[OSM-talk] offering adapted databases

Anthony osm at inbox.org
Sun Jul 10 21:25:10 BST 2011

On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM, David Groom <reviews at pacific-rim.net> wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Anthony" <osm at inbox.org>
>> How long do I have to keep a copy of the adapted database in case
>> someone takes me up on my offer?  How much of the database do I need
>> to keep?  Is the offer valid to third parties?  If person A makes a
>> bunch of tiles from a database, and person B prints out a map from
>> those tiles and gives the map to person C, who offers person C the
>> copy of the adapted database?  (Person B likely doesn't have a copy,
>> but Person A would have to keep a ton of obsolete data indefinitely if
>> his offer is valid to third parties.)
> It would depend on who was making the tiles and the print outs "publicly
> available"

In the example I've given, both A and B have made the work "publicly
available", right?  (As far as I can tell, private distribution "to
Persons other than You or under Your control by either more than 50%
ownership or by the power to direct their activities", such as from
Person B to Person C, counts as "making publicly available".)

So if B prints out a map with directions to X (a bar, a meetup, a
class, whatever), B has to include an offer [of one of those three

> It is the person who makes the produced work publicly available
> who has to comply with clause 4.6.  So if A made the tiles publicly
> available he would have to comply, and if B printed out the map, and then
> made that map publicly available he would have to comply as well.

Right, but what does it mean for A to comply?  Does A have to offer
[one of the three choices] only to the people who download the tiles,
or does A have to offer [one of the three choices] to third parties
who receive tiles indirectly?  Does A have to offer [one of the three
choices] to third parties who receive derivatives of those tiles

The former is certainly much easier for A to comply with than the latter.

If you take a look at section 6 of the GPL, it's all spelled out a lot
more clearly (all my questions are answered):

The time limit is 3 years.  The source code includes "all the source
code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the
object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those
activities. However, it does not include the work's System Libraries,
or general-purpose tools or generally available free programs which
are used unmodified in performing those activities but which are not
part of the work."  Nothing more, nothing less.  The offer must be
valid for "anyone who possesses the object code", including third
parties.  In the case of Person B, if the redistribution is done
"occasionally and noncommercially", then Person B can simply give a
copy of the offer s/he received from Person A.  If the redistribution
is not occasional, or is commercial, then Person B has to give an
offer of his/her own (or the source code itself).

If that's what's intended by the ODbL, then that should be spelled
out.  And I think it's too much of a burden on Person A.  Though given
a shorter time period (say, 3 months), I guess it's reasonable.

As it stands maybe I just shouldn't sweat it at all, as I can just
give an offer which expires in 15 days and doesn't include third
parties, and still be within the letter of the license (*).  But I
don't really want to do that.  I'd rather try to figure out what's
actually intended, and get that spelled out in the license.

(*) According to some people on the fosm list, I can say that the
offer expires December 31, 1999 and still be in compliance with the
letter of the license.  But I'm not so sure about that.

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