[OSM-legal-talk] Future license upgrades, the heart of the matter

80n 80n80n at gmail.com
Tue Jan 27 20:59:26 GMT 2009

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:41 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> * WHAT changes can be made to the license once it is accepted;

If section 11 of the GDFL 3.1 is anything to go by [1], then pretty much
anything is possible.

This clause was specifically engineered to permit Wikipedia to relicense all
its work under a relatively similar CC license.  Obviously in this case it's
a relatively benign clause, however it's not one that anyone could have
reasonably predicted from looking at GDFL 3.0, so in principle *any* change
could have be made to the license.

That's why Frederik's second and third questions are really important:

> * WHO can make these changes (whom do we trust to make them); and
> * HOW will such changes become vetted by the community, if at all.

Whatever organisation is responsible for administering the license will
basically be entrusted with all of OSM's data.  We'd better be sure that we
can trust them and we'd better be sure that suitable checks and balances are
in place.


[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl-1.3-standalone.html#section11
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