[OSM-talk] Frederik declares war on data imports...
jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 9 21:33:08 BST 2010
I honestly think the way forward is to continue as we are currently
and set up a separate project which is pure PD. Extract anything that
can be extracted from the current map, this can be done by selecting
data which has been contributed by those who are happy with public
domain licensing and that gives you a start for the PD project and
lets the rest of us get on with life creating something useful. In
the longer term the PD version might even create something usable and
gives us a short term solution as well.
On 9 August 2010 16:16, John Smith <deltafoxtrot256 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10 August 2010 05:46, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
>> Maybe if you'd scale back your demagogy a bit. The subject you chose for
>> this thread is offensive enough.
> Sorry if the truth hurts, but some of us are offended by the notion
> that something we find useful can be so easily and unceremoniously
> discarded on a whim of what ifs...
>> Nothing here happens stealthily. My main concern is not that data imports
>> are a hindrance towards going PD (an estimated 95% of imported data is PD
>> and thus irrelevant in this question). My main concern is that people, among
> How exactly did you come up with this 75% figure, the biggest import
> I'm aware of was TIGER data and it was about 1/3rd, I can only assume
> you assume that people contributing will happily relicense under a non
> By-SA license, this doesn't seem to have any basis in reality...
>> them you as one of the loudest, use existing data imports as a *reason* to
>> try and stop our move to the better ODbL. And I say again, if we have to
> And you constantly confuser or blur the issue of license with
> contributor terms, as far as I'm aware CDBL makes claims about
> individual "facts" being non-copyrightable, and the new CTs are
> incompatible with almost every other non-PD data source, including any
> other ODBL data if/when it exists. We kept getting asked if our
> government would relicense under ODBL, but even then that wouldn't be
> allowable under the CTs...
>> decide between "keep imports" and "move to ODbL", then let's start to rip
>> out those imports *today* because they are a dead weight that keeps us from
>> moving ahead.
> As others have pointed out, how can they be dead weight if they expand
> the community, so ditching that 'dead weight' will likely drive
> contributors with it...
>> There is a clause in the contributors terms that allows the license to be
>> changed by a 2/3 majority of active contributors, to another free and open
> Which I disagree with, and it seems many others do too...
>> 2/3 of active contributors is a pretty damn large group of people who would
> Which seems to be getting smaller at present...
>> all have to agree. That's an immensely high hurdle. The license has to be
>> free and open. There is no other restriction, and John is right in saying
>> that this would technically even allow a move to PD.
> If it's such a high hurdle why even bother to weight us down with such
> You are limiting our freedoms as contributors, and you were the one
> that keeps spouting about how the contributors, not the data, is the
> most important thing to the project, you seem to have your logic mixed
> up there some where...
>> This is not a planned move to PD, or some stealthy maneouvre by anybody in
>> the license working group. This is just what any sane person would do: Leave
>> the door open; give yourself an spectrum of choices that is as broad as
>> possible in the future so you can react to a changing situation.
> Sure, if this was at the beginning, but that ship has long sailed,
> there is people already planning further imports and you come along
> and say we should rip out the existing ones, way to upset the
>> We are seeing now that license change is a very difficult process with lots
>> of problems, one that damages the community as well as the data.
> I couldn't agree more...
>> At the same time, we have absolutely no idea what the world is going to look
>> like 10 years from now. If neither the mood in the community nor the outside
>> world change - then why should our license.
> If you want a PD project start a new one, but there is far too much
> data and work gone into the existing project on the assumption that we
> could use cc-by and cc-by-sa data...
>> However, it is quite possible that the geodata world changes drastically.
>> For example, it might be possible that courts rule that geodata doesn't
>> carry any copyright and in consequence, more and more governments follow the
>> US lead and just make their data available as PD (including, let's assume
>> that for a moment, governments in Australia and Chile). If that happens,
>> then OSM still has better data because we have lots of people working on it,
>> but we'd be seeing more and more "competition" - potential OSM users
>> preferring to use other data sources which are only half as good but have no
>> restrictions. In such a world, I could envisage a large majority of OSMers
>> saying: "Let's drop that stupid share-alike license which nobody really
>> understands anyway, and become as free as the rest of the world already is."
> We could spend a year working on what ifs, but the fact of life is
> many people would be effected by this, why should we care more about
> people 10 years from now, than those contributing at present?
>> (Remember: We're here to create a free world map because there is no free
>> world map at the moment. What we do is *more free* than what all the others
>> are doing. - Can you imagine a time when people say "oh well there's OSM
>> which as a few more footways but it comes with all that license hassle, I'll
>> rather use the free government data.")
> So far only those that don't want to contribute back really dislike
> the license, how many others have no problem with it?
>> This is of course only one potential reason for changing the license in the
>> future. Other reasons would include ODbL turning out to be unworkable for
>> some reason or other, or the legal situation with regards to geodata
>> changing in some other direction. And of course *any* change in license is
>> thinkable, as long as it remains free and open.
> The problem isn't with the ODBL, but you seem to insist that it is, in
> fact "free and open" wording in the CTs only need to be changed to
> "attribution and share-alike" and most of the problems would go away.
>> Anything we try to cement now will be with us until the end of the project.
>> The current CT are written in a way that makes us entrust the future of OSM
>> to those who are active mappers at any future time - it will be their
>> project, and through democratic elections to the OSMF board and the license
>> change process envisaged in the CT, they will get the chance to shape the
>> license in the way that is best for the project then.
> You seem to care so much for the future mappers, but unless you start
> caring a little more about present mappers there won't be any future
> mappers to care about.
>> I consider myself a bright guy, but I would never presume that I can today
>> make an intelligent decision that would still be "right" for the project and
>> its members in 10 years. And the *least* I would do is base such a decision
>> on a little data that I have imported from a source which might be unhappy
>> with what the project wants to do in 10 years' time.
> You seem to be rambling about the same thing over and over again...
> what would you call an argument that appeals to future authority
>> In theory one could seek to limit the license change rules in the CT, for
>> example by adding that the chosen license must not only be free and open,
>> but also "have an attribution component". Superficially, this might solve
>> your pet problem, namely ensuring eternal compatibility with data you have
>> taken from the Australian government. (A government that is not unlikely to,
>> by the time the project might contemplate another license change, have gone
>> through several license changes themselves.) But the next think you'll ask
>> is whether that "attribution component" is enough. Surely evil Frederik is
>> already plotting to have the attribution listed only in some obscure
>> planning department on Alpha Centauri! We need to make this clear... and
>> sooner rather than later you'll end up codifying a copy of CC-BY (or
> This isn't just about Australian data, that's just the data that
> effects me the most, have a look at all the datasets with cc-by or
> cc-by-sa licenses listed on the wiki.
>> This whole topic is highly complex, and is ill-served by the kind of
>> placative fearmongering which, sadly, seems to be your style. There's no
>> moving forward with a mindset like yours; it's all just hedging what we have
>> and not going anywhere. ODbL is an important investment in our future as a
>> project. Try to sabotage it at all our peril.
> You are the one sabotaging it by implicitly linking the ODBL to the
> new CTs, you are the one doing so at your peril.
> talk mailing list
> talk at openstreetmap.org
More information about the talk