[OSM-legal-talk] Open Data Licence (Re: 23rd Dec board meeting)

Simon Ward simon at bleah.co.uk
Sat Jan 24 18:02:55 GMT 2009

On Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 11:30:19AM +0000, Peter Miller wrote:
> OSM Open Data License
> There are many comments already on legal-talk that I won't repeat here. I 
> do however note from the minutes that "all communications with Jordan had 
> broken down". Also that "No hosting option for the licence is currently 
> available and therefore OSMF may need to host". These seems to indicate 
> that there is a lot more work to be done.
> I note that "Steve [is] reluctant to publish publicly as it  would  
> invite another round of changes ... Henk asked about getting support  
> from major contributors. Nick and Andy felt it was against the spirit of 
> the project to treat some contributors as having special status."

I can’t help but think it would be more with the spirit of the project
to have open development of the licence, and that it would have been
beneficial if this had been an open development much earlier.

By having a closed development process, and publishing drafts for
review, OSMF have forced the process to involve rounds of consultation.
Had development been open, it would have benefitted from continual input
from the community.  The same input that we have been trying to provide
with the development of use cases, wiki pages about the licence and how
it should work, without even knowing what the current state of the
licence is.

Allowing all contributors to provide input on the development is also a
fair way to avoid some having special status.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a
simple system that works.—John Gall
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