[OSM-talk] Licence compatibility (was Adding wikidata tags to the remaining objects with only wikipedia tag)

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Tue Oct 3 07:21:30 UTC 2017

Yuri Astrakhan wrote:
> Also, what about the location where data is combined?  E.g. if wikidata 
> is in public domain, and US courts agree with that statement, anyone 
> in the US can combine it with OSM data?  What about UK?   In any 
> case, i suspect nothing we decide has any merit until the actual court 
> case in any of the locations.

OpenStreetMap takes and has always taken a whiter-than-white view of
copyright. We aim to provide a dataset that anyone can use without fear of
legal repercussions. It is not OSM's role to explore interesting grey areas
in copyright, nor to push things to the extent that a court case is

It has been settled for many years that we do not take co-ordinates from
Wikipedia. They are mostly encumbered with Google copyright:

This is not a new issue and has been mentioned before in connection with
Wikidata referencing.

Our data is principally hosted in the UK and the OSM Foundation is a company
registered in England & Wales, so as a broad assumption UK law applies
(which is fairly maximalist on copyright and follows the sweat-of-the-brow
doctrine) as well as the EU database right, at least until this benighted
country takes leave of its senses forever and leaves the EU. :( 

Follow-ups probably best to legal-talk at .


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