[OSM-legal-talk] Attempt to clarify
gerv at gerv.net
Wed Feb 20 22:09:07 GMT 2008
Jochen Topf wrote:
> No. Your logic is faulty.
> I see the following options:
> Option 1: Change to PD.
> Everything will be clear and easy once the changeover is done. We
> can explain everything to everybody in one sentence "You can do
> whatever you want with the data. Period." Lots of people will
> understand it and they can and will use data. Everybody is happy.
Apart from people who buy a graphical GPS and see their hard work in it,
plus proprietary value-added data, but have no rights to the added data
and can't hack around with the device to fix bugs because it's closed.
I have no desire to become unpaid labour for someone else's business.
But I'm quite happy to swap rights to use my data for rights to use theirs.
> Option 2: We go with ODL or similar.
> Everything will be complicated. We need many many sentences to
> explain what is going on and they will always end in: "But we really
> don't know, ask your lawyer." Lots of people are confused, most
> of them probably could use the data but would have to explain the
> whole thing to their boss first, who then needs a lawyer etc. etc.
If your response when faced with a contract is "oh no, I need to ask a
lawyer", then you must spend a lot of money on lawyers. And not do very
much software downloading, or banking, or...
> It took 15 years or so before the GPL was first tested in court (and
> the situation for software is easy to understand in comparison to
> the situation we face), so I expect we'll have a confusing situation
> like that for a long time.
Now your logic is faulty. :-) Do you think it took so long for the GPL
to be tested in court because it was _un_clear? Surely it's unclear laws
and contracts that end up in court far quicker than clear ones. It took
15 years for the GPL to end up in court because whenever the FSF came
across a violation, they contacted the company, pointed out the licence,
coughed politely and the company saw how obvious it all was, figured
they had no chance of winning a lawsuit, and came into compliance. Ask
an FSF licence engineer.
> I am not concerned so much with principles here. I am concerned with the
> practical reality out there. Whenever I give a talk about OSM I get the
> same few questions and one of them is always about the licensing issue
> and I am fed up that I have to tell people: "Bla bla. This is the short
> version, but its much more complicated and you'll have to ask your
> lawyer for any real thing you want to do."
Could this be because we currently have an unclear licence? :-)
If we change to the ODL, you could carry on telling them that. But that
doesn't mean it would remain true.
More information about the legal-talk