[OSM-talk] Please review "Community attribution advice” wiki page

Rory McCann rory at technomancy.org
Tue Dec 8 17:41:07 UTC 2020

On Tue, 8 Dec 2020, at 09:43, Mateusz Konieczny via talk wrote:
> Can you give an example of something that would follow
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Community_attribution_advice
> and still would not fulfill ODBL?

What is and isn't allowed by the ODbL can (I think) only be answered by a court case.

These guidelines suffer the same mistake as the old OSMF Legal FAQ¹ of using “should”, rather than “must”. While some dialects would treat “should” as a very strong should, practically a “must”, the original author of that FAQ has said it was a mistake².

Someone could rightly read “should do/do not do X” as an optional requirement. Someone could read “the attribution should not be automatically hidden without action by the user” as meaning “It's OK to hide the attribution behind a popup that the user must click on”.

Interestingly there's an internet standard on these terms, RFC 2119³

¹ https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Licence_and_Legal_FAQ#Where_to_put_it.3F
² https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2019-February/082136.html
³ https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2119

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