[OSM-legal-talk] OS Opendata & the new license
fjmd1a at gmail.com
Tue Sep 28 12:50:55 BST 2010
On 28 September 2010 12:03, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> Any future license change would then be constrained to the common
> denominator of all these licenses *or* risk repeating all the data loss
> whining that we're seeing now.
Yes. That's almost right. Either you permit datasets licensed under
some other licence and accept that limits the relicensing you can do,
or you don't permit them and retain the flexibility to relicense.
Its really not my place to have any view about this. I am just trying
to be helpful - which I hope is the case. Whether or not you do this,
and to what extend you do, is a matter for OSMF not me.
The current version of the CT's attempts to retain near maximum
flexibility by having the contributor grant a very broad licence to
OSMF for use of the data. That grant is not compatible with most well
known "open" licenses such as CC-BY. If there is a desire that any
such data be added, then the CT's should reflect that, if not then the
broad grant is the better option.
My specific point was that *if* you want the CT's to be permissive
about importation, then it is fairer on contributors and clearer to
provide an express list of compatible licenses - to avoid contributors
having to make the judgment themselves. This does create work though
and so is not cost-free. It may be that some specific wording of the
CT's would do a similar job. In my view a list of approved licenses is
easier, and it means you have more control over what is being
As I have said before there are two distinct issues here (1) what
contributors may contribute and (2) what OSMF may incorporate under
The "problem" (if that's what you see it as) with data loss at the
moment is to do with the earlier versions of the CT's. Data was
contributed on condition that it be released under a specific licence.
The problem you identify has a different origin: possible
incompatibility between data that has been imported subject to some
open licence such as CC and the licence that OSMF may use.
So, a CT that permitted lots of datasets to be imported, would not
necessarily prevent OSMF moving towards a more permissive licence of
its own (with the caveat that imported data may have more rights
associated with it), its not quite the same situation.
Hence my "almost right" above.
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