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

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Thu Sep 4 10:13:03 BST 2008

On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 9:32 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> This situation will make it very difficult for you to find a publisher
> for your original work.

Not if they intend to compete on the quality of their product and
getting it into the market in a timely and tartgeted manner.

Failing that, there are many fine print-on-demand publishers.

> So, business models that work around consulting or services in
> connection with OSM will work, but those built around creating and
> selling a product less so.

It depends what the product is and what it is worth to potential
purchasors. I can find Indian and Chinese reprints of American
textbooks online cheap, and students are starting to torrent textbook
scans. If people don't want to pay for your work, they won't,
regardless of the licence.

> I view this as unfortunate because I think that if someone uses his own
> time and labor to create something on top of OSM then he should be
> entitled to revenues coming from his time and labor.

They may not be entitled to revenue from other people reproducing the
products of their labour, though.

> Of course it is
> hard to tell which part of the revenue is due to *his* time and labor
> and which is due to the OSM material that he has built on, and the
> proportions will surely vary across projects. But still - currently we
> basically say you own *nothing* of what you create on top of OSM, or
> more precisely, you do own a part of it but you're not allowed to
> exercise rights that would normally come with ownership.

You own *all* of it. But then so do I.

> The new license that is being discussed will probably address this
> problem by trying to constrain the viral aspect to the data or the
> database, and granting you more freedom to exercise rights on a
> non-database derived product.

Since this will displease everyone equally I suppose it amounts to a
compromise. ;-)

- Rob.

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