[OSM-talk] Attribution guideline status update

Kathleen Lu kathleen.lu at mapbox.com
Fri Aug 9 17:08:37 UTC 2019

> Guidelines by the licensor
> On legal advice, *what a Licensor says carries weight with users of our
> data and, potentially, to a judge*. A court would make a final decision
> on the issue, however we hope these guidelines are helpful to *avoid *disputes
> arising in the first place and can be considered by the courts in coming to
> their verdict.
> from https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Community_Guidelines

Nuno, you are quoting this like it's the law, but what you have quoted here
isn't the *law*, it's what *OSMF* thinks *might* happen and what motivates
OSMF to put out guidelines. Frankly, OSMF can choose to change the language
you have quoted as a part of changing the guidelines!
Under the law, the licensor's opinion, as one party to the contract, is
taken into consideration. However, it is *not* the only thing that matters.
The words of the licence matter more, and if there is a conflict between
what the licensor thinks and what the licence says, the words of the
licence will control. In that case, the licensor is simply "wrong" (and
there are plenty of cases where that was the end result).
You are right that we hope to avoid disputes by setting out reasonable
guidelines, but if OSMF sets out guidelines that are unreasonable and not
tied to the language of the licence, then no one, either users of the data
or judges, will listen to OSMF, and, under the law, rightly so.

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