[OSM-legal-talk] Viral can be nice
rob at robmyers.org
Thu Apr 22 10:37:14 BST 2010
On Thu, 22 Apr 2010 11:37:24 +0300, Albertas Agejevas <alga at pov.lt> wrote:
> 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:
Data isn't code. OpenOffice doesn't force you to licence everything you
write under the GPL, and the free versions of Quake can load proprietary
game files without there being a legal problem.
So FlightFear's reluctance doesn't have a sound basis.
> 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
It's not about the project or the community, it's about the individual
If ActiveState's users aren't free to use the software, the health of "the
community" is a distraction from the lack of freedom of individuals.
> 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.
If people won't research or ask about the problems and won't accept the
answers there's not a lot that can be done.
In the case of BY-SA, the issues that there are are well known and easily
explained. The big one being that BY-SA don't apply to data or the database
Flight simulators or startups are not the problem, and will not have a
problem, unless they have been poorly advised elsewhere or they are trying
to get around the licence for some reason that they are not stating.
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