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

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Wed Jan 9 09:46:36 GMT 2008

Hi all,

I'm trying to avoid putting my own views forward (which are reasonably  
well-known) about the "right" form of licence, instead restricting  
myself to the manner of the debate and how it informs future  
decision-making. So here are four points of order to try and ensure a  
clearer debate.

First, please consider legal-talk at openstreetmap.org the main  
discussion channel, rather than talk at .

Second, really really really really do read the text of the draft Open  
Data Commons licences, as considered in the opengeodata posting:

Third: be careful referring to "a CC licence" unless you're actually  
talking about the family of licences issued by Creative Commons, and  
none others. Just a random quote (not meaning to pick on anyone):

> [Neil Penman]
> Given the recent Knols initiative by Google I would have thought that
> the importance of preserving the CC license in OSM has been
> highlighted.

I really don't think you mean that. I think (going on your previous  
paragraphs) you mean "the importance of preserving a share-alike  
licence" - which the ODC Database Licence is. As the opengeodata  
posting notes, if we were to adopt Creative Commons' position on  
licensing data, we would go public domain (or CC0)!

Fourth, remember that the current licence has two halves - share-alike  
and attribution - and to some extent they're separate. Going on the  
SOTM straw poll, AFAICT, most people voting for "public domain"  
actually meant "attribution only". So if you're arguing for or against  
"public domain", do make it clear what you're actually objecting to  
and what you'd agree to.

Follow-ups to legal-talk please. :)


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