[OSM-legal-talk] Public Domain versus CC Attribution Share Alike License

Iván Sánchez Ortega ivan at sanchezortega.es
Wed Sep 3 20:08:06 BST 2008


El Miércoles, 3 de Septiembre de 2008, Sunburned Surveyor escribió:
[...]
> The "public domain versus Creative Commons" debate sounds similar to
> the GPL versus LGPL debate that goes on in the open source software
> development world.

Not quite. It's more similar to the "GPL vs BSD" debate. The GPL shares the 
copyleft ideals with the CC-by-sa license, and anything covered under BSD is 
basically public domain, plus attribution.

> [...] So the only organizations that would benefit from
> mapping data in the public domain would be organizations that can't
> share data improvements because of security or competition concerns,
> or those that don't want to attribute OSM as a source. Is that
> correct?

That's quite right. My reason for liking a copyleft license for OSM (instead 
of a public domain -like license) is that I don't want Teleatlas or NavTeq to 
get my data, and sell it, giving nothing back neither to me nor to the OSM 
community. Keep in mind that this is my personal, egoist, point of view.

However, the current CC-by-sa license (and most of the copyleft licenses) 
doesn't mean that anybody who uses the data must share the modified data - it 
does mean that **if** you modify the data **and** **if** you re-distribute 
the modifications, the modifications must be shared under the same license.

e.g. an organization that can't share the data because of security concerns, 
obviously won't publish the data in the internet, or give away copies to the 
general public; so the organization doesn't have to share anything at all. If 
organization A gives a copy of rendered maps to organization B, then the 
license applies (A must share the underlying mapping data with B) but, again, 
B doesn't have to share the data with the public.


This is the general idea of copyleft licenses - different licenses will have 
different details to sort out.


Cheers,
-- 
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Iván Sánchez Ortega <ivan at sanchezortega.es>

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