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

Jordan S Hatcher jordan at opencontentlawyer.com
Tue May 19 09:19:06 UTC 2009

Thanks Ulf for the comments.

On 18 May 2009, at 20:01, Ulf Möller wrote:

> Jordan S Hatcher schrieb:
>> 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.
> Arguably it is a different layer, but it is still a license  
> restriction based on intellectual property claims.
> Several open content projects only accept content released under  
> certain well-known licenses and do not allow additional restrictions  
> on the license. OpenStreetMap would have to go to all those projects  
> (including Wikimedia Commons, the various language editions of  
> Wikipedia, and a lot of projects that we may not even know about)  
> and find out if they agree with your interpretation.

I don't see why. Saying you can't recreate an ODbL database with  
something (the factual information) that isn't being licensed in the  
CC-BY-SA license isn't an "additional restriction" to the CC-BY-SA  
license. We're not talking about incorporating the ODbL database into  
a Produced Work (leaving aside the discussion about derivative  
databases) and thus having a Produced Work with an ODbL Database  
inside of it.

This is similar to saying that you can have GPL code but that the  
trademark covering that code is for the sole use of the trademark  
holder.  You are free to take the code and go call it something else,  
you just can't call it "TRADEMARK".  The TM is a different set of  
rights not licensed under the GPL. I see the ability to take a  
Produced Work and recreate the ODbL database isn't something that is  
covered by the CC-BY-SA license, not least of all because the creator  
of the Produced Work wouldn't even have the ability to license people  
to do something (re-creating the database) that he/she wasn't the  
rightsholder over.

> From a practical point of view it would be much better to  
> proactively make sure that maps from OSM data can by CC-BY-SA, GPL  
> etc. licensed without any additional restrictions.

I totally agree insofar as the aim of the ODbL is to make sure that  
Produced Work's can be licensed under whatever license or dedication  
that people wish to use.  That's been our aim all along.

Anywho, we are discussing this as well on the advisory list and I hope  
to have some consensus soon.


Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM

jordan [at] opencontentlawyer dot com

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