I am curious about what kind of copyright does geospatial data that can be downloaded from the internet have.

For example, if I want to use data like OSM data, satellite imagery data etc to make products that I can eventually sell, would it be illegal?

  • 5
    Each dataset has its own copyright terms, even the ones protected by Beerware license. OSM has Open Data Commons Open Database License. Note that "illegal" and "actionable" are different things. You really ought to be asking your lawyer this, since legal advice on the Internet is not worth what you pay for it.
    – Vince
    Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


Data use and ownership depend on the publishing agency, the data, and the license level of those data. You can read about the specifics of OpenStreetMap data here, and JOSM data here. For USA data available from the National Map there are no restrictions. You will have to investigate deeper for other data.

  • Please replace the link to the OSM Legal FAQ with this one: wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Licence_and_Legal_FAQ. The one from the Wiki is outdated and not from the OSMF. Also I don't see how the license of JOSM (and the WTFPL) has anything to do with OSM data
    – scai
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 7:54

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