James, I think your list of "definitely OK" sources is a good one.

The rest of your list does a good job of reflecting how complex geodata
rights can be. In most cases, OSM elects to use a conservative
interpretation of the situation in order to avoid any possible danger to
the project.

I will mention, though, that facts are not copyrightable. I think it is
vanishingly unlikely that something like a single business's operating
hours could pose a problem, unless you had personally entered into an
unusual contract regarding how you collect and use that information. Any
information you personally observe and record during a walk is probably
going to be okay -- even in circumstances where trademark or other
protections apply to a business name, that will not constitute a
prohibition on recording it as a fact about the world.

When you start using large collections of information assembled by third
parties -- especially if it undercuts their business -- things get more

On Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 4:48 PM, James McCloud <cinco_fl...@hotmail.com>

> There is documentation that hits on this but I am looking for more
> clarification and any additional sources.
> Here are my own conclusions:
> Definitely OK to use(whiter than white):
> From the beginners guide(
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Beginners_Guide_1.1):
>   * Your own GPS traces(without data you entered while looking at your
> navigation source).
>   * Sources already in the editors(not additional ones you add).
> From the legal faq(
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Legal_FAQ#2._Contributing):
>   * Anything licensed Public Domain(PD).
>   * out-of-copyright(check country specific laws) with compatible terms of
> use. Question here, isn't terms of use part of a copyright and thus expires
> with copyright?
>   * Anything where permission is obtained(leaving out procedures here).
>   * Other possible compatible copyrights when confirmed with the OSM
> community.
> From some posts/threads and license compatibility:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/ODbL_Compatibility
>   * Anything licensed Creative Commons Zero(CC0).
> Generally OK to use(if there is any doubt, don't use it): The community
> seems to accept some of these even though copyright is possible. Perhaps
> 'doubt' should be applied to a slight chance(1 in 1000?) that a source's
> owner would not be OK with the use for OSM.
> * Anything to which copyright law does not protect, both from your
> source's country AND OSM's country(UK).
>   What is unprotected? Examples might be names, titles, phrases, and
> slogans, but they cannot be used in OSM if obtained from within a
> copyrighted collection/database.
>   Knowledge may come from copyrighted sources, so under what conditions
> does it become unprotected(or usable in OSM)?
>   * Knowledge: Any information directly from memory in which the true
> source cannot be recalled.
>   * Information may also be obtained from asking other people(friends,
> family, even complete strangers) for their knowledge.
>     If there is an indication that the knowledge came from a copyrighted
> source then don't us it.
>     Don't do anything with the intent of getting around copyright, e.g.,
> don't ask a friend to look something up for you(not knowing their source)
> so you can use it for OSM.
> What data obtained from a survey/walk/journey can be used?
>   * Layout(as seen directly, not from a document) of roads, buildings,
> walls, land, water.
>   * Signs: Traffic, road, access, places(name and service provided), guide
> posts:
>     Note: Signs that are 'likely' owned by your 'national' government are
> 'likely' public domain. This is less likely for state and local, and most
> definitely not for private ownership.
>       Road signs are very likely public domain and are often not creative
> enough to be protected.
>       Names of places(shops, businesses, etc.), either since the owners
> don't care or welcome the advertisement. However, complaints could be made
> and I can think of some reasons.
>       Contact Information(address, email, phone) when you physically see
> it(or from a photo you took of it) at the location. It should also appear
> to be intended for public use.
>       Posted business hours are likely OK if by themselves.
>       Signs that contain more information(documents) or
> originality/creativity are much more likely to be copyrighted and
> considered unacceptable for use in OSM(without proper license/permission).
>         Some examples: - Any kind of map(even on a permanent outdoor
> display like at a historic site, or city bus route map)
>                                       - Things posted on a tourist
> information board
>                                       - a Text description of foot/bike
> routes with path names and access restrictions
> * Information on a business card or receipt.
> * Contact information for a business on it's website. It should be easy to
> access, and appear to be intended for public use. Note: This should
> probably only be used in addition to a survey, or otherwise only for well
> known businesses.
> See also: Wikimedia has useful information on some of these things, though
> for photographic purposes and US based(
> https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Copyright_rules_by_subject_matter)
> and also(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Licensing).
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