[OSM-legal-talk] Rules for the foundation to hold data assigned to it under
frederik at remote.org
Sat Jul 21 14:58:07 BST 2007
> It means that contributors are rewarded for making restrictively-licensed
> changes to the map (by getting exclusive rights to a map which is better than
> the PD map they started with), and that contributors are not rewarded for
> making freely-copiable changes to the map (other people just rip-off their
> work and sell it without giving anything back)
I am currently not rewarded for my work towards OSM, except with
immaterial things (e.g. people may say thank you every now and then).
I don't expect this to change. I do not work for a "reward". I don't
care whether others, who might have some good business idea, find their
own "reward". If someone uses my data as a basis for anything - be that
a work of art or a commercial product - I won't feel "ripped off".
Let me give you a parallel here: I do write a lot of free software. Some
people send in patches and help the software get better. 99% of people
just use the software, without ever "giving something back". Do I feel
ripped off? No! I wrote the software to be used.
> It means that the latest copy of the map is not necessarily available for you
> to use.
Firstly, what's the "latest copy"? If ten different companies take the
free data and "improve" and sell it, then there will be ten different
"latest" versions, plus the eleventh that we're continuing to work on.
If one of the ten companies manages to add real value to the map, hey,
let them ask money for it, it's a free world!
> You just have to pay to host the out-of-date "public domain" version from
> before people started adding their cool proprietary stuff to the map.
Do you really believe that we are so much worse than commercial
entities? Do you really thing that *they* will have the cool stuff while
*we* struggle to keep our (worse) product usable? Is that the opinion
you have of us as a community? Come on! What will happen is: commercial
entities will do exactly what you say, make some additions and sell it,
but before they know it we will have overtaken them, again and again and
again, because no commercial company can match exponential growth. So it
is *they* who will be struggling to continue incorporating the new
material we produce daily into their proprietary system. It will be very
hard for them to keep up, and if they manage to keep up - good for them,
they have earned whatever money their customers are paying them.
> It makes it very rewarding for sombody to make a restrictively-licensed fork
> of the project, attracting the community of contributors to their project
> (and away from OSM), e.g. with the promise of extra features that are only
> available in the proprietary version.
Does that mean: CC-BY-SA is here to keep us safe from competition, so
that we can continue enjoying inferior features even if someone else
offers better? Like socialist utopia where, unfortunately, the
individuals may be tempted by evil captialism which pretends to offer
more, but the individuals don't know what's good for themselves so we
have to build a wall around them and shoot them if they want to leave -
for their own good?
Sorry, got carried away here. But you must admit there's something of
"we have to protect our contributors from themselves" in your argument,
> Those "extra features" could even be as simple as an advertising campaign and
> the backing of a well-known company.
Let's play the game out in our minds. Say our data were PD, and Google
offers user-created mapping tomorrow and seeds their database with our
data. (Beats me why they'd use our data, they'd have more than enough
money to buy Teleatlas but let's just assume for some reason they like
our data more.) But they say that anything you contribute is theirs to
do as they like.
That, in your eyes, would probably the worst thing that can happen to
us, right? Big company, lots of exposure, lots of money behind it. Many
many people will contribute, their data will be much better than ours
within a short time span.
But: Will this destroy us? Google already has maps with, on the whole,
much better coverage than we do. Still people participate in OSM. Why?
Because they want free data. Why should they stop participating if
Google starts a competing project? Either Google's data is free, then
OSM dies (but OSM's aims are furthered, so I don't care) or Google's
data is not free, then OSM will continue just as it does now.
There will be a certain "market share" in community mapping that the big
players will take away from us, we're seeing the start of that with the
TomTom editor and so on. But that's only the part where people want to
make a change on the map and don't care wheter the data is free or not.
And this will happen, whether or not *our* data is used as the base or
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00.09' E008°23.33'
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