[OSM-legal-talk] CC Attribution Share Alike License with OSMF exception

Joseph Gentle josephg at gmail.com
Sat Sep 6 01:35:22 BST 2008

Its a compromise; a compromise which I think the purists on this list (most
of us) will disagree with.

It does seem like a good way for the share-alike supporters to champion free
software while at the same time making sure their 'free' contributions never
end up in the hands of those evil big business. It solves my problem (2)
from my earlier email; that there are legitimate uses for the data which our
current license blocks due to litigation. The situation at the moment is
that your freedoms regarding the maps are more controlled by how afraid you
are of litigation than by what you want to do with the maps.

No matter how we change the licensing situation, it will require a mail out
to all members. Some contributors will have changed their email addresses.
Some contributors won't read the email, and some contributors won't agree
with the changes. We'll lose data. When that happens, there'll be mirrors of
the old data before the change (for users of our maps, the fine points of
the license don't matter as much as map data quality). Its all ugly; and we
want to only do it once.

I guess we should optimise for:
a) Never having to lose data like that again
b) Making a proposal that as many members as possible will agree with

If we go with your proposal, the OSM foundation could authorise future
license changes if we find more problems with our new license. I like that
idea. Unfortunately, it gives the foundation a lot more work to do.


On Sat, Sep 6, 2008 at 9:44 AM, Brian Quinion <
openstreetmap at brian.quinion.co.uk> wrote:

> >> OK, so either not OSMF (but a group setup for the purpose) or OSMF
> >> with better protections for who can be a board member.  How about a
> >> group made up of interested parties with a minimum amount of data
> >> submitted to OSM... :-)
> > See, you're starting to walk the path towards non-freedom already.
> > You're starting to talk of criteria, of restrictions, of authority.
> Ah, but since I'm only suggesting adding to CC-by-SA not replacing it
> it can't make the freedom situation any worse :-)
> > BUT to get the more paranoid people among us to accept such a body with
> > these rights, you will have to set up a huge and complicated process
> > with checks and balances and positions of power and well-defined
> > decision making processes and all - a real ugly beast if you ask me.
> Yes, from the responses so far I guess that is exactly what would
> happen.  But on the other hand that is exactly what we seem to have at
> the moment - a bureaucratic mess.
> I suppose my feeling is that a group with the ability to grant waivers
> makes the project 'fail safe' since the worst that happens is that the
> data gets given away.  With the current situation we could end up in a
> situation where people couldn't use it at all. Indeed I think we have
> already reached that point - just look at all the discussion about how
> we go about changing the license at all, we are tying ourselves in
> legal knots.
> Yes, someone could come in and find a loop hole, but it would be
> public, it would be messy and it would be bad publicity for whoever
> did it and I'd say the benefits outweigh the risks.
> > "Unhappy with something? Just submit it, in written form, with three
> > copies, to our under-secretary for member queries, and it might just get
> > on the agenda for next year's AGM..."
> > I am not a control freak. I think formal decisions, votes, authority and
> > all that should be avoided wherever possible. As long as we can manage
> > with our "do-ocracy", let us do that.
> But there is always CC-By-SA so nothing is lost... unless you think it
> is possible to get everyone to move over to PD?  otherwise I think we
> need a middle route because there will always be special cases and the
> project as a whole needs a way to deal with them because at the moment
> it clearly does not.  A new license (however carefully written) is
> unlikely to solve that!
> --
>  Brian
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