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I notice many listings on ebay for routable OSM maps for garmin gps units, which are from

Is it legal to sell these maps on an SD card, for use in a garmin gps, without violating any copyright or licenses?

Do you need to credit OSM, and if so where? On the SD card? On the ebay listing?


asked 20 Feb '16, 23:14

Kick55's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 21 Feb '16, 01:41

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

legal issues aside, personally I think it is fine if someone sells such SD cards, if OSM is properly credited. For example some people may not have the technical skills to make/download the maps on their own and copy to a new SD card (although this is really not that hard). Or someone may have a slow speed/volume-metered internet connection, or SD card reader, or …. Fine if OSM also can benefit such people and gets more widely known.

(21 Feb '16, 01:30) aseerel4c26 ♦

As far as I remember, maps downloaded from will show a copyright notice when the Garmin device is started. Right now I'm using maps from and they do the same.

(21 Feb '16, 07:12) escada

Thanks all for your help.

Under the "Routable Bicycle (Openfietsmap Lite)" heading available:

It states: "Cartography is licensed under the cc by-nc-sa license. You are free to use and share the map for non-commercial purposes."

Whilst on the creative commons page available:

It also states: "You may not use the material for commercial purposes."

If you are therefore selling the "Routable Bicycle (Openfietsmap Lite)" on an SD card, are the above not contravened?

(21 Feb '16, 09:37) Kick55

Not sure what you mean with contravened? For me the statement "You may not use the material for commercial purposes." is the same as "You are free to use and share the map for non-commercial purposes."

(21 Feb '16, 10:01) ligfietser

Yes I agree they both mean the same.

So in theory, the only way that routable cycle maps based on OSM data can be sold without infringement is if the cartography is not subject to

Or if the maps are only subject to Which states they can be used for commercial purposes.

Is this correct?

(21 Feb '16, 10:13) Kick55

There are more routable cycle maps that might have another license, so I can only speak of the Openfietsmap. They can only be sold if they have my permission. If those maps have licenses like cc-by-sa, they are allowed to sell them for commercial purposes:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format

Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

(21 Feb '16, 11:14) ligfietser

BTW I've noticed on the front page that Lambertus forgot to explicitly mention the copyrights of the routable cycling maps. Altough those copyrights are mentioned in the data people might think cc-by-sa are implied because it is stated on the front page copyrights. So thanks Kick55 for reporting this!

(21 Feb '16, 11:22) ligfietser
showing 5 of 7 show 2 more comments

I believe that

  • selling non-empty, rewritable media it might violate eBay's terms;
  • advertising an OSM map without telling the would-be customer that it is OSM under the hood (and not, for example, "original" Garmin material) might violate consumer protection laws, and competitors could perhaps sue for unfair competition;
  • as far as OSM's license is concerned, only the person to whom the data is actually shipped needs to be made aware that the data is from OSM and licensed under ODbL. This could happen through a credit on the SD card, or a mention on the invoice, or some other suitable way. Also see section "Using" in our Legal FAQ.

Specifically, whoever buys the SD card is of course allowed to make any number of copies and sell them again for a lower price; any attempt on the part of the vendor to obfuscate that fact could be read as a violation of our license.

The above is based on the assumption that the files on the SD card constitute a "derived database" in the sense of the ODbL. Some people could argue that it is a "produced work" instead in which case there would be no ODbL-enforced share-alike on the SD card (the maker could of course choose to place some other share-alike license on his work but he wouldn't have to share it). However I think that this position would not hold much water; in my view a Garmin file is clearly a database and hence the maker of the file cannot choose to call it a produced work.

permanent link

answered 20 Feb '16, 23:36

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 21 Feb '16, 14:28

If we assume it is a "produced work", then there could be a share-alike, too. It would depend on the license under which the produced work was published by its author. If it is some CC-"sa" license, then there is share-alike. Don't you think so, too?

(21 Feb '16, 14:12) aseerel4c26 ♦

Modified response to accommodate aseerel's comment.

(21 Feb '16, 14:29) Frederik Ramm ♦

I have licensed the Openfietsmap (lite) under I consider those maps as Produced Work because the cartographic design I have added to it. If they sell my maps on e-bay without permission, this would be intellectual property infringement. I already asked e-bay to remove several maps from e-bay from which I have hard evidence they sell the OFM's. BTW the generic OSM Garmin maps do not fall under this license.

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answered 21 Feb '16, 09:35

ligfietser's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

edited 21 Feb '16, 09:51


I doubt that a Garmin map made from OSM data becomes a produced work because cartographic design has been added to it; in my opinion it is still a database derivded from OSM data and as such, has to be licensed ODbL 1.0 which would allow commercial use.

(21 Feb '16, 14:32) Frederik Ramm ♦


No. For example, if you have written a game or published an artistic map which includes OSM data, only the data is covered by the license. This is called a Produced Work.

I am not a lawyer and you can discuss about the 'artistic' contents of those maps. Is the carto style a produced work?

(21 Feb '16, 14:58) ligfietser

The comments underneath questions and answers are not suitable for a proper discussion because they can be reordered by the system. I suggest to take this to

(21 Feb '16, 15:19) Frederik Ramm ♦

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question asked: 20 Feb '16, 23:14

question was seen: 5,265 times

last updated: 21 Feb '16, 15:42

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