[OSM-legal-talk] licence - what happens next?
frederik at remote.org
Sat Sep 6 12:02:17 BST 2008
Peter Miller wrote:
> At the SOTM08 conference I understand that there was going to be a
> session on the licence but that it was called off as the expert lawyer
> had other business to attend to (50,000 registered users) I am not aware
> of any official announcement of progress since then.
The official status as per SOTM08 was that the license draft was
undergoing review by "a second set of legal eyes" (or similar wording).
I have not heard about any results of that review.
And I am not surprised either: Changing the license is, while necessary,
a task that will buy you no love with anyone. You have the choice of
either finding some backdoor-ish legal way to adopt the new license
without asking everyone (which would create a small outcry and put you
in an awkward position) or you do the full job and write to every member
asking to re-license their data, but there will be 1% who won't
relicense plus another 29% who just don't receive the mail, don't
understand it, or have died in the mean time, and you will have to
remove that data, creating, again, an outcry by those who now see holes
in the map. (And you have heard that some argue that the viral concept
might spread even to neighbouring objects, so EITHER you would be forced
to publicly say "no, we don't see that" which will provoke an outcry by
hardcore copylefters, OR you would basically lose the whole of London if
only a handful of people having contributed to parts of London in the
past cannot be reached for or disagree with the license change!)
Whichever way you turn it, nobody apart from a tiny tiny tiny minority
that says "good that this is being taken care of, otherwise we'd have
hit a wall soon", is going to like you for doing the work, and 99% of
people are going to say "why couldn't they just have let this alone".
> With reference to giving the OSMF board a free hand to change the
> licence in future as they see fit, I don’t think one has to look too far
> to see the dangers.
We could at least lighten our load by adding to the current registration
process (where you agree that all your data is to be licensed cc-by-sa)
a statement that says: "There is a license change planned, see <here>
and <there>, and I hereby agree that for this license change only, I
will receive an e-mail informing me of the new license once it is
finished and if I do not respond to that e-mail within two months then
my data will be licensed under the new license", or whatever.
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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