[OSM-legal-talk] viral attribution and ODbL
frederik at remote.org
Mon Apr 19 20:43:17 BST 2010
> What is the point in paragraph 4.3, if it can be easily side stepped?
I think it is perfectly ok to state things you would like to see even if
they can be sidestepped legally. If someone deliberately sidesteps 4.3
by creating an interim version he releases as PD (but never distributes)
then he may be in the clear legally but everybody knows there's a bad
taste to it. That is enough for me at least!
If on the other hand, someone makes something nice from OSM and releases
it PD, and someone else then makes something based on that guy's work,
do we really want to require the 38th party down the line to still
attribute OSM no matter how diluted the OSM content has become? Because
that's exactly what an attribution chain does.
We have a well working culture of attribution in science, where you
usually quote the source you took something from, but not the source
behind the source behind the source.
> And would the large data set import rights holders be happy if they
> found out?
Anyone who is not happy with the license need not contribute. (Mind you,
we're only talking about the "produced work" line here. We do have
cascading attribution requirements for the body of the data.)
If one wanted to convince those "large data set import rights holders"
(mind you, some in OSM are of the opinion that we'd better not have any
imports at all) then one would have to explain to them the following:
OSM and ODbL are about data. Data is what we hold dear, data is what we
want to have freely available. Data is at the core of what we do. And we
take measures to guarantee that freedom of the data, including even a
chain of attribution. The "produced work" is, with that data perspective
in mind, just a side branch, a by-product, an unimportant dead-end, like
compiled code. It is not worthy of our special protection; let people
who make produced works do with them whatever they want.
In the light of this, yes, it can be said that the attribution
requirement for produced works should be dropped altogether; I think it
has remained in the license as a symbol. Symbols can be powerful even if
legally meaningless. "Look, we want you to attribute us, but we freely
chose not to burden you with tons of license code in order to force you to."
>> We cannot import such data, even today, because we cannot make sure
>> that the attribution is included in all derived works.
> That seems a bit of a sweeping statement, as far as I understand? Surely
> our CC-BY-SA license is compatible with CC-BY-SA and CC-BY imports,
> since the attributions are carried forward? (Although, as Richard
> pointed out, this is also quite complicated.
Yes. My interpretation is, somewhat contrary to Richard's, that we are
in violation of CC-BY-SA and have been from day one, and that thus any
import under CC-BY-SA or CC-BY is technically not legal. I agree that if
challenged, Richard's "but what we're doing is reasonable for our media"
is the best line of defense we can muster.
I am not bothered about individual contributions because everyone who
contributes *knows* what OSM is like and that he cannot expect to get
personal attribution. If someone however has released something under
CC-BY-SA without knowing OSM, they have reason to expect that wherever
their work is used, they are given credit, and OSM doesn't do that.
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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