[Legal-general] question re. OSMF's attitude to hosting alternative licence servers
Iván Sánchez Ortega
ivan at sanchezortega.es
Thu Jul 29 11:20:21 BST 2010
El día Thursday 29 July 2010 11:22:20, mapping at sheerman-chase.org.uk dijo:
> I am specifically asking OSMF if they have any willingness to do [host the
> PD servers].
I speak as a newly-appointed OSMF board member, not as the OSMF as a whole.
OSMF's resources are limited. Both money and sysadmin time. If you have a look
at the DB and rendering server specs, you'll see they are high-end machines,
and that 30 gigs of ram and 15 SAS drives don't come cheap. Not to speak
about decent sysadmins, which are very hard to come by.
However, if you're willing to shell out 15K € and provide the necessary
sysadmin time, I'm all up for letting you some rack space.
The real problem is not OSMF resources, but the ability to grab the attention
of potential contributors. In my 3½ years of dealing with mapping agencies, I
learned one important thing: pushing for a free license is hard. Very hard.
Now, supporting two datasets with different licenses, and having to explain
why to potential contributors? That's just nuts. The effort required for
doing an import would easily go double or triple, just because of explaining
the licenses and writing longer agreements with mapping agencies.
So, money, sysadmin time, contributor attention span. I'm not going to
sacrifice those in order to have a PD database.
> Since the purpose of OSMF is to support the mapping community, [...]
No, it's not. OSMF's purpose, and I quote from the Memorandum of Association,
is to "encourage the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial
data and to providing geospatial data for anybody to use and share."
It is my firm personal stance that:
- The way to encourage growth is to use share-alike.
- Thinning out OSMF resources and confusing potential contributors with two
licenses instead of one is contrary to the goal of the OSMF.
Again, this is my opinion as a OSMF board member, not the opinion of the OSMF
as a whole.
Besides, OSM is a do-ocracy, so I urge you to set up a PD server (just like
the USGS is doing). If you can grab the resources and people's attention,
I'll just eat my words.
Iván Sánchez Ortega <ivan at sanchezortega.es>
Un ordenador no es una televisión ni un microondas: es una herramienta
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