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

Gervase Markham gerv at gerv.net
Sat Sep 6 09:13:42 BST 2008

Frederik Ramm wrote:
> People will ask "how do you ensure that OSMF doesn't fall into evil 
> hands", and you will start to invent boards of directors and boards of 
> overseers and whatnot, and all these will have to be chosen by some kind 
> of vote; then you'll have to define who may vote. But then what happens 
> if the evil guys just register all their users as members and simply 
> jump over whatever the minimum criterion is we put up? So you'll have to 
> put in some clauses that enable you to kick out people or reject their 
> applications or remove their voting rights. Of course, then, there needs 
> to be a provision for people to appeal against such a decision. Etc. 
> etc. etc.

Quite so. Frederik is entirely right. And this is why having the
copyright ownership of the data distributed among all of the
contributors is the best insurance against something evil happening. It
means that pretty much everyone has to agree on any changes of terms.
The OSMF may or may not get a critical mass of people behind the
proposed new licence, but it's fairly certain that an overtaken OSMF
wouldn't get a critical mass of people behind the idea that e.g. OSM
should go proprietary.


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