[OSM-legal-talk] viral attribution and ODbL
mapping at sheerman-chase.org.uk
Tue Apr 20 20:56:23 BST 2010
Richard Fairhurst wrote:
> But in five years, we have never been able to obtain clear agreement
> for this.
I assume this is based on gatherings of OSM members, mailing list
discussions, IRC, etc. But I have never been directly asked by OSMF what
the future license should be. I suspect that the majority of mappers
will go with the flow, with a small number of vocal supporters on both
sides. But without polling the members who can't know what the consensus
is, so perhaps this is something OSMF should do? Until then, the level
support for PD and ODbL among mappers is pretty much speculation. We
might regret losing the share-alike people, but we may gain new PD only
fans. Again, this is an unknown variable.
> OSMF has chosen to follow c) and has managed it, thus far, with a
> surprising amount of consensus given our fractious community.
I guess I differ with OSMF as I have not seen a viable share-alike
database license. I know many knowledgable people think ODbL is it. I am
inclined to agree with the Creative Commons comments on the situation:
share-alike is not appropriate for databases. Basically option (c) is
ruled out in my mind, as I agree with CC on this issue.
> I think
> they've done well and am grateful to them, and LWG in particular, for
> the thankless hours they have put in.
True, they do a job that would have made me go crazy. Thanks to all in
the LWG! But most mappers I talk to regarding ODbL only can say "I trust
OSMF is doing a good job, so I assume ODbL is OK". People would probably
go along with anything they propose. But we can't assume the resulting
license is suitable just because they tried their best. (And I believe
they are trying their best!)
> I suspect many people
> would support you; nonetheless, past mailing lists suggest that, if
> OSMF were to do so, it would almost certainly result in the implosion
> of the Foundation.
I don't see it as an either/or choice, OSMF can do both. I think SteveC
mentioned that might be a possibility of hosting both in parallel (or
did I imagine that)? Did that thought go anywhere? The bin I suspect...
Another possibility is to have a list of approved licenses that more or
less interoperate (mainly BY type licenses) and put attribution in the
metadata. Any rendering of the map would then be responsible of display
of attribution based on the metadata tags. This idea probably won't work
for SA licenses as they tend not to interoperate. That would be my
preferred option. Or hosting that with a parallel ODbL database might work.
Thing is it is hard to get a PD organisation independent of OSMF because
OSMF is meant to reflect the interests of the mappers. If a good chunk
of mappers want PD, OSMF should respect that. (Admittedly we don't know
how many mappers want PD, since OSMF didn't ask us.)
> I think your characterisation of ODbL as "bloated" and "confusing" is
> grossly unfair.
I was trying to support my point about ODbL being bloated based on this
thread discussion so far. I would be interested in your (Richard's) and
Grant's opinion (and anyone else's opinion) on my question regarding
attribution and can it be stripped off a public domain produced work? My
interpretation is attribution is not necessarily preserved in PD works,
therefore that paragraph is bloat (and I would welcome any comments on
The accusation of it being confusing is mainly a subjective view from my
layman reading of the ODbL. I don't really understand contract law, so I
am not particularly surprised. I am relatively comfortable reading the
CC licenses (which are of course not appropriate to databases). But the
difficulty of the full ODbL text being understood is an obstacle.
Creative Commons also has this view of ODbL. This is only partly
mitigated by the human readable summary.
Grant Slater wrote:
> Nice simple ODbL summary:
> (Created by Matt)
> / Grant
Did you notice my point that the human readable summary seems to be at
variance with my interpretation of paragraph 4.3? If the human readable
summary differs from the legal meaning of the full license, that would
be a problem. (See the second last paragraph of
) Does anyone in the LWG have a view on that issue?
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