[OSM-legal-talk] Compliance timeline

Ed Avis eda at waniasset.com
Sat Apr 9 09:02:32 BST 2011

Frederik Ramm <frederik at ...> writes:

>The contributor terms create a situation where OSMF can actually make a 
>reliable statement expressing the community interpretation of certain 
>points of the license,

Thinking about it, I am not sure this is the case.  If the OSMF has an agreement
with mappers that it will distribute the map under a certain licence, that must
mean the accepted legal meaning of the licence, determined ultimately by the
courts.  It cannot mean the licence under whatever interpretation OSMF chooses.

If one mapper disagrees that the licence permits something, but the OSMF issues
a statement that it does, then one of the two is wrong (for a particular
jurisdiction).  And if the OSMF is the one that's wrong, then the OSMF is in
breach of its agreement with the mapper where it promised to use a particular

There's also the moral issue that changes or clarifications in interpretation of
the licence are effectively a change of licence, and should be agreed by the

So, while giving the OSMF the ability to make definitive statements about the
intent or meaning or enforceability of the licence might be thought a good thing,
it would need to be explicitly stated in the CTs.  The current proposed 1.2
version doesn't.

Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com>

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