[OSM-legal-talk] FYI Collective Database Guideline

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Thu Jun 9 19:12:03 UTC 2016

Am 09.06.2016 um 17:40 schrieb Christoph Hormann:
> On Thursday 09 June 2016, Simon Poole wrote:
>> I can understand the desire for a negative example, but:
>> - this is documentation of use that we are happy with, not of the
>> opposite.
> But we are happy with uses that invoke share-alike as well, aren't we?

Basically the issue is that the guidelines are essentially "safe
harbour" statements, "we are ok if you do X", to provide a more secure
and stable environment for users of our data.

They do not claim to be the only possible interpretation of the ODbL and
they do not claim that use that is outside of the guidelines  is
automatically incompatible with the ODbL. We do however believe that the
guidelines can be reasonably assumed to be covered by the ODbL and
making these statements or clarifications if you so wish is within our
rights as licensor.

Giving non-trivial (aka concrete business use cases) negative examples
not only has the danger of essentially by fiat declaring something
"illegal" were no case has been made and that we've not been able to
look at in detail, it further relies on readers understanding the fine
difference between "not covered by the guideline" and "not covered by
the ODbL" outlined above. Determining the later is something that
ultimately would have to be decided by a court and I believe I can
safely say the OSMF does not want to tie its hands outside of the
context of the guidelines to when it can instantiate legal action and
when not.
>> - as the preamble says there may be other ODbL compliant ways that to
>> not invoke share-alike to combine datasets outside of those detailed
>> in the guideline.
>> - using a contrived non-trivial negative example has the "it is
>> definitely going to happen" problem that it will be seen as a ruling
>> in use cases which are not on our table and of which we don't know
>> the details.
> I try to avoid getting again into a discussion on the guideline itself 
> here (i voiced my concerns previously - no need to do this again at 
> this point).  In any case it would be the first single sided guideline 
> that does not draw a line between two fields of data use.
> And as i read the text of the guideline it implies certain limits, for 
> example
> "non-OSM data completely replaces a particular type of geometry or data"
> implies the situation is different in some way if it does not completely 
> replace and
> "uses either all OSM data or no OSM data for that property"
> implies that a data mixture in properties changes the situation.
> In other words: having precisely formulated points in parameter space 
> but not having limits defined in relation to these points looks odd.
I already gave the de-duplication example as use that is not covered by
the guideline, which in turn is consistent with the already existing
guidelines, specifically the "Horizontal Layer Guideline".  I like to
call it "the all or nothing rule".  So yes the guideline says you are
only covered by it if you don't intermingle OSM data with 3rd party data
of the same type within an extract of suitable size.


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