[OSM-dev] Bittorrent

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Apr 19 01:10:31 BST 2009


(Cross-posting this to legal-talk.)

Stefan de Konink wrote:
>>> To make things absolutely clear. If any new license will prohibit
>>> in any way the distribution of the planet without signing or
>>> agreeing, this bittorrent service will continue anyway as it is
>>> now.

>> That is no problem, as any future license can only govern any
>> future planet files. A new license can not go back in time and say
>> "every previous planet is illegal to distribute". To do that and to
>> enforce that needs a whole lot of power, money and attorneys.

> In that case to make it also clear; to submit new Planet files.

It is unwise to register your opposition to the new license by 
threatening to violate certain aspects of it.

I believe the plan regarding the planet file is to embed licensing 
information *in* the file, not to require distributors to display 
something before they hand out the file.

But you do drive home the point that any license that counts on an 
unbroken chain of prior acknowledgment of a contract ("I only give you 
this data if you agree to ...") will not work. Violation of such a chain 
has been a theoretical construct until now ("what if someone in China 
simply re-posts the file without restrictions..."), and you make it real.

It is not nice of you but it is probably good for discussion, because we 
might otherwise have fallen for some cloud-cuckoo idea of being able to 
dictate the rules to everybody.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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