[OSM-legal-talk] Licensing: What happens next

Joseph Gentle josephg at gmail.com
Thu Sep 4 06:08:46 BST 2008

We have all argued incessantly about licensing issues. That does not help
the OSM project.

-------- What will probably happen ---------

The OSM foundation will email our 50 000 contributors saying:
"Hi everybody. Thanks for your contributions. We want to relicense your data
to this < http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Open_Data_License >.
Follow <this link> to accept. If not, we'll have to purge your data from our
database - and thats a huge pain in the arse."

Then there'll be this weird interum period where they sort of fork the
database and re-fill in the bits which were originally submitted by people
with (now) new email addresses.

-------- What I would like to happen ----------

"Hi everybody. Licensing is a huge pain in the arse. Click <here> to throw
your maps to the wolves and put your maps in the public domain. Click <here>
to accept our <new open data license>"

Then some people click link A, some people click link B and (as before) a
bunch of people don't respond. OSM can use all the data anyway - and
semi-ugly forks as before.

Meanwhile, I want to take the data of everyone who clicks the "PD my data"
button and fork it into our own database. I know there's some weird viral
properties which will carry over from some of the data but we'll do the best
we can. We can start with all the PD data OSM has incorperated already; as
well as the nodes PD-contributors have created. Then we slowly fill out a
database which is free for everyone to use in any project without worrying
about being sued (aie carumba!).

Maybe the OSM project / google maps will always have better maps. But damnit
- It'll be worth it.

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