[OSM-talk] ODbL License + Outline Procedure

Grant Slater openstreetmap at firefishy.com
Fri Feb 27 15:50:47 GMT 2009

Please translate and pass on to the country-specific lists...
Follow-up discussion best suited on 
http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/legal-talk or the avenues 
discussed in this announcement.

The OSMF License Working Group is excited and pleased to announce the
completion of legal drafting and review by our legal counsel of the new
proposed license, the Open Database License Agreement (ODbL).

The working group have put much effort in to inputting OSMs needs and
supporting the creation of this license however OpenStreetMap's
expertise is not in law. Therefore, we have worked with the license
authors and others to build a suitable home where a community and
process can be built around it. Its new home is with the Open Data
Commons http://www.opendatacommons.org. We encourage the OSM community
join in the Open Data Commons comments process from today to make sure
that the license is the best possible license for us.

The license remains firmly rooted in the attribution, share-alike
provisions of the existing Creative Commons License but the ODbL is far
more suitable for open factual databases rather than the creative works
of art. It extends far greater potential protection and is far clearer
when, why and where the share-alike provisions are triggered.

The license is now available at
http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/ and you are welcome to
make final comments about the license itself via a wiki and mailing list
also at http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/ up until 20th
March 23:59 GMT. To be clear, this process is led by the ODC and
comments should be made there as part of that process.

Attached below is our proposed adoption plan and the latest will be at
. This is not cast in stone and we welcome direct comments on the
discussion page for the plan:

In summary, we'd like to give time for final license comments to be
absorbed, ask OSMF members to vote on whether they wish to put the
current version of the new license to the community for adoption and
then begin the adoption process itself. The board has decided to wait
until the final version before formally reviewing the license.

Our legal counsel has also responded to the OSM-contributed Use Cases
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_Licence/Use_Cases and his
responses have been added there. OSMFs legal counsel also recommends the
use of the Factual Information License
http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/fil/ for the individual
contributions from individual data contributors, and any aggregation
covered by the ODbL.

There other open issues that we seek OSM community support and input on.
If you would like to help, please give input at

For instance: Who actually should be the licensor of the ODbL license?
The OSM Foundation is the logical choice but are there any alternatives?
And implementation What Ifs ... for example, what if the license is not

Thank you for your patience with this process. The license working group
looks forward to working with community input and an opening up of the

All dates approximate for review.

License Plan

27th February:
    *      This draft adoption plan made public to legal and talk list
with the draft license text made available by the Open Data Commons
(with facility for comments back) . Local contacts asked to assist in
passing on the message, and subsequent announcements.

2nd March:
    *     Working group meeting. Finalise implementation plan following
review of plan comments; What If scenario planning.

12th March:
    *     Working group meeting. Review of community feedback received
to date.

20th March:
    *    End of ODbL comment period.

28 March:
    *    ODbL 1.0 is expected to be released by Open Data Commons at The
Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) London event.

31st March:
    *   OSMF Board endorses licence and asks OSMF members (as of 23rd
January)  to vote (1 week) on whether ODbL 1.0 should be put to the
community for adoption.

What follows is based on a positive response from the OSMF members...

+ 1 week:
    *     Website only allows you to log in and use API when you have
set yes/no on new license. New signups agree to both licenses. Sign up
page still says dual licensing so that we can release planet etc. People
who have made zero edits are automatically moved over to new license and
are emailed a notice.
    *     Website to allow users to voluntarily agree to new license.
Design allows you to click yes, or if you disagree a further page
explaining the position and asking to reconsider as there may be a
requirement to ultimately remove the users data. This will help stop
people accidentally clicking 'no'. Sign up page now states you agree to
license your changes under both CCBYSA and also ODbL.

+ 2 weeks?
    * Require people to respond to the licensing question. How? Should
we deny API access otherwise?

+1 month:
    *     Working group meeting. Assessment of number of no responses
and number of people who haven't said either way. Emails ready to send
to contact those who have not clicked yes or no. Personal outreach to
those who have said no.

+ 2 months??
    * Final cut-off.  What do we do with the people who have said no or
not responded?

More information about the talk mailing list