[OSM-legal-talk] Using OSM data without modifying - are there any guidelines?

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Jun 26 08:37:59 UTC 2015

Jan Erik

As the name of this list says it is "legal talk" (aka yapping without
consequence) ... not "get-help-from-the-OSMF". The proper places to
address are plastered all over openstreetmap.org and osmfoundation.org:
legal at osmfoundation.org (policy issues and similar) or
legal-questions at osmfoundation.org (for specific use questions).

The session at SOTM-US (I wasn't there so I only have 2nd hand accounts)
seems to have mainly been the usual fairy tales with an agenda and can
be safely (and should be) ignored. (That is the polite version.)

We currently get at least a handful of enquiries to legal-questions per
week, sometimes per day, they typically get a response within 24 hours
(obviously the proper places can easily be found). Most can be resolved
by pointing to the relevant published guidelines

- http://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/License


- http://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/License/Community_Guidelines

there are some that take longer to close, but that is rare. Inquires
range from cinema and TV productions wanting to use OSM to new business
wanting to use OSM data in novel ways.

Naturally we cannot be an Ersatz-counsel for businesses trying to get
their ideas vetted (this has nothing to do with being lawyers or not
btw), but we can give pointers to what will and what will not work.

To your questions:

1) yes, see above

2) if you are generating the stats data on the fly there is no database
and nothing to share (the polygons are naturally derived from OSM and
subject to the ODbL but will likely fall under the trivial
transformation guideline). If you are storing the generated stats in a
database and publishing them in principle you should probably make the
statistical dataset available (given that you are already publishing it,
that shouldn't be an issue) on request.

3) the problem is that doing it in the proposed way is technical
nonsense so I'm not sure if it makes  any sense to burn brain power to
discuss it further (OSM object IDs are not stable references).


Am 26.06.2015 um 09:34 schrieb Jan Erik Solem:
> Hi legal-talk people
> We’re thinking of starting to use OSM data at Mapillary
> (http://www.mapillary.com/) to improve our service to users. At SotMUS
> earlier in the month I heard several speakers say in connection to
> commercial applications, something like “as long as you don’t modify
> OSM data you are fine”. Which I take they meant that you don’t have to
> ODbL your database and internal data.
> 1) Are there any official guidelines for this?
> 2) Specifically we want to use shapes for city/regional/country
> borders to compute stats for our contributors. We are currently using
> a public domain set that is a LOT worse than OSM and would be great to
> switch. We will not edit OSM data in any way, but store
> shapes/polygons and use for stats lookups. Can we import OSM shapes
> without requiring ODbL of our data?
> 3) We’re working on a photo routing feature. In the future it would be
> awesome to store the closest OSM road segment ids to our photo
> sequences in our internal database (either a specific routing db or
> our main db). Does storing ids as a property of some objects in our db
> require ODbL release of our data?
> Sorry for the long email and the many questions. We want to do this
> right and prefer a conservative approach as we’re fairly new to OSM.
> yours,
> /Jan Erik
> _______________________________________________
> legal-talk mailing list
> legal-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/legal-talk

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