[OSM-legal-talk] OSMHQ (Open Street Map High Quality): Viable Alternative For The National Map Corps

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Sep 4 09:47:51 BST 2008


Nathan Vander Wilt wrote:
> The last I'd heard on this sort of "extraction" is that it would be  
> largely infeasible. The wiki has a bit of a thread on this: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Dual_licensing_idea 
> , which links to discussion about "whose node" but there has also been  
> uncertainty raised regarding not just editing nodes themselves but  
> what those nodes are edited in relation.

I personally think that this is taking things a bit too far; remember 
that to earn rights to something that is created, your contribution must 
be non-trivial. We must be very careful with these claims of "whose 
node" etc., because they will work the other way round as well and I 
would not be surprised if (for example) if you were to set very strict 
rules you could find that half of OSM actually belongs to someone else 
(for example, how exactly have the aerial images and/or old maps we use 
been orthorectified?).

> Has this been further discussed, perhaps off-list, and determined to  
> be feasible after all? If not, it seems to me that "extraction" would  
> be more trouble (legal and technical) than it'd be worth. Why not  
> start a sister project with known pure PD sources and just edit from  
> there?

It wouldn't be too late to do that, but we'd have to think carefully how 
the two projects could and should co-exist in the future. I.e. if I were 
to add data to the PD project I would like to add it to OSM at the same 
time, however if checking with OSM for duplicates will already bring on 
the "whose node is it" fraction telling me that I have now infected the 
PD version, that would then basically make it impossible for me to 
contribute to both at the same time and I would have to make a choice, 
which would be sad.

Sure, it would be relatively easy to set up the same toolchain that OSM 
has on a parallel infrastructure, using the same editors, databases, 
renderers, just on a PD license. For the users it would be pretty 
transparent, you could basically switch from PD to Copyleft any time, 
using Copyleft where you just want to display something and using PD 
when you want to make a derived work. But it is going to be difficult 
for the editors.


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