[OSM-legal-talk] Implementing the licence change

LM_1 flukas.robot+osm at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 18:21:52 GMT 2012

Knowing it does not really start the discussion: I totally agree.
Lukas (LM_1)

2012/1/18 ant <antofosm at gmail.com>:
> First of all I must say that I highly respect the work of everyone who has
> been actively involved in the licence change, including the LWG members, the
> writers of licence change inspection programs and everyone involved in
> discussions.
> I have been watching the process for more than two years and have ever since
> been a supporter of the change.
> However, especially since the switchover date has been announced and the
> phase of remapping has started, I have become more and more skeptical about
> the way things are going on. I want to discuss a couple of concerns I have.
> 1. The black box
> As far as I can see the details of the implementation of the licence change,
> i.e. of what is actually going to happen on April 1st, are not known - or at
> least not revealed. Correct me if I am wrong.
> Particularly, the wiki page „What is clean?“[1], which has been said to be
> the binding document, is in its current state not sufficient to serve as a
> reference for any measures regarding the cleaning of data:
> * The considerations in the section „Edge cases“ are only a random selection
> of cases that have been discussed. Neither conditional stetements like „if
> it can be seen not to influence the current version“ nor questions like „Can
> you copyright the state of something not being there?“ (rhetorical?) are
> helpful. The list somewhat lacks a systematic approach.
> * The „deletion paradox“ is, as it has been pointed out on the discussion
> page, no paradox at all (rather it depends on the strategy of cleaning).
> * The section „What taints data?“ repeats the above-mentioned list, but is
> differently (better) structured and different in content. Statements in this
> list, however, contradict, or supersede, previous statements („A tag
> modified by a non-agreeing mapper is tainted“, whereas: correcting a tagging
> typo is not tainted). Furthermore the list contains instructions, which
> should not be the case in a mere specification of what is clean. The clause
> saying that intermediate versions should be created during remapping (a)
> does not belong here and (b) is questionable, as it is based on assumptions
> regarding the implementation of switchover, which has not yet been decided
> upon.
> * There should be rationales explaining for each statement why it is so and
> not different.
> Basically I think that this document needs a rewrite that shall contain
> unambiguous statements preceded by precise definitions. In order to get
> there, however, we must of course have a discussion.
> 2. Getting clear about taintedness
> IANAL. But I like to approach problems in a systematical manner. For
> example, I recently asked myself the question, „What is a copyrightable
> object in OSM?“. I think this is a fundamental question to answer if you
> discuss licence topics.
> Is a node copyrightable?
> If yes, what's copyrightable about it?
> What's copyrightable about a way?
> Is the list of references to nodes copyrightable separately from the way's
> tags?
> Are references to nodes atomic? (I.e. Is a single reference copyrightable?
> Or is only the list as a whole?)
> Sorry for the rhetoric, but these questions do bother me. I believe they
> have to be answered prior to discussing which kinds of modifications to what
> object have what effect (-> taintedness). And when that has been settled, we
> can talk about measures.
> All in all I think that the approach to the whole thing so far has been too
> pragmatic, just like identifying edge cases and modeling something around
> it. Of course, this might somehow work and the result might even be
> satisfying, but to me it doesn't seem appropriate in a legally significant
> matter like this.
> 3. Remapping
> Considering that neither the definitions of what is clean and what is
> tainted nor the technical details of the implementation have yet been
> finalized, it seems unreasonable for me to remap. I don't want to discover
> later that I have done unnecessary work. Besides, current remapping practice
> is completely based on the available inspection tools that implement - more
> or less precisely - a taintedness policy that is still in draft status. For
> this reason I also refuse to use the odbl=clean tag.
> Now I could elaborate a lot more. But the purpose of my post actually is to
> start a discussion, and I am asking you. Me too wants the licence change to
> be a success. So let's go.
> Cheers
> ant
> [1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_License/What_is_clean%3F
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