[OSM-legal-talk] moving up the stack

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Wed Mar 7 14:47:56 GMT 2007

Robert Hart wrote:

> Richard,
> I think you need to be making the argument. I don't understand why you
> feel that funding your retirement should be a primary goal of OSM. If
> you want to make commercial maps, then there are commercial sources of
> data.

To be honest, Robert, I'm tired of making the argument. You can grep  
the mailing lists and my blog if you can really be bothered (I  
wouldn't advise it :) ), I've been yaddering on about it since about  
the third century AD - alternately ranting, compromising, preaching,  
trying to understand others' arguments - and it's done precisely 0mm  
of good. I've read up on the case law, I've proposed a workable  
suggestion which I feel would actually enrich OSM greatly (the  
share-data idea) and explained why, the I,A,N,A and L keys on my  
keyboard are almost worn out through overuse and, well, nothing  
changes at all. Maybe you can tell me where I'm going wrong. Maybe I  
really am just plain wrong.

But I would never feel that "funding my retirement should be a primary  
goal of OSM" and it's putting words in my mouth to say so. OSM plays  
nicely with lots of commercial projects: Multimap, Nestoria, etc. They  
don't have to release anything into the community for doing so.  
Because I'd like to fund my food bills differently (retirement? I wish  
:) ), through either printed or rasterised cartography, I do. The  
thing I'm required to release is of no use to OSM apart from, maybe,  
the featured images page; yet there's no obligation on me to release  
the expanded data-set, which _would_ be useful to OSM.

What, today, I've been trying to get a handle on is what people's  
reasons are for saying one form of commercial use is practical and  
another isn't; I'd like to know why it is I keep hitting my head  
against a brick wall. What would my proposed use take away from OSM?  
Why do I have to get into becoming a weather-proof map supplier? So  
far what I've gathered is "it's collateral damage because our  
interpretation of CC-BY-SA has lots of other good things", and yes, it  
does, but it seems a weird justification when better alternatives  
might be available.

But, you know, right now I'm _this_ close from just saying f--k it and  
walking away from the whole project. I'm sure I'll calm down later,  
but still: after a few years of "ask not what OSM can do for you, ask  
what you can do for OSM" and very, very happily putting lots of hours  
into the latter, it's nonetheless depressing to see that the answer to  
the former is "nothing, ever".

> I, and I assume most other people, joined OSM, because I value freedom,
> and wish to foster the development/creation of free data and free uses
> of that data. The priority of OSM should always be freedom first. A
> compromise between commerce and freedom will not IMHO benefit the cause
> of freedom.

You don't really want me to say the whole thing all over again, do  
you? Please? I also want to encourage free data, it's why I'm here.  
Yay. More free data. I've written a whole editor just so people can  
create more of this lovely free data, it's a corker even if I say so  
myself, one day we'll have it on the server, I hope. I love free data.  
Free as in whatever you want - as in beer, as in speech, as in Nelson  
Mandela, as in 99% fat free, as in  
free-your-mind-and-your-ass-will-follow, I don't really care.

I just don't get how the cause of free data is helped by  
share-alikeing the art bit.


More information about the legal-talk mailing list