[OSM-legal-talk] Viral can be nice

jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com
Thu Apr 22 10:33:03 BST 2010

On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 10:37 AM, Albertas Agejevas <alga at pov.lt> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 09:50:50AM +0200, jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com wrote:
>> 2010/4/22 Dirk-Lüder Kreie <osm-list at deelkar.net>
>> > Am 22.04.2010 02:51, schrieb andrzej zaborowski:
>> > No other data gatherer in the world has the manpower OSM has. Even if
>> > our License was to be CC0 or PD, we still would have the best map data
>> > around, simply because no one could really keep up with us. (Assuming,
>> > of course, that the majority of future OSM Mappers would find that
>> > license acceptable).
>> >
>> >
>> I would like to say that the sharealike license is what builds trust for me.
>> As a small contributor at least I know that I will be able to use the
>> derived works. I really think that the sharealike clause is what builds the
>> community, it is the glue that holds it together.
> It also deters unexpected well-meaning users.  Consider FlightGear,
> the open-source flight simulator.  Wouldn't it be great if they used
> OSM instead of, or along with, VMAP0 for their scenery display?
> Currently the technology is there, but they are reluctant to do that
> because of the licence incompatibility, or more precisely doubts about
> licence compatibility:
> http://www.mail-archive.com/flightgear-devel@lists.sourceforge.net/msg21490.html

I dont see the problem, it sounds like they are just not very interested.

It would not be a problem to convert maps for usage. You could
distribute them separately.

>> For a large player it would be possible to take the data, invest a lot of
>> resources in making a private branch, and there would be no sharing back.
>> Stuff like that would really destroy the community.
> I don't see this as a realistic scenario.

The scenario is simple, someone takes the map of a city, and just
branches from that and does not share back. It could be done by anyone
with enough resources.

> Google Maps have better coverage than OSM in many areas.
Not it the areas we cover, in kosovo and albanian we building the best
maps. We are getting data from all types of sources, from gis
companies etc.

>Does it stop you from using OSM and contributing to it?
I dont understand. I am talking about people using my work, about my
time spent on the project.

> Would it change your attitude if Google used OSM to make their data set better?
If they make those derived works available it is find whoever uses the data.

>> Only with a sharealike are the small contributing parties the benefactors.
>> PD CC0 is great for huge organizations to publish data for all to use, but
>> CCSA is great for building communities.
> Personally, I would feel much better about contributing to an open,
> unencumbered body of public knowledge, rather than a paranoid "they
> are out to get us" share-alike community.

paranoid? whatever.

>> I can only point out that the GCC compiler would not be what it is today
>> without the sharealike clause, for that reason it has so many backends and
>> frontends. Only after alot of fighting with apple/next in the old days did
>> objective c get added into the gcc.
>> http://wiki.gnustep.org/index.php/ObjC2_FAQ#Which_Compiler_Should_I_Use.3F
>> ""The history of Objective-C in GCC is somewhat complicated. Originally,
>> NeXT was forced to release the original Objective-C front end in order to
>> comply with the GPL.""
>> Without such a license there would be no Objective C, there are many other
>> examples of contributions that are a result of sharealike. I can say that I
>> have personally invested months of time into openstreetmap and would not
>> have done so, or have gotten the data contributions without the sharealike
>> license.
>> What else would allow all these different companies to donate map data, if
>> they knew that someone could just "run away with the ball"?
> 1. Software is a different field, an analogy is just that.  Analogies
> often have their flaws.
> 2. Do the projects that use non-viral BSD, MIT, MPL-like licences any
> worse off than GPL projects?  Apache? Mozilla?  X.org?  Python uses a
> non-viral licence.  It has several forks and reimplementations
> (IronPython, Jython, Stackless, unladen-swallow), which were funded by
> different companies at different times.  There is a commercial package
> by ActiveState, but it's not making the whole community weaker, on the
> contrary.

here are all types of projects and all types of licenses, each has
their merits. But for the gcc,  it is very clear that companies do not
donate a compiler machine backend for free.

For OSM, I chose to invest my time also because I see that the license
protects my investment. It is pretty simple.

> Viral licences have their uses (e.g. forcing wireless router
> manufacturers to release the firmware contents, forcing NeXT to
> release ObjJ, forcing Bruno Haible to contribute CLISP to the GNU
> project), but my feeling in the case of OSM they just cause
> uncertainty and doubt about any serious use of the data, even by
> open-source projects.

I understand that windows users are used to clicking on "I agree" all
the time even if they don't mean it.

Wireless routers? Come on, why don't they just use some nice public
domain tool instead, or is there no better alternative?

Asking people to respect the agreements they entered into is only
fair. If you don't accept the license, don't use it.

Why did next even use the gcc, because they wanted to save time and
use the best there was at the time. Work is not done for free, and
there has to be some benefit for the people who contribute, share
alike is just that, a gentle reminder that there is no free lunch.

Sharealike is a very good tool and it has very good benefits.


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