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

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Sat Jun 27 15:55:08 UTC 2015

Am 27.06.2015 um 17:02 schrieb Tom Lee:
> But of course OSM extracts and snapshots are available all over the web,
> and from interfaces that don't introduce or even mention any contractual
> relationship with OSMF as a condition of download (whether the user is
> an OSM contributor or has used OSMF-owned services directly might be
> relevant here).

A condition of having a valid licence to use OSM data is providing a
suitable way of pointing out the conditions of use of said data to your
users/customers/etc (which is relaxed a bit for produced works). Don't
provide that, you don't have a valid licence with all the related
consequences. If you have information that this obligation is not being
fulfilled by distributors of OSM based products, please report it to the

In any case the point was, and that was the matter of longish debate
prior to the licence change, that both copyright and similar rights and
the contractual terms would be brought forward in the case that there
was actual dispute and having one does not weaken the other.

> As you point out, in practice this seems unlikely to matter here: the
> Fairhurst Doctrine is a useful and thoughtful policy statement from the
> community about what it intends to do with the property rights it does
> have, and it seems to clearly indicate that OSMF isn't interested in
> asserting claims over trivial use of IDs, whether or not the rights
> underlying such claims exist.

The Fairhurst doctrine is, at this point in time, not a formal policy of
the OSMF nor has it actually been turned in to useful language yet.
There is an effort under way by yours truly to do exactly that, but it
is quite a long way away from being approved by the OSMF board which
would actually put it in place as an underlying principle.


PS: I really don't think the OSMF will go after anybody for publishing a
list of OSM ids :-)

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