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

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Jun 26 17:03:49 UTC 2015

Am 26.06.2015 um 16:55 schrieb Tom Lee:
>> As the name of this list says it is "legal talk" (aka yapping
> without consequence) ... not "get-help-from-the-OSMF"
> I'm sorry to see this practice discouraged. The archive description[1]
> says this is "the list for discussion of all legal matters relating to
> Openstreetmap, including licensing and copyright" and the archives are
> full of people asking questions about attribution, virality and
>  transformation. 

I'm not discouraging the practice of discussing things here, I'm
discouraging the practice of coming here and expecting a definite answer
from the licensor of the data and then moaning for years on end because
they didn't get it. Or put differently there is no obligation at all to
answer questions here, some might get an answer some not, YMMV.

> Simon, is there a place where guidance issued from the
> @osmfoundation.org <http://osmfoundation.org/> addresses you list is
> made public? It seems like it could benefit others who find themselves
> with similar questions; it may also be relevant to resolving legal
> questions that are discussed elsewhere.

The community guidelines and now and then the LWG minutes are the public
part of the guidance. We clearly cannot create new policy on a case by
case base and don't do so.

The other part is that typically the devil is in the details, and
companies don't want to and wouldn't expect tentative plans or vague
ideas to be discussed in a public forum.

> On point 3 of Jan Erik's question: I've seen a few projects where
> staleness is not a concern and snapshots of OSM data can be used,
> affording ID stability. So I think it's probably worth talking this
> scenario through. As I noted elsewhere[2], EU and US law don't seem to
> make database IDs eligible for copyright (or associated license
> requirements), at least when their reproduction is associated with the
> lawful use of the relevant database. So I think you'd be find in this
> scenario.

The question is not quite so simple, see discussion of the Fairhurst
doctrine on the OSM wiki.

> But I agree with Simon that your proposed implementation is going to
> come to grief because of ID instability. You might want to take a look
> at OpenLR[3], which is designed to solve problems similar to this one.
> Alas, it's not trivial to use, so I'm not sure if it would offer your
> users many benefits over the geographic information you're already storing.

I've pointed Jan Erik to the opentraffic.io segment matching and to
overpass permanent ids.


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