[Openstreetmap] Best way to licence data - CC or MIT/X11?

Frank Mohr f_mohr at yahoo.de
Mon Feb 21 23:55:00 GMT 2005


just my thoughts on both of your mail in one reply

Nick Whitelegg wrote:
> How does openstreetmap intend to licence its data? For my Freemap project, I
> was originally intending to licence the data (e.g. in XML form) using the
> Creative Commons licences but someone on the uk.comp.os.linux newsgroup
> pointed out that it would make the data incompatible with the GPL, and thus
> it would be impossible to include the data with a GPL application which made
> use of it.

Depends how you define include

- Any GPL application that accesses the data as is 
  - no problem
- An GPL application that uses it's own format and provides an converter
  - also no problem
- Providing the data in that changed format under CC share alike
  - also no problem
- Even if the application isn't free but the CC data is distributed
under proper
  licence, there is no problem
- Making the map data essential part of the package and redistibuting 
  the whole under a different licence (GPL or not) is a problem

>> It's not included on the FSF list of compatible licences, and (you'd need to
>> track the actual thread on uk.comp.os.linux, it was called "Freemap - free
>> mapping for the UK" or somesuch) some guy there thought it wouldn't be. To be
>> honest the two do seem compatible to me though, as they are both copyleft
>> Free licences.

The CC not beeing on the FSF list is currently also a problem for me.
I need "management approval" for every public IT project i participate
on my 
own time. Approval for projects with FSF compatible licences is easier

> So I'm thinking of the MIT or X11 licence (basically the same thing) which is
> a non-copyleft free software licence. This would allow the Freemap data
> itself to remain free but for commercial people to develop proprietary works
> based on it.

I wouldn't like it, if the data that costs me a lot of time and some
money for 
driving around and given away for free was sold by others in proprietary


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