[OSM-legal-talk] Community norms

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Nov 29 13:01:37 GMT 2011


On 11/29/11 11:49, Ed Avis wrote:
> I think you have to be careful about going too far with community norms.

Of course. They must not introduce new material, but they can be used to 
clarify areas where things aren't crystal clear.

> Community norms can serve to narrow the permission (as in: although X may be
> permissible according to the letter of the law, we don't feel it fits the spirit)
> but they cannot state anything with authority where the underlying legal
> situation is unclear.

OSMF is the holder of the database rights; while OSMF may not be able to 
"state anything with authority" they can certainly say "we guarantee 
that we will not sue you if you adhere to the following". Which is good 

> More to the point, would it not be better to fix up ambiguities in a new version
> of the ODbL?  Migrating to it later would be pretty painless since the licence is
> forward-compatible.

Yes, certainly. Any community norms we set up should be considered an 
input to possible future versions of ODbL. We have to be clear, however, 
that ODbL is not specifically intended for our situation, so the ODbL 
authors may decide not to include things that are too specific. For 
example, our community guideline about what is and isn't "substantial" 
uses a spatial definition that will certainly not apply to all ODbL 
licensed datasets.


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