[OSM-legal-talk] Legal Advice [Was Re: Talk tonight...]

Jordan S Hatcher jordan at opencontentlawyer.com
Thu Nov 15 15:58:28 GMT 2007

On 14 Nov 2007, at 16:12, Richard Fairhurst wrote:

> (This is a post in my role as an OSM Foundation board member rather
> than from me as a freelance ranting loon.)
> rob wrote:
>> Quoting Chris Fleming <me at chrisfleming.org>:
>>> Now I know that we had hoped to get some proper legal advice but  
>>> I'm not
>>> sure if we ever did what was the status of this.
>> OSM definitely need some good legal advice about what can and cannot
>> be licenced in which ways. This is quite urgent.
>> Is there anything currently in progress for this, or is there  
>> anything
>> people can do to help?
> The OSMF board is looking at the current state of OSM licensing and
> future options for it.
> We are actively holding discussions with relevant organisations, both
> in person and electronically. (For what it's worth there have been
> around 30 e-mails on the topic between a subset of OSMF board members
> today alone.) We have also received useful feedback from others about
> perceptions and problems with the licensing.
> The process only commenced with the election of this year's board and
> we have therefore not yet come to any conclusions. However, we do
> appreciate the urgency of the matter and are optimistic about some of
> the potential developments. Open data licensing is, at last, an active
> area and it is very possible that OSM will be able to benefit from
> some of the work being done elsewhere. In particular we have been
> briefed (in confidence, I'm afraid) about developments expected this
> or next month which could have great relevance to OSM.
> We have a board meeting tomorrow night and hope to make further  
> progress then.
>  From our discussions so far, I think it's fair to say that a wide
> range of options are being aired but that we are all working with the
> best interests of the project at heart. I should stress that at this
> stage nothing has been ruled out.
> Richard
> OpenStreetMap Foundation

So a few things. We've been updated on some other parallel  
developments that have been happening in the open data legal sphere,  
and are currently re-drafting the Open Data Commons licence to  
reflect these.  I can't say much more about it at this point, but we  
will hopefully have a draft ready within the next couple of weeks to  
one month.

This new draft will very much need validation and comment from all of  
the relevant communities, including of course OSM.  Once announced,  
I, and the rest of the people involved, would greatly appreciate  
everyone's comments.

I will be available for meetings or talks about the law behind the  
licence, some of the thoughts behind its drafting, and other related  
topics if anyone would like to schedule something once it is up and  
running. I am physically located in Reading, and available to travel  
around if needed.

On a parallel and related issue, feel free to contact me offlist and  
I will try to work on your legal needs, either through helping out  
myself or helping to locate someone suitable.



Mr. Jordan S Hatcher, JD, LLM

jordan at opencontentlawyer dot com
OC Blog: http://opencontentlawyer.com
IP/IT Blog: http://twitchgamer.net

Open Data Commons

Usage of Creative Commons by cultural heritage organisations

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