[OSM-legal-talk] The OSM licence: where we are, where we're going

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Tue Jan 8 12:58:54 GMT 2008

Quoting Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>:

> Hi,
>>> As the front page of the wiki says, "most maps...actually have
>>> legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back
>>> people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways".
>> A copyleft licence prevents such restrictions from being imposed.
> Wrong, a copyleft license IS a restriction.

Possibly I should have said that copyleft "prevents further  
restrictions", but I don't think that it compares.

Copyleft is a restriction only on restrictions. This is of a different  
character and order to the kind of practical legal and technical  
restrictions on use that restrictive licences and DRM can impose on  
downstream PD map users.

Leaving restrictions unrestricted does not pass freedom on to other  
people, it passes on the ability to remove freedom from other people.  
That is not freedom, it is power, and its removal by copyleft is not a  
particularly heinous loss.

- Rob.

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