[OSM-talk] Data Licencing

Ian Davis iand at internetalchemy.org
Thu May 4 11:24:14 BST 2006

On 04/05/2006 09:20, Erik Johansson wrote:
> On 5/4/06, Ian Davis <iand at internetalchemy.org> wrote:
>> The CC licence can't apply since there was no creative effort
>> involved in the data collection. This means that the unscrupulous out
>> there can take the OSM data and repackage it however they like,
>> including restricting access to it.
> OSM data is two things,
> 1. the street map the we users create by editing nodes, segments, ways
> and info in our own way.
> 2. GPX track logs of our walks.
> I would say that the GPX track logs(2) might just be data as you say,
> but the jewel of OSM is not plain data it's a street map(1) and that
> must be creative.

I understand the argument and it would be a good situation if the maps 
were considered to be creative works. I have a few doubts though. My 
reasoning is this: how many different ways are there to interpret the 
GPX data into a map? If you gave the GPX data to five different people 
and they created maps in isolation, how different would they be? How 
much creative interpretation is involved?

Even if the drawn images were covered by copyright, the collection as a 
whole may not be. For example, this paragraph comes from the UK 
government site on database right:

"A database, that is a collection of data or other material that is 
arranged in such a way so that the items are individually accessible, 
may be protected by copyright and/or database right. For copyright 
protection to apply, the database must have originality in the selection 
or arrangement of the contents and for database right to apply, the 
database must be the result of substantial investment. It is, of course, 
entirely possible that a database will satisfy both these requirements 
so that both copyright and database right apply."

The Talis licence is designed to give a way for collectors of data to 
make their database freely available whether it contains "originality in 
  the selection or arrangement of the contents" or not without allowing 
others to take it as their own.
> Further I really hope this will not be a long lived discussion. ;-)
> (sorry nothing against you Ian, I know lots of people care. Someone
> should create a osm-license mailing list and take these discussions
> there? Similar to Debian-legal)
No offense taken :) I'm happy to take these discussions to another list. 
Talis have a web-based forum around data licencing[2] but it requires 
registration with our developer network so I don't think it's the best 

> que te vaya bien, saludos Erik..


[2] http://www.talis.com/tdn/forum/81

More information about the talk mailing list