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

rob at robmyers.org rob at robmyers.org
Tue Jan 8 15:01:06 GMT 2008

Quoting Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>:

>> Unmodified PD data can easily be restricted.
> If I have PD data on my server and offer it to the world, nobody in
> the world can restrict that. This data is PD and will always remain
> PD, and to say otherwise is just scaremongering.

Anybody can take that data and provide it to third parties with  
restrictions added. PD data can be placed in an obfuscated format or  
wrapper (Adobe's earliest eBooks did this), or made part of a  
copyrighted collective work (clip art and classic book reprint  
companies do this all the time).

The obvious objection that those third parties can just get the data  
from the original server assumes too many imponderables. It is a "let  
them eat cake" response.

It doesn't matter that the data was available five years ago in a  
format they can't read on a server that they didn't know the address  
of when they have that data restricted on a device (or in a physical  
work) that needs modifying now.

There are many reasons why someone might wish to deny the freedoms  
they have enjoyed to downstream users. GPS data sets for in-car  
devices are selling well at the moment for example.

- Rob.

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