[OSM-legal-talk] Legal requirements of permissions to import into OSM

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Jul 24 16:31:07 UTC 2015

I suspect the problem is not quite as large as you think it might be.

If they want to use a public licence, while it may not be actually
explicitly said anywhere, CC0 or the PDDL are naturally totally acceptable.

For one offs/special permission I would suggest using

These are essentially the two standard routes we can take were we don't
need to make caveats about the data surviving a future licence change.

Naturally there may be other "non-standard" licences that are acceptable
and there is for example the ODbL which is usable, however has some
issues particularly wrt a future licence change (and some more on top of
that). But as said all tend to invoke additional complications which are
best avoided.


Am 24.07.2015 um 18:06 schrieb Svavar Kjarrval:
> Hi.
> There are a few of us in Iceland who have been working on freeing
> geodata so it can (potentially) be imported into OSM. The main problem
> has been that we have little idea of what to tell the government
> entities when they ask how they should proceed (in the legal aspect).
> Most of the entities are small municipalities so they'd rather not spend
> many resources in doing original work like finding a compatible licence,
> researching what they must/should state in their permission or even
> importing the data themselves. It'd be much easier (for them) if we
> could propose a way for them to give us the data and they'd only need to
> sign on the dotted line on the appropriate forms (or send us an e-mail,
> if it's a valid method).
> Of course we can guess what form of permission would be acceptable and
> how it could be given, but we'd rather not have to return to the agency
> and ask for any additional actions because our original guidelines were
> insufficient (or even incorrect). There are no international copyright
> licences we can point to since there are no such licences which have
> been formally deemed acceptable to import under the CT. So the status
> now is that we must get a specific permission to use the data for an
> import into OSM.
> OK, let's say the government entity would be willing to grant permission
> to submit the data (or a derived version) specifically under the CT
> (even if I'm wrong about no formally compatible licence currently
> existing). What is the best way to ensure that is withstands any/most
> legal challenges which would be likely to be brought up in the import
> process? Can the permission be sent from an official e-mail address? If
> not, is it an absolute requirement that it must be on paper? Should we
> implicity trust that the official is within their right to grant us the
> permission or must we go into some research to verify? What *must* the
> permission say to be considered valid? Does the permission have to be
> accompanied with the most recent version of the CT so there's no
> question as to what is being agreed upon? If so, does the same apply to
> the ODbL since it plays such a big role in what can be (currently) done
> with the data?
> I don't expect an answer to every one of these questions but I'd be
> grateful if you could point me to any guidelines to minimise the risk of
> giving incomplete or incorrect suggestions regarding the legal aspect to
> potential data providers.
> With regards,
> Svavar Kjarrval
> _______________________________________________
> legal-talk mailing list
> legal-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/legal-talk

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