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

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Thu Sep 4 13:11:13 BST 2008

Joseph Gentle wrote:

> - 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
> contributor.
> - 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.

Yes, the new licence fixes 1 and 3. It also goes a long way to  
defining what is permissible under 2 in such a way that is likely to  
be acceptable to the largest number of people.

A public domain-style licence could of course "fix" everything, but  
the community ain't gonna agree on it (see legal-talk passim ad  
infinitum), and OSM is all about the art of the possible.


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