[OSM-legal-talk] Licensing Working Group report, 2009/01/22

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 23 14:30:09 GMT 2009

Thanks Peter. 

That's a good summation of the reasoning for an evolving license. 
And essential questions on the process. That process must be open and engaging. 
There will be more details next week.


From: Peter Miller <peter.miller at itoworld.com>
To: Licensing and other legal discussions. <legal-talk at openstreetmap.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2009 11:36:47 PM
Subject: Re: [OSM-legal-talk] Licensing Working Group report, 2009/01/22

On 22 Jan 2009, at 23:05, andrzej zaborowski wrote:

> 2009/1/22 Mikel Maron <mikel_maron at yahoo.com>:
>> Hi Fredrik
>>> Will they be available to process our input after we see the text?
>>> Is there any plan for how our feedback will be processed before the
>>> public is asked to accept the new license - will it be *our* job  
>>> to take
>>> the lawyers' version and our feedback and make something suitable  
>>> from
>>> it and then ask everyone to sign up, or will we collect our  
>>> feedback and
>>> then again wait for the lawyers to respond?
>> At the same time a first draft of the license is published, a  
>> community of
>> users
>> and legal experts will be established for discussion and refinement  
>> of the
>> license.
>> We want to move ahead with this draft of the license asap. The  
>> license won't
>> be perfect,
>> but there will definitely be a process for feedback and  
>> improvements, and
>> the license
>> will get there. In the immediate term, the OSM community kick  
>> starts this
>> process
>> by first moving to the first draft of the ODL license.
> By moving do you mean starting the relicensing already?  What if the
> part that most people would like to veto is the one allowing the
> passing of new versions without explicit agreement?
> I think this is why half of the world uses e.g. GPLv2 or GPLv3
> licenses rather than GPLv3+ even though that's what GNU recommends.
> AFAIK by having the actual data under the evolving license you expose
> it to the sum of all the loopholes present in any version of the
> license as it evolved.

I believe that it will be necessary for the license to be able to  
evolve within strict constraints without going back to all the  
contributors for approval because that would be impossible. Indeed it  
is already be impossible, but we have to live with that and we will  
loose content as a result. If one does not allow the license to evolve  
then surely it will not be able to adapt to new IPR laws and situations?

I am however very very interested in who will be able to change the  
license and how much?

Will it be possible for the key open elements of it to get removed? I  
don't know because I haven't seen the text.

Who will be able to make changes? I don't know and I don't think the  
foundation knows either - they certainly haven't said.

Also, we are being told that there will be very open consultation no  
future changes to the license.

Lets hope that Mikel's energy leads to better engagement in the  
process. Certainly it is a great improvement to have someone to talk  
to than nobody even if we still have a way to go.



> Cheers
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