[OSM-legal-talk] [OSM-talk] Why OpenStreetMap is not Wikipedia

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Aug 3 17:41:28 BST 2008


>> It is very likely that none of the data we collect now will still be
>> used 20 years from now, because by then everything is so networked and
>> fully automatic and we have high resolution satellite images of
>> everywhere etc. etc. - will I then sit there and think it was all for
>> naught?
> I doubt it. I think the value of maps will only continue to rise.
> Except, looking into the future 3D maps is where its going to be at.

Maybe a misunderstanding here. I don't doubt that maps will be 
everywhere. I just doubt it will be *our* maps or something derived from 

>> Surely not, because the availability of free data *now* makes
>> sure that the market value of geodata goes down (makes ist more likely
>> that government agencies will provide them free), and also encourages
>> people to develop interesting techniques and software to work with that
>> data.
> Er, I'm sure you mean the market cost of geodata. (How much it costs
> to obtain maps)
> The market value (how much people would pay for them, if they had to
> pay) isn't going down anytime soon.

Correct, that's what I meant. (I still think that Teleatlas & Co. will 
see the value of their products decrease, i.e. the amount of money they 
can make from them.)

> I think the biggest risk to the data becoming obsoleted is the current
> license. Its nigh-on impossible for anyone to build on OSM at the
> moment without fear of being sued. 

Any share-alike license where the individuals remain the rights-holders 
of data they contribute does theoretically open the possibility for any 
contributing individual suing any user for perceived breach of license. 
Whether this is a problem depends (a) on the risk-adversity of the 
potential user, (b) on the lunacy of the contributor and (c) on the 
amount of room our license leaves for interpretation (e.g. what is a 
derived work, what is proper attribution).

In an earlier discussion somebody suggested that the Foundation draw up 
a sort of pledge saying: "While the license technically does not affect 
the Foundation - it only affects the user of the data and the 
contributor granting the license -, the foundation interprets the 
license as follows: .... And will stick to this interpretation if called 
upon in legal matters." - Such a statement would at least enable the 
potential users to know whether they'd have the foundation on their side 
in case they get sued by a contributor.

I'm setting a Followup to legal-talk as such things aren't generally of 
interest to people on talk.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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