[OSM-legal-talk] Privacy and Terms

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Jun 24 23:39:15 BST 2009


Russ Nelson wrote:
> Some of the stuff is there to make sure that we have the right to  
> redistribute contributions to OSM.  This is important and useful.

I was under the impression that these terms did not have anything to do 
with our data. The data should be governed by the license and the 
contribution agreement which I thought were separate?

> Prohibited uses just gives us the right to kick fucking assholes in  
> the butt.  Sure, self-defense is the right of all civilized people,  
> but remember this: a judge can ALWAYS get up on the wrong side of the  
> bed and rule incorrectly.  

Yeah, sure, and if I leave the house a brick might fall on my head and 
I'd be dead. Tough luck!

Let's think this trough. Someone vandalises OSM and we kick him out. He 
sues us. Sues us for what? Half a million dollars for emotional 
distress? Bring them on. Reactivation of his account? He might get that 
but he could also simply create a new account so it makes no sense for 
us to fight for our right to ban him. Sue us for damages? What damages?

I'm sorry but I think you have to draw a line somewhere. Write terms and 
conditions to insure you against things that happen with 1% or 0.1% 
probability. But don't try to write something that protects you from the 
0.0001% cases - we cannot anticipate these anyway.

Let's rather have a clean exit strategy and find out what would happen 
if someone were to sue the shit out of OSMF and win - let us construct 
things in a fashion that will allow the project to live on even if OSMF 
should die, rather than protect OSMF at all cost.

For example, if we build strong national chapters that, legally, are 
separate from OSMF, these could easily between themselves set up all the 
servers required to replace everything OSMF operates. With such a 
healthy backup network, it would not even make much sense for anybody to 
try and kill off OSMF.

This includes not giving anything to OSMF that has commercial value 
unless that is absolutely necessary. In the long term, I hope that we'll 
be able to switch to a distributed server architecture where OSMF 
operated assets are but one piece of the puzzle, rather than the head of 


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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