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

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Sat Jan 24 18:58:04 GMT 2009

On 24 Jan 2009, at 15:27, Rob Myers wrote:

> Peter Miller wrote:
>> Without a public vote the board are effectively saying to each and
>> every one of use individually:  'accept these new terms or please
>> leave the community now and don't slam the door - oh, and we will
>> remove your data shortly'.  Clearly this approach will result in lots
>> of people slamming doors!
> I cannot imagine people leaving if they agree with the licence, and I
> cannot imagine people who disagree with the licence staying whether it
> is announced or voted on. Doors will slam either way.
>> There would be no evidence that the majority of the community agreed
>> with the new license,
> Unless the majority relicence.

There is huge difference between the majority being ask one by one to  
'relicense or leave now',  and one where we are asked if we support it  
and then later being asked to accept the majority verdict (which is  
very likely to be in favour of re-licensing).

>> and there were always be accusations of foul
>> play from the inevitable splinter groups.
> There will anyway.

Quite, which is why due process needs to be seen to be done, then we  
can just shrug and mutter about not being able to please all the  
people all the time. Currently people will have a very legitimate  
reason to complain.

>> To be clear, this must be a 'whole community' vote, not a vote by
>> board members, or even just by foundation members.
> How will the community be defined and how will irregularities and  
> fraud
> be avoided?

Only contributors to OSM can vote. The vote must be made through the  
OSM messaging system. One person one vote.
> And how will a silent majority who don't care about licencing not be
> represented as a vote against the new licence?

Only people who vote will be counted. We must recognise that most  
people will not be interested and will follow the crowd.

>> I suggest a threshold is set for acceptance as it stands. If that
>> threshold is not met then it isn't necessarily back to square one -  
>> it
>> might be possible to come back again with a revised version that  
>> meets
>> the concerns, but the clear aim is to get it adopted in one go.
> I don't think a vote is necessarily a good thing. I do think public
> review is a good thing, however fed up everyone may be.

I am glad you agree on a public review. However given that there will  
still be vocal opposition even after any number of reviews then how do  
you propose to gauge the actual level of the opposition and if the new  
license should be adopted? We can assume that one or two people will  
make a huge amount of noise on the list and give the impression that  
there is a lot of opposition when this might not actually be the case.  
I suggest that a decision made on the basis of a vote if preferable to  
one made on the basis of who shouts loudest and is also better than  
one made 'be decree' (which is what I think is being considered at  



> - Rob.
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