[OSM-legal-talk] Results from license debate - assing (c) to OSMF

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Tue Jul 17 16:44:03 BST 2007

Frederik Ramm wrote:

> Dunno. If people gave us even a fraction of the money they shell 
> out for OS data we could do a lot with that.

I have no definite answer on the licensing issue, but I think that 
it is unfortunate to link it to money.  Are you suggesting that 
(1) OSM would receive more money if the data was released as PD 
rather than CC-BY-SA and (2) the lack of that money is what's 
stopping OSM from developing?  I see no proof for either of these 
hypotheses, and suggest we avoid to link licensing to the money 

Against 1: Some people might say (because "talk is cheap") that 
they would benefit from a licensing change and that they would 
donate.  We don't actually know if they will donate.  And we don't 
know if they wouldn't have donated even without a licensing 

Against 2: It's very easy for the poor to think that "if I were a 
rich man", every problem would be solved.  This is seldom so.  
Recently a lot of energy has gone into the tiles at home project 
because people feel alienated by Steve's & Nick's central control 
over the servers for the main service (mapnik layer).  Some have 
in turn become alienated by Oliver's central control over the 
queueing system of tiles at home.  You (Frederik) is frustrated with 
OSM's lack of a live feed.  Money would not solve any of these 
problems, because they are related to interpersonal relations 
(trust, control, attitudes) rather than a lack of money.

Money is not unimportant.  There are lots of things we can do with 
money, and there are lots of money we could get -- regardless of 
which licensing solution we choose.  For example, many companies 
sponsored the SOTM conference without regard to OSM's licensing.

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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