Mapbox and the lake of attribution to OSM

Posted by Pieren on 5 March 2014 in English (English)

Just found the Mapbox showcase here:

Pretty nice maps.

But in his help pages, Mapbox is explaining that if someone uses one or more of the Streets, Buildings, Areas, Water, and Land layers available through you are required to attribute OpenStreetMap and its contributors.

Now, I would start a new game : go to the Mapbox showcase, count how many of the "Streets", "Buildings", "Areas", "Water" and "Land" layers are visible without the OSM attribution.

Comment from giggls on 5 March 2014 at 17:13

One can be more Catholic than the Pope on this question, but this would be rediculous IMO.

Even the Homepage would be a licence violation in this case.


Comment from imagico on 5 March 2014 at 17:48

Mapbox as a US company can make use of the fair use principle and this is usually considered to cover example images like screenshots etc. in such a context.

This is of course just the legal side - it can certainly be argued that mentioning OSM more prominently on such a showcase page would be nice if the vast majority of examples shown uses OSM data. I would however consider it much more important that prominent attribution is shown in deployed maps - which has occasionally been lacking in case of Mapbox maps like

Comment from Pieren on 5 March 2014 at 22:00

I checked again Mapbox site because we find at regular intervals online maps on the web with Mapbox/OSM in background layers but the OSM attribution is most of the time missing (see my previous blog). I think that Mapbox is not informing their potential users about the attribution. Otherwise I cannot explain why it is so often missing.

Comment from SimonPoole on 7 March 2014 at 14:14

@imagico the ODBL enforeces its terms contractualy and not "just" with copyright, so while I would I agree with Sven in the specific case, fair use is unlikely to come in to play in this case.

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