[OSM-talk] BSD/CC-by/LGPL vs. SharedAlike - decide now and forever

Immanuel Scholz immanuel.scholz at gmx.de
Tue Mar 21 14:01:03 GMT 2006


Hm.. aren't the license really that good? I just spend some time to reread
it (the full text version), and it seems to me that it really covers
almost all aspects asked here..

So I hope your questions a real and you did not made them up just to
spread something like "look how complicated this all is, lets choose a
license with fewer than hundret words instead" ;-)

You may cite me in the wiki, if you like ;) (maybe with the standard
notice that this are only opinions and that you have to contact your local
lawyer to be sure, blablalba... ;-)

> My big concern is how you define derived work.

I don't define. The license defines. The current definition is:

"Derivative Work" means a work based upon the Work or upon the Work and
other pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement,
dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording,
art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which the
Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted, except that a work that
constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a Derivative Work for
the purpose of this License.

A bit musical, for sure. But quite understandable to me.. I doubt a
special geodata-version would sound very different.

> If I buy a license to the government's census data, can I make a map
> with that data and OSM's? What's the status of my work?

For personal purpose, you can always generate the map. If you want to
distribute it, you may only do so, if you are allowed to distribute the
census data from the government under CC-By-Sa. This is because you have
to license your work under CC-By-Sa.

Usually this means "No, you may not distribute data derrived from both,
OSM and any data from other licenses."

> Can I use the data in a proprietary mapping application if I make the
> data I add publicly available, or do I also have to open up my
> software?

Only derived work must be licensed under the same license. How you get to
this software is up to yours.

Except the license of your software forbid to license the created data
under terms of CC-By-Sa.

> Can I just create a map with OSM data, but keep rights over my
> artistic rendition?

Depends whether your rendition is based upon the OSM data or not.

(I know, that this answer just bounce your question back, but the question
is that unspecific.. "Rendition" can be everything. ;)

If your "artistic rendition" can be expressed as a piece of code
independend from any OSM data, you do not need to put that code under
CC-By-Sa. (However, all data produced from this code using OSM-data has to

> If I add information to the OSM data and overlay it with my points of
> interest database, what do I have to contribute back? The map, the
> POIs, or just what I added to my OSM data set? (The POIs do not seem
> consistent with the rest of the data structure in OSM)

I assume that you get the locations of the POI by using OSM. This would
mean that the POI data itself is derived from OSM data.

If you only distribute the map, you don't have to distribute your POI
database. This is because CC-By-Sa is not like GPL that it forces you to
distribute, it is about what license you must use for stuff you

If you distribute your POI database, it has to be under CC-By-Sa, because
you created it by deriving from an CC-By-Sa work.

The map itself has always to be licensed under CC-By-Sa.

If you create the POI-database out of nothing, without the use of any
CC-By-Sa data (e.g. by personally GPS-track the points), then you still
have to license every combined work of your database and OSM data under
CC-By-Sa (like the overlayed map).

You do not need to license the POI database under CC-By-Sa, since it is
not derived from OSM data.

Note however, that if anyone is able to extract the POI information out of
the map (even if it is automated) he can upload the extraction into OSM
and so practically the POI-database becomes free. This is because the map
*HAS* to be distributed under CC-By-Sa. (This means it is not wise to
depend your commercial buisiness on the fact that your database is hidden,
it may depend on other facts as example your database is always more
up-to-date ;).

Ciao, Imi.

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