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I am doing a hobby project on compiling a topographical wall map, with no commercial intentions, in which OSM data would be very useful. However, one of my crucial data sources doesn't allow commercial use. Therefore, I cannot use OSM data, which allows commercial use (as stated in the "Legal FAQ"). I think this is a big paradox: OPEN street map, defined as OPEN DATA, cannot be used in strictly non-commercial products... Or have I got it wrong?

asked 29 Mar '11, 21:17

andskog's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 29 Mar '11, 21:34

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦

You have got it right, and it is not a paradox. A "strictly non-commercial" product does not qualify as "open" (see for example the Open Knowledge Definition paragraph 8), because you are discriminating against a field of endeavour.

The CC-BY-SA license that we currently use does not allow you to place additional restrictions on the data. A "you may only use this noncommercially" restriction is, in the eyes of this license, none better than a "you may only use this if you pay royalties to company X" restriction.

The CC-BY-SA-NC license, which does have a non-commercial component, is not compatible with CC-BY-SA (see compatibility matrix), and is not considered an "open" license.

OpenStreetMap plans to switch to another license, ODbL (see OpenStreetMap Wiki), which will allow you to license derived products differently; under ODbL, you may place a non-commercial restriction on a derived product (unless that product is itself a database).

Note that for your particular use under today's license, if you do not intend to publish the wall map, or if you can publish the OSM and non-commercial components separately and have the end-user combine them, the license restrictions would not be relevant. They only come into force if you publish the combined product.

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answered 29 Mar '11, 21:30

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 29 Mar '11, 21:35

Wait. You have OpenStreetMap and a less free data source that enforces a NC clause and you blame the resulting legal problems on OpenStreetMap and call it nonfree? Nice one.

But yes, we know about the problem and the ODBL will fix that problem.

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answered 29 Mar '11, 22:09

petschge's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

The idea of the license is to keep the data free and open. If somebody is extending coverage or details of the map with information which we would like to have in OpenStreetMap, then the sharealike requirement ensures that we can bring that data into OpenStreetMap itself (with the same more open license than any NC restricted dataset).

It is not the intention of the share-alike clauses to present annoying problems for users like you, but sadly that is what it often does.

Some good news: You are allowed to mash OpenStreetMap with more restrictive datasets (even with 'all rights reserved' data) provided this mashing amounts to a "collective work" rather than a "derivative work". Some bad news: Nobody really knows what counts as collective vs derivative, but a printed wall map doesn't really publish the datasets separately so it's not looking good for you.

Bring on the ODbL!

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answered 30 Mar '11, 13:50

Harry%20Wood's gravatar image

Harry Wood
accept rate: 14%

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question asked: 29 Mar '11, 21:17

question was seen: 7,993 times

last updated: 30 Mar '11, 13:50

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