Open Database License
OpenStreetMap data is made available for reuse under the Open Database License (ODbL) share-alike license for data. The switch from creative commons license to ODBL took place on 12 September 2012 and followed a lengthy process during which the license was developed. Data published before 12 September is still available under the old CC-BY-SA license. This process was directed by the OpenStreetMap Foundation and documented in their minutes of meetings. The license was developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation.
Most contributors agree to the new terms, however some did not and some 1% of data was lost in the conversion. Considerable efforts have been made by the community to minimise this data loss and to reinstate content which was removed.
- A summary of the ODBL license: Human readable summary of the ODbL license.
- The full text is available from OpenDataCommons.
- The reasons for the changes: 'We Are Changing The License'
Documents and resources relating to the re-licensing process
The following resources were made available to support the relicensing process from CC-BY-SA to ODbL.
OpenStreetMap wiki and talk lists
- Legal Structure Describing how the license should work from a legal perspective.
- Implementation Plan Covering details of the proposed implementation.
- FAQ Answers to some common questions about why the license change is desirable.
- Background to licence change Background to OpenStreetMap licensing and licensing of data
- Community Guidelines - this is a proposed method for better defining certain legal terms in the specific and practical context of using OpenStreetMap data.
- Bulk Import Support Page - Resources for anyone who has imported data from third parties and needs to check license compatibility.
- Use Cases Some common uses of OSM data against which the license can be checked.
- Open Issues Various questions relating to the license which still need to be resolved.
- Implementation Issues Practical issues on getting the license adopted.
- Suggested Changes Some specific proposals to change the license text.
- Licensing Working Group A group set up by the foundation to support the process.
- Proposed Contributor Terms
- Legal-talk email list The main OpenStreetMap email list for legal discussions relating to the license change.
- Talk email list Discussion also takes place on the main OpenStreetMap 'talk' list
- List of email lists During the implementation stage discussions are likely to take place on all OpenStreetMap email lists
- Resources - General documents and links of interest to Open Data IP (Intellectual Property).
If you are looking for a final set of all the documents, here they are:
- Contributor Terms - Individual contributors need to agree to these terms before contributing.
- Human readable summary of the Contributor Terms
- Database Contents License (DbCL) - Contributors waive all rights in the individual Contents of a Database licensed under the ODbL. In the text, 'Licensor' means the contributor and 'You' means the Foundation. This effectively means that end users of data published by the Foundation need to study only the ODbL rather than worrying about any special copyrights on individual elements of the database.
- Open Database License (ODbL) 1.0 This is the license under which the Foundation publishes the entire geodata set. End users of OpenStreetMap need to comply with this license.
- Human readable summary of the ODbL license
- Community Guidelines - Some of the terms in the ODbL need further clarifying in terms of geodata. This is a guide to end users created by the OpenStreetMap contributor community. It will evolve over time.
- 'We Are Changing The License' - Existing contributors will be asked to re-license their data under the new license, this gives them an overview of why.
- 'License Change Proposal' - this document is out-dated by gives a fuller overview of the perceived need for a license change and the primary goals.
- 'Why would I want my contributions to be public domain'. When new contributors sign-up, they can optionally tick a box "I consider my contributions to be in the Public Domain". This document gives them more information.
And for more background:
- The OpenStreetMap Foundation website
- The OpenStreetMap license - Overview of how to use OpenStreetMap data under the currrent license
- License Working Group's license change proposal document - a good overall picture, but out of date.
- OSMF:License/We_Are_Changing_The_License - An overview for contributors on why the license change.
- Working Group Minutes - All the License Working Group meetings are here
- Mailing list for OpenStreetMap Foundation members
Open Knowledge Foundation
- Guide to Open Data Licensing
- ODC-Discuss The main email list of the Open Knowedge Foundation to discuss the proposed license
Reviews of the license by various lawyers
- ITO World/ODbL Licence 0.9 legal review for ITO
- Axel Metzger: Open Database License (ODbL) veröffentlicht (German)
- Arnoud Engelfriet: Open source databanken: de OpenDatabankLicentie versie 1.0 (Dutch)
OSMF Members' Vote - 2009
In December 2009, OSM Foundation members voted on whether they wished to put the current version of the new license to the community for adoption and then begin the adoption process itself. The results from 270 members polled are:
|Approved the process:||132|
|Did not approve the process:||16|
Community members were also invited to participate in an unofficial opinion poll on the license change at http://doodle.com/feqszqirqqxi4r7w:
|yes, I will accept the new license Odbl||127|
|yes and consider all my data Public domain (no restrictions)||177|
|no, I will not accept the new license Odbl but I will if the license is reworked||14|
|no, I will not accept the new license Odbl and wants to continue with the CC-BY-SA2.0 license||42|
|I don't know yet because I don't understand the new license or the possible consequences||51|