[Osmf-talk] Contributor Terms: is the right to fork granted?

Dave Stubbs osm.list at randomjunk.co.uk
Mon Dec 7 12:46:07 UTC 2009

On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 11:29 AM, Niccolo Rigacci <osm at rigacci.org> wrote:
> I think that the right to fork the project is a goal that the
> Foundation should assure.
> I think that I will refuse the new license if that imply that I'm
> less free to fork the project (just in case of evilness).
> I read the Contributor Terms from the Proposed License [1], where
> "You grant the OSM Foundation a copyright and database rights
> license for the bits of data that you add".
> The draft of the Contributor Terms from the wiki [2] says
> instead: "You hereby grant to OSMF and any party that receives
> Your Contents a worldwide, royalty-free...".
> I think that "and any party that receives Your Contents" makes a
> big difference: in a case only OSMF has rights, in the other case
> anybody who downloaded the planet. Am I right?
> Another point: why point 3 of Contributor Terms (sub-license and
> license change) is just about OSMF? Why do not extend it to "any
> party that receives Your Contents"?

Those terms only make sense when applied to OSMF, not to everyone
else. Everybody else is bound by the data license itself.

The Contributor Terms are there to say what OSMF is allowed to do with
your data.
One of those things is that if they release the data, it must be under
either the CC BY-SA license, or the ODbL license (or a different
license if chosen by the OSM contributors in the mechanism described
at some point in the future).

For any end users of the data it is the license under which OSMF
releases it that is important, not the Contributor Terms. Both the
ODbL and CC BY-SA permit a fork of the project -- the only requirement
for such a fork is that it must attribute OSM original, and use the
same license as the the original at the time the data was released
(ie: ODbL or CC BY-SA). Both of those licenses offer the "worldwide,
royalty-free..." section in one form or another to the data user.


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