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There is a community guideline describing what are considered "trivial transformations" of OSM data, but it doesn't quite answer how should the license be interpreted in the following case. Let's say that I import all the shops (nodes tagged "shop") for a certain area from OSM. Based on their "name"-tags, I then search for the same shops using for example Yelp API, from which I probably receive opening hours, website, and other contact information.

Based on this sentence on OSM Legal FAQ, it would seem that showing these to datasets together is not considered to be a "derivative database", which should be distributed with OSM license: "However, if the two datasets are matched "trivially" by, for example, automated matching using a simple criterion such as name/locality, this is not "substantial" and remains a Collective Database."

Is my interpretation correct? If this is considered to be a "derivative database", this would obviously make it impossible to use OSM data with any other non-openly licensed online dataset, such as Yelp or even Facebook pages belonging to the same shops.

What then if I give my users opportunity to edit the data - of which some part has been received from OSM (probably just name & coordinates) and some part from other sources? Will this database be still considered to be "collective database"?

asked 24 Mar '14, 21:26

Lari's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The help site is the wrong place to ask for legal advice, the right place is the office of your legal counsel.

If there are use cases of general interest that need clarification they can be submitted to the legal working group ( ) which may or may not support adding a community norm on the subject. The LWG cannot vet individual business plans, not only from a time, legal and liability point of view, it would also require full disclosure of your business plan to start with.

permanent link

answered 25 Mar '14, 08:59

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 25 Mar '14, 09:00

Thank you for being unhelpful. The Legal FAQ links here for questions: .

This is not a question about any individual business plan, but a legal question which also many others who care about licenses certainly have. There are plenty of open, but not openly licensed data sources online, I mentioned Yelp just as an example.

(25 Mar '14, 09:37) Lari

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question asked: 24 Mar '14, 21:26

question was seen: 4,334 times

last updated: 25 Mar '14, 09:37

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