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I am a cartographer planning to build up a new productline within my freelancing activity. This is to offer small, reduced and simple vector maps of countries. People, who buy these open vector maps, f. e. newspaper graphic designers, should be free to use these maps within their publications.

I am thinking of using the OSM data for this. In that case my maps would recommend the CC-BY-SA license. And my customers would have to keep the "CC-BY-SA license"-credit in the final print-product, right? Do my customers have the right to sell the maps I designed (based on OSM data of course) to others? Or is the "design" my copyright, only the data is CC-BY-SA license?

The new Open Database license (ODbL) may be more favourable to my plans. Is it? I am wondering how to work with OSM data under that license, how to get the data. I have worked a few times with OSM using the "export"-button, exported the data to pdf and then opened and edited it with my graphic software. I've always placed the CC-BY-SA license within my work.

I'd previously like to thank everyone trying to answer my questions.

asked 05 Sep '12, 12:45

kartensoschi's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

closed 20 May '17, 09:56

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦

Next to the question about the licence: Do you already know the wiki pages like and ?

... or try to search for the keywords "book" or "licence" on this FAQ site to get sime hints about your aimed use.

(05 Sep '12, 17:09) stephan75

The question has been closed for the following reason "Out of date" by SimonPoole 20 May '17, 09:56

You can sell CC BY-SA products as much as you want, but you can not prevent the customer from redistributing it. That means that you can take money to make a nice atlas, but anyone can then copy that atlas as much as they want (as long as they give attribution).

However if you make a map of some area for money, no one can force you to make them a map of another area the same way, or to give them the map you made. You can still make money on making maps even if you switch to OSM, we hope that you will give some of that money back to the OSM comunity.

When we switch to ODbL in the near future everything above still stands. You can license extracts of OSM under CC BY-SA just as before. However it is also possible to license extracts under other open licenses.

In most of the laws I have looked at design is not part of the copyright laws, but have their own laws to protect them. You can not blindly copy a design without permission even if the design is implemented on open data.

I am not a lawyer and if you are unsure about this you should contact one.

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answered 05 Sep '12, 17:35

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦
accept rate: 16%


Thanks for your help. Now I see a little clearer.

Will the difference between CC BY-SA and the future ODbL be the way of getting the data? Via database (raw Openstreetmap data) will be under the new ODbL, right? The map data that you can get by using the "export" button - will that still be under CC BY-SA license?

(07 Sep '12, 18:21) kartensoschi

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question asked: 05 Sep '12, 12:45

question was seen: 6,407 times

last updated: 20 May '17, 09:56

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum