[OSM-legal-talk] moving up the stack

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Wed Mar 7 15:42:30 GMT 2007

Quoting Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemeD.net>:

> 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;

Because one form doesn't affect the freedom of others, and another does.

"Commercial use" isn't the issue. A charity, a multimillionaire 
debutante, or a
student doing the same thing would be equally harmful.

> 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.

OSM's stated purpose is to make geodata "such as street maps" available to
people, so the map would be useful to OSM because it would help OSM to fulfil
its purpose.

If the maps incorporate new data, that may be incorporated back into 
OSM's more
data-y data by tracing, Google Earth style.

If they don't then it is still important that people are able to use them

> 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?

If someone ends up with a map derived from OSM work that they have reduced
freedom to use then freedom has been lost, and this is harmful. OSM as a
database on a server hasn't suffered, but OSM's aims have.

What would your proposed use add to OSM? And what would it produce that 
couldn't simply reproduce from the same data and charge less for than your

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

The art is a rendering of the data, cannot be made without it, and 
contains its
information. It basically is data, and the front page of the OSM site says as
much. The aim of OSM is for everyone to be able to use the data (including
visual renderings of the data). If an instance of the data (including artistic
renderings of it) ends up as a map that you are not free to use in some ways,
the cause of free geodata "such as street maps" is harmed.

- Rob.

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