[Talk-GB] OS OpenData and accepting the new contributor terms
mike at ayeltd.biz
Thu Jun 16 17:50:57 BST 2011
Here is as much information as I can give. It is not conclusive so I
would summarise by saying that I *personally* (great emphasis!) have
some contributions derived from OS StreetView data and have accepted the
new terms without qualms. I explain my reasons below and what I intend
to do. I hope they help you make up your own mind either way if you are
in a similar situation.
The License Working Group has sought legal advice, as per instructions
previously on the OS website, on whether OS OpenData can be used to
derive information distributed under the Open Database License 1.0. Our
understanding from that is, yes, it is OK. However, we understand
indirectly and informally that the OS may not be happy with that. The
LWG is therefore very reluctant to issue any clear statement. We believe
we comply with the new Open Government License. However, the OS has
regretfully decided not to use that but instead incorporate it into
their own unique license. The only provision that we can see that might
be contentious is this:
""The same attribution statements must be contained in any sub-licenses
of the Information that you grant, together with a requirement that any
further sub-license do the same."
I.e. at the most extreme, could it be that school children making a map
in a different country have to use the specific attribution language
specified by the OS?
I have now written directly to the Ordnance Survey legal advisor and
will keep you informed of any developments as openly as I can.
The next bit is a *personal* statement from me as an OpenStreetMap
I have traced some woods, buildings and used some road names in
Yorkshire from OS StreetView. I have tagged each with an OS source tag.
I have accepted the new contributor terms.
I do so because the OSMF did what the OS asked and that was ask their
own lawyer and not contact the OS directly. The OSMF understanding from
that advice was that there is no incompatibility. There have been no
cease-and-desist demands from the OS.
I respect IP rights and if they are potentially unhappy, that concerns
me. I also do not want to upset other mappers. I have therefore stopped
deriving anything at all from OS OpenData. I am slowly replacing woods
and buildings from the now available Bing imagery ... it is better
anyway. If the OS conveys a direct compatibiliity message, I will start
using it again. If the reverse I complete the job and remove
everything because I have a new understanding and should comply with our
 OS Licence:
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