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

Joseph Gentle josephg at gmail.com
Thu Sep 4 13:05:46 BST 2008

On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 7:13 PM, Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:

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

As I see it, there's three problems with the current license:

- It is never defined what constitutes a 'derived work' and a 'collaborative
work'. People who try to be honest will stay away from OSM because they
don't want to offend / don't want to be sued. People who want to be a jerk
about the whole thing will use the data anyway. Shit for honest folk, good
for 'bad guys'; whoever they are

- There are some applications I just can't write with OSM. Particularly, I
can't write any application which interacts in a nontrivial way with
proprietry data. At least, not without asking permission from every single

- Any user of the maps must attribute _every contributor_. Thats just not
feasable for some usage scenarios. (And nobody cares - but still, without
attributing everyone you're opening the door to lawsuits).

As I understand it, the new license fixes 1. and maybe 3.

IMO, if we're going to go through the rigmaroll of changing licenses anyway,
lets try and fix everything.


> - Rob.
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