[odc-discuss] ODbL RC1 and the reverse engineering clause (RFC)

Jordan S Hatcher jordan at opencontentlawyer.com
Fri May 15 08:35:44 UTC 2009

Just a status update and a request for further comments.  We've been  
delayed by OSM having a few further questions about RC1.  The one in  
particular we would like some comments back on is the "reverse  
engineering clause"

4.7 "Reverse Engineering". For the avoidance of doubt, creating a  
Produced Work, and then re-
creating the whole or a Substantial part of the Contents found in this  
Database, a Derivative
Database, or a Database that is part of a Collective Database from the  
Produced Work, is still
subject to this Licence. Any product of this type of reverse  
engineering activity (whether done by
You or on Your behalf by a third party) is governed by this License.

The question is: what restrictions does this place on the "Produced  
Work" in terms of licences?

As a bit of background, this clause was originally added as part of  
the early review with OSM in April of 2008. Even prior to this, I've  
always put a lot of thought into what the Produced Work would look  
like in terms of licensing. The intent of the license is to not have  
any requirements

To give a concrete example of the situation, this is where you make a  
map from geodata. The map is a "Produced Work" and the geodata is from  
an ODbL licensed database.   I see this data layer in the produced  
work as not something covered by the copyright layer in the produced  
work, which could be, for example CC-BY-SA licensed. For me, the  
comparison is to privacy rights or publicity rights and a CC-licensed  
photo.  The CC licence says nothing about privacy / publicity, so  
there may be other rights that need to be cleared or other  
restrictions on the use of the photo. Or as another example,  
trademarks and open source licences.

It would be great to get some more examples and thoughts from the  
community around this issue as we move forward to the next iteration  
of the ODbL.



Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM

jordan [at] opencontentlawyer dot com

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