[OSM-legal-talk] Viral can be nice

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Apr 22 00:26:43 BST 2010


> OSM is not essentially anything at its core. It is different things to 
> different people.

I'm talking about the sentence that defines OSM at the top of our Wiki 
page, which in all likelihood has been there in this form when most of 
us signed up.

If you sign up to a project which claims to be A but to you the project 
is B, then that's all fine and dandy for you, just don't complain if the 
project later endorses a license that suits A better than B.

> The fact that commercial data can't be merged with CC-BY-SA could be 
> said to be a limitation of commerical data, rather than a limitation of 
> CC-BY-SA. 

You're over-simplifying when you say "commercial data". Even GNU FDL 
data cannot be merged with CC-BY-SA. We have governmental data which is 
released "for noncommercial use only" - currently un-mergeable with 
ours. We have data released "for educational use" - not usable for the 
student who wants to plot that onto an OSM base map for his master thesis.

This is a serious limitation and leads to many pretty maps *not* being 
made, or being made with non-OSM data. "How is that bad"? You tell me. 
Given a choice of

(a) all maps can be made, but sharing them is a the maker's discretion


(b) only some maps can be made, but once they are made they will always 
be shared

I'd certainly find (a) to be more encouraging to creativity.

> Can't the same thing apply to maps? And if SA is too restrictive for 
> produced works, why have SA at all? A watered down SA is the worse of 
> all worlds IMHO, which is the ODbL. This has high complexity with few SA 
> rights.

The share-alike element in data is stronger with ODbL than it was with 
CC-BY-SA. Data is, I say it again, what OSM is about. Pretty maps are an 
offshoot - with OSM data being popular, anyone will be able to make 
pretty maps themselves, whereas *not* anyone will be able to quickly 
survey the planet.

>> This does not in any way allow the conclusion that I would be unhappy 
>> about losing the opportunity to write license enforcement letters about 
>> produced works once we've made the switch.

> Why are you enforcing terms you don't agree with? lol. Ok, so people 
> might not respect a license that you don't agree with, but why care 
> about fair play when the rules are wrong?

I'm German.


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

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