[Talk-GB] OS OpenData and ODbL OK

Robert Whittaker (OSM) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 18:36:20 BST 2011

On 4 July 2011 13:53, Michael Collinson <mike at ayeltd.biz> wrote:
> I am now pleased to announce that the licensing group of the Ordnance Survey
> has explicitly considered any licensing conflict between their license and
> ODbL and "has no objections to geodata derived in part from OS OpenData
> being released under the Open Database License 1.0."  At the moment, this
> excludes Code-Point Open, (postcode) data since they are awaiting a response
> from Royal Mail who have rights in that dataset.

That's fantastic news -- thanks to everyone who was involved with
getting this agreement from Ordnance Survey. :-)

There are, however, a couple of points with regard to OS OpenData that
I think still need to be addressed:

1/ The statement from OS mentions the Open Database License (ODbL),
but not Database Contents License (DbCL). I believe that the plan is
to release OSM under the combination ODbL+DbCL. ODbL explicitly
doesn't cover the copyright in individual database items, relying
instead on another license for those [1]. So presumably we also need
confirmation from Ordnance Survey that they're happy for their content
to be distributed under DbCL (or at least under the ODbL+DbCL

2/ Clarification on the interpretation of the contributor terms. Since
Michael Collinson's earlier post to this list [2], it appears from the
LWG minutes that LWG has backed away from confirming this as an
official policy. (A draft statement was considered but not adopted on
21st June [3], and nothing further was mentioned about it at the
following LWG meeting [4].) Two messages I've sent to OSMF asking for
confirmation that this is their official interpretation have also gone
unanswered. I appreciate that this clarification of the CTs may be a
legally delicate and people may be busy with other things, but it
would be good to know how things are progressing here. In particular,
are LWG and/or OSMF intending to issue an official statement at some
point, and if so what sort of time scale might we expect?


[1] http://www.opendatacommons.org/faq/licenses/#db-versus-contents
[2] http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-gb/2011-June/011931.html
[3] https://docs.google.com/View?id=dd9g3qjp_121dzjmk5c5
[4] https://docs.google.com/View?id=dd9g3qjp_122fxn8g2ck

Robert Whittaker

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