our own change to the ODbL.   

I have searched for these rules, but I have not found them, at least not in the form of a list that clearly states, "This is the final list of rules that the reduction bot is based upon", preferably with references to relevant sections of the bots source code. 
Where can I find the final version of the source code for the redaction bot that was run to do the license change? 
Help in finding these would be appreciated.
I know about these:
What is clean (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_License/What_is_clean%3F), are these the rules the bot is based on? 
Some code, but it states that it is only an example ( https://github.com/zerebubuth/openstreetmap-license-change )

As I said in an earlier posting: As far as I understand our license change, it can be described as this: (Please correct me if I am wrong) 
All objects that had an edit history where someone not willing to change the license (decliner) had edited anything was reverted back in history until no edits by any decliner where left, thereby creating a clean database. All cleaning operations where based on data history in the database. 

This could also be described as:
A user has the full copyright to any point they add to the map that they add regardless of surrounding data.

If I now look upon my initial use-case questions again and but this time start by looking for similarities in our license change and the set of rules it was based upon, what conclusions do I reach? (As always correct me if I assume anything about the license change that is incorrect.)

1. If we present an OSM map to the user let them click on the map and use the coordinates they clicked on as part of the meta-data for a place in our application, will the resulting database be considered a derived database?  To clarify, we would not extract any information from the map, beside the coordinates that the user clicked on, they would by themselves navigate the map to for example London and then click somewhere in London.
If a user adds a point to OSM they have full copyright over that point and are free to also add the same point to another database, or as in this case, only add the point to another db. We as a community can not claim any copyright over this point even though our map is used as a base for the placement of the point. We get to claim no copyright here as we gave no copyright to decliners where their data made up the base map on which we added our points before the license change.

2. If we use the overpass API to find possible matches for a placename entered by a user, present the possible matches with markers on a map and let the user click on the map and use the coordinates the user clicks on, will the resulting database be considered a derived database?  Again, we would not extract any information from the map, beside the coordinates that the user clicked on. Presenting the markers would of course help the user find a place, such as London.
As long as the presenting of alternatives does not directly expose the underlying point from the OSM db, for example by clicking on a marker and thereby copying the exact coordinates from the db, than this is basically same as 1. If the coordinates are copied, it would be a case where the share alike clause should kick in.

I do not see that case 3 and 4 change in the light of our own license change.



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