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

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Sun Jan 25 12:16:59 GMT 2009

Peter Miller wrote:
> 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).

On reflection, I think having a community-wide "indicative" vote first, and
a "do you agree to relicense?" process afterwards, would do much more harm
than good.

The 99% of people who don't subscribe to legal-talk simply won't understand
it. They will vote on the first one, then get mails about the second one,
think "oh, I've done this", and ignore it.

Now you can say that we will explain the difference fully in the e-mail, and
that's a nice idea, but as the poor unfortunate responsible for writing the
Potlatch splash screen, I can tell you that OSM contributors do not read
anything put in front of them. Even if it is in flashing 72pt red/pink text
and uses the AS3 extended API to punch the user in the nose. I think TomH
would tell you the same story about the messaging system e-mails, which say
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE in four different languages with a nice
border of stars, and yet which people still ignore.

By all means have an optional _poll_ beforehand among people who care. Maybe
put something on talk@, the user diaries, the forum and OpenGeoData to gauge
people's views; add a little box on the LH of the main page in the same way
as the SOTM ad that appears there. Give people the chance to express their
views if they care. But a compulsory whole-community vote will just confuse
the matter.

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