[OSM-legal-talk] Starting Repository For Public Domain OSM Data

Joseph Gentle josephg at gmail.com
Wed Oct 15 15:45:34 BST 2008

On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 1:44 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> My thinking as well, just needs careful consideration of viral
> effects, i.e. if you want to be totally safe then you can only ever
> collect data before it is assimilated into the OSM pool, and after
> that it is completely lost to you because even if, once in OSM, the
> data is only further edited by the same person originally creating
> it, it might have to be contaminated by "a node on the other side of
> the road". This is of course the chicken way to deal with it, one
> could also take a more combative stance and postulate that anything
> only ever touched by users who say their data is PD, is PD.

I think the idea that everything only touched by PD contributors is PD
data is easily good enough. It would be a tough sell to say that
because your road is next to my road, I have intellectual property
rights over the road you drew. (Especially since facts can't be
copyrighted in the first place).

My motivation is a bit different from Landon's. I want to make a map
could (eventually) be the authoritative world map which people use for
absolutely everything mapping related. I think the new license is
fantastic, but the whole fiasco has made me one of Those People; who
would rather PD his data than waste time arguing about legalese for a
not-for-profit project.

> I'm the person who started the "all my contributions are PD"
> thing on the Wiki and I'm happy to see it has gained quite a number
> of followers.

That was a great initiative. I also hope to email a lot of the
contributors (particularly the larger contributors) once we have
something up and running to ask them to public domain their work. I
think a lot of people wouldn't mind sharing more. Once its all set up,
I imagine mailing people with a short paragraph of text, a link for
more information and a link they can click to donate their data.

> I'm especially hopefull concering the US where you have this huge
> body of PD information to start with. If you manage to convince
> people that it is good to keep this PD body alive rather than cutting
> away little pieces each time something is edited then that would be
> quite an achievement!
> I could envisage editors supporting multiple repositories and
> becoming license aware ("you have edited 5 items that were PD before.
> Do you want to keep the PD license on those...").

Brilliant. I hadn't thought of that.

Speaking of which, are there currently any good merging tools for map
data? I foresee the need to merge map data together a lot both OSM->PD
as people PD their work and PD->OSM as the PD maps fill in areas not
covered by OSM.

In the meantime, we probably need to set up our own independent
software stack (initially using the same software, but with a
different data set) and then write tools to scrape together PD data
for the initial import. We'll need a project name (freemap? planet
map? terra mappa? wikiglobe / wikimap? The Street?) and a mailing


> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
> _______________________________________________
> legal-talk mailing list
> legal-talk at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/legal-talk

More information about the legal-talk mailing list