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There are third party map rendering services that allows map customisation that is 'built upon' OpenStreetMap data. Which means screenshots or video recording from their services, although could break Terms of Use which is not legally prosecutable, is considered licensed with CC-BY-SA? Therefore there will be no copyright infringement. Yes?

asked 31 Dec '19, 12:40

badman's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


It's not necessarily the easiest to find but the OpenStreetMap Foundation does have a License and Legal FAQ that you might find useful.

(31 Dec '19, 15:33) InsertUser

This - Quote: "although could break Terms of Use which is not legally prosecutable, is considered licensed with CC-BY-SA? Therefore there will be no copyright infringement" is sth, I don't understand in your thinking. First of all: you are probably bound by their Terms of Use. Second: Their service is not bound by CC-BY-SA 2.0 through OSM, even if they use OSM data, but those data is bound by ODbL and they have to attribute OpenStreetMap contributors (and you as well if you use their service). So you cannot construct a make-believe CC-BY-SA 2.0 for a third party just because they use OSM data.

(01 Jan '20, 18:34) Spiekerooger

The CC-BY-SA is for the tiles rendered by the OWG on OSMF servers for For third party services, other copyright rules might apply. Third parties that are rendering there own tiles are not bound by the CC-BY-SA 2.0, so you'll have to check with the third party about their copyright rules.

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answered 31 Dec '19, 15:21

Spiekerooger's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

I know this is not the right place to ask, but I have difficulty the find information I need. I have tried to contact few map services for help but no no avail. If you have time, I am not asking for legal advice, but if you can give me some hints; According to a fictional third party tiling service, XYZ Map, the following are data sources of XYZ Map's layers: most layers: OpenStreetMap replication feed layer x: custom XYZ Map data water (ocean parts): y_label, types country & state: custom XYZ Map data z_label, types ocean & sea: custom XYZ Map data

If I remove the x layers, y_label layers, and z_label layers, then my data source would be only OpenStreetMap replication feed and Open Street Map Data. According to, "As required by this license all files containing data directly based on the original OpenStreetMap data are available under the same license as the original OpenStreetMap data, the Open Database License (ODbL)." Therefore my map data, although served as tiles by a third party, is "build upon" OpenStreetMap, thus in compliance with CC-BY-SA 2.0?

(01 Jan '20, 12:22) badman

I don't understand why you reintroduce the CC-BY-SA 2.0 again if you use a third party tile and customization service. You have to attribute the OpenStreetMap contributors as the work is based on OpenStreetMap data which is produced by the OpenStreetMap contributors. If you would add additional data to the data offered by OSM, this data would have to be offered again under the ODbL. But otherwise, if you use screenshots from tiles rendered by a third party service while using their customization, you are bound by their copyright rulings. If the third party service uses a CC-BY-SA 2.0 licence, than you would have to follow that. If not, you would have to follow the licence as defined by the third party or - if they don't state anything about it - general copyright laws. The last is best asked to legal advice or the third party service.

(01 Jan '20, 18:30) Spiekerooger

@Spiekerooger, are you sure that other data (layers) with data not available in OSM have to be released under ODbL ? There are some cases where this is not needed, see

(02 Jan '20, 04:14) escada

Ok I understand now. I misunderstood the fact that map data, database, contents, and tiles rendering are different entities according to the licenses. Basically OSM Tiles are licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0, but the database is licensed under ODbL. And third party who generate tiles using ODbL database can license it with different license. I am new to these terminologies. I now have other better legal ways to achieve my goals. Thank you for the elaborations. @Spiekerooger

(02 Jan '20, 08:41) badman

@escada Thank you, You are right about the ODbL, not in all cases as stated by the community guidelines.

@lordsacha1 Right, there is a difference between tiles directly from (than it's CC-BY-SA 2.0) or tiles from a third party.

(02 Jan '20, 08:50) Spiekerooger

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question asked: 31 Dec '19, 12:40

question was seen: 3,953 times

last updated: 02 Jan '20, 08:52

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