[OSM-legal-talk] Process for agreeing the new licence

Jonathan Harley jon at parkplatz.net
Sun Sep 28 14:29:22 BST 2008

Peter Miller wrote:
>> From: legal-talk-bounces at openstreetmap.org [mailto:legal-talk-
>> bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Frederik Ramm

>> Rest seemed ok for me but then again I didn't see much participation on
>> this list in the past months so maybe everybody's out mapping.
> I agree that participation is low on this list, possibly main of the 191
> subscribers to legal-talk are listening but not posting. The basic message
> to these people is speak up now if you are unhappy. Please don't sit back
> now and then vote against it when we are done.

One reason for just listening is that it's much easier to address
something concrete such as a proposal, than to discuss issues in
the abstract. But the possible proposed new license has been on
hold for what, five or six months now? In the absence of any kind
of update as to what's happening, I can see how people might think
they might as well keep quiet until something happens with that.

I imagine legal issues were discussed at the OSMF AGM in August?
Does anyone know? Are there any minutes of that or any other
meeting? I'm an OSMF member but I've heard nothing.

> Firstly to get a consensus on legal-talk (from anyone who wishes to
> participate) on what the essence of the licence should be.
> I then intend to build and discuss a set of use-cases that we want to be
> covered.
> By the time we are done with talk then hopefully a more mature draft of the
> proposed licence will be available and we can move the discussion back to
> legal-talk to validate the updated draft licence against the use-cases. I
> think that this may be the main part of the job. As well as the licence I
> think it will probably be useful to produce a 'dummy's guide' to the licence
> that explains in normal simple English why each paragraph is there.

Excellent suggestion!

> When we are done with that we will get external potential end-users to
> validate against appropriate use-cases.
> When we are done with that I think we will be ready to recommend the licence
> on the main talk list. When we get agreement there we I suggest that we then
> recommend it to top prolific contributors around the world and also with
> providers of bulk-imports, in particular ensuring that the licence works
> with major supplies, including yahoo, TIGER and AND. Finally we put the
> email out to all 20,000 users.
> Are people happy with this process? Personally I think that if we skip any
> one of the above steps these we will end up with an argument and failure to
> get it through.
> I hope that this is compatible with what the OSMF are doing, however
> following the best traditions of OSM, I am seeing a gap and just getting on
> with doing what seems to need to be done.

I think it's a great plan.


           Dr Jonathan Harley   .
                                .   Email: jon at parkplatz.net
            Zac Parkplatz Ltd   .   Office Telephone: 024 7633 1375
            www.parkplatz.net   .   Mobile: 079 4116 0423

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