[Osmf-talk] License with or without virus

80n 80n80n at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 09:02:34 UTC 2009

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 8:05 AM, Mike Collinson <mike at ayeltd.biz> wrote:

>  At 03:53 AM 9/12/2009, Mike Collinson wrote:
> At 10:50 PM 8/12/2009, 80n wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 9:38 PM, SteveC <steve at asklater.com> wrote: Taking
> a few points:
> On Dec 8, 2009, at 2:33 PM, 80n wrote: > Not one single case has been
> presented where the intent of the CC BY-SA license has been abused.
> It took what, 3 decades or something for the GPL to be tested in court. You
> want to wait for that, or be proactive?
> In the meantime we have plenty of people avoiding OSM because of all the
> ambiguities, stretching back to ITN and before.
> ITN is an example of CC BY-SA being effective.  ITN chose not to abuse the
> license and did not use our data.
>  http://wiki.openstreetmap.org:
> "OpenStreetMap creates and provides free geographic data such as street
> maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you
> think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use,
> holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected
> ways."
> A legal text should never lose site of the principle aims.
> Or indeed ... A legal text should never lose sight of the principal aims.
> Beware late night typing. :-}
> Again, on a personal note.  If we have come up with something that just
> prevents this incident happening again, then the whole effort will have been
> worth it for me.
> ITN is a major British national News station. OpenStreetMap had simply the
> best map of Baghdad. But they never got seen by the British public on legal
> advice. Our license is ambiguous on whether we want all OSM contributors to
> be listed on every map. It is also unclear as to whether Share-Alike would
> extend to other graphical elements used on their set or indeed to the whole
> news segment ... all creative works.
> Well, lets at least be clear about the circumstances here.  ITN were
contemplating using the OSM map of Baghdad for a news story.  They had very
limited time in which to make a decision and were unfamiliar with CC BY-SA

At the time CC was still a new concept, even Wikipedia was pretty new at the
time.  I suspect that if someone were to discuss it with them today they
would have pre-prepared standard guidance from their legal department about
how to handle any CC BY-SA copyrighted material.  I'd expect any decent
publisher's legal department to be on the ball about CC BY-SA and know how
to use it while meeting their obligations.  Material from Wikipedia is
regularly referenced by news organisations and broadcasters these days.

If we wind the clock forwards to a world where OSM is licensed under ODbL, I
suspect that we'd get exactly the same result as we did with the map of
Baghdad.  They'd be unfamiliar with ODbL and would err on the side of
caution by not using the material[1].  On the other hand I'd speculate that
the chances of them knowing how to handle CC BY-SA licensed material would
be much higher.

In this respect ODbL puts the usability of OSM content back about five


[1] Actually there's a flaw in this argument but let's not let that get in
the way of the point I'm making.
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