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

I would like to include map data in an application I am building in the following manner, but I want to make sure my entire application is not considered a derivative work, subject to distribution in accordance with the CC-BY-SA. I.e., I know the OSM data needs to be distributed in accordance with the CC-BY-SA, but I don't want to distribute my application subject to those terms.

I have an application which collects location information from various devices, such as phones, cars or radios with GPS, (such tags send their location information to my application) and then displays the location of such devices by placing a pin on a Open Street Map. Additionally, my application will be able to use some open source topographical data as an additional overlay if requested by the end-user, so the user will see OSM data, topographical data, and the pin.

I am trying to confirm that neither the open source topographical data, nor the rest of the software application, will be included as part of a Derivative Work which needs to be distributed subject to the terms of the CC-BY-SA license, but rather only the OSM data will need to be distributed subject to the CC-BY-SA license.

Thanks in advance for your help

asked 16 Mar '11, 22:59

Switters's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

If you distribute OSM data as a separate part of your application (say, an "osm.dat" file) then only that falls under CC-BY-SA.

Note that if you make a screenshot of your application in action, where OSM data is shown merged with other data, then that whole screenshot would be CC-BY-SA including any other data shown. The same applies if users of your application e.g. make a screenshot or save the map as PDF - as soon as they distribute that screenshot or saved map, it has to be CC-BY-SA with everything that's on it.

Also note that this answer assumes that you are talking about using the OSM data. If you want to use OSM infrastructure, i.e. download map tiles from OSM servers etc., then that's not simply a license question but also one of acceptable use.

permanent link

answered 16 Mar '11, 23:23

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 16 Mar '11, 23:30


Thanks for your help. Couple of other questions. If I make a screen shot, do i have an affirmative obligation to distribute those screen shots, or do I just need to make sure that whoever I distribute those screen shots to is given the screen shots subject to the CC-BY-SA?

And for the images produced in the application. I assume I do not have a affirmative obligation to distribute those images, just that if i do, I'll need to do so subject to the CC-BY-SA?

Thanks Again

(17 Mar '11, 13:22) Switters

What you're asking is really a generic CC-BY-SA question and not a specific OSM question. Just as with the GPL license popular with free software, CC-BY-SA doesn't mandate that you publish anything - just if you publish, you must grant to whoever receives your work certain freedoms. You can make something based on OSM and only "publish" it to those who pay you money (but you cannot keep them from distributing it for free).

permanent link

answered 17 Mar '11, 18:29

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 16 Mar '11, 22:59

question was seen: 5,835 times

last updated: 17 Mar '11, 18:29

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