[OSM-legal-talk] OSM data - Legal question about license agreement

Mike Razis mikerazis at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 4 03:00:15 UTC 2017


My name is Mike and I have a legal question with regards to the usage of OSM data.

I'm an engineer who started a project with a few friends. Essentially, we're planning on creating scenes of various cities for fight simulators (and possible games later on).

We get data from various different sources to construct our scenes. From OSM, we use very little of the data, more specifically:

BUILDINGS: We get the vector data for buildings, and we then model our own buildings partly based on this data.
We essentially get the "way" information about the corners delimiting the building, so that we know where to place our buildings. In cases where the height information is available on OSM, sometimes we use it. But very often we invent our own (since the data is not available). We just make sure that it's somewhat realistic.
We then apply our own textures to artistically draw and shade-in the sides of the buildings. We add random windows and doors (not based on anything from OSM).
We also add our own buildings for locations where there are no OSM buildings found but we feel like we should add some more.
We are definitely not re-packaging and selling the OSM data. What we do is really just use the information to generate our own scenes, and that's with a lot of modification and extrapolation, to make it looks artistically realistic.
BRIDGES: We sometimes use OSM data in order to determine where there are bridges. Then we insert some generic models of 3D bridges that we've created into the scene at those locations.

We hope to one day sell our Scenes to be used by engines that make flight simulators. We wanted to make sure to cover our bases, and so we read the License Agreements, and we also got a lawyer to read it over. We know that we would have to credit OSM for the usage of the data, but the lawyer is asking us a lot of questions such as:

Do we generate a "Derivative Database" or a "Collective Database"?
Can we really sell this "Produced Work"? Do we have to make our "Produced Work" available for free?
Our lawyer seems to think that perhaps we have to offer our "Produced Work" for free. He mentions that we are allowed to create works from the database as long as "Share-Alike" and "Keep open". We think that perhaps he's misinterpreting what it means, because it seems like there are many companies out there doing exactly what we plan on doing, and they sell the end-products for money.

This seems like a fairly straightforward use-case for us, but being engineers, we're having trouble with the legal lingo. And the lawyer we're dealing with seems to not understand technology...

We know there are several other companies out there that do almost exactly what we do. For example, the Polish company "Drzewiecki Design" creates scenes (such as New York) for the X-Plane simulator company. They use some OSM data to generate their scenes (which they sell to users who want to fly in those cities), and they credit you on their website. (example: http://store.x-plane.org/New-York-City-XP-_p_431.html).

Another example of a game that uses OSM data and sells their end-product would be "Monopoly City Streets" by Hasbro.

Can we assume that's all we would have to do is clearly credit OSM? Can you please confirm that what I described does not consist of a "Derived Database"? Or at least that we would not have to make available a free version of our "Produced Work"? (We only in part use OSM data, and then we render the rest based on our own assumptions and artistic creativity)

Thanks ahead of time!

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