[OSM-legal-talk] What happens on April 1?

andrzej zaborowski balrogg at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 15:45:13 GMT 2012


On 7 March 2012 09:16, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> If there really are people actively remapping and our rushing through the
> license change would sabotage their work and alienate them then yes, we
> should postpone for a month or two. Sadly, here in Germany many people are
> of the opposite opinion and they say "let's wait until after the license
> change, and then see what's missing and fix it". I would much prefer people
> to remap now but it seems that remapping is not for everyone.

I was wondering why people think that.  Even trying to put myself in
place of someone who thinks the license change is the best thing since
sliced bread I still can't see the reasons for remapping.  First of
all it costs more work than adding data from scratch and it takes
people's time away from doing actual mapping -- creating new data.  So
it's not a zero net gain operation -- i.e. we lose new contributions,
but we get to keep the same amount of work which would have been
deleted.  Rather, after the potential switch-over we will have less
data than if we kept on doing on what we always did.

Secondly mapping after the incompatible (with the LWG's risky
definition of compatibility) data has been removed by a non-person,
should be *much* preferred for the clean-ness of IP rights.  Even if
done correctly, the remapping keeps some information from the old
non-kosher data (like the fact that "something worthy of featuring was
here").  But it's hard for a human to do correctly, most of the times
much more information is be copied over consciously or not.  The usual
thinking process will be "what is the shortest way for me to get that
visualisation tool, considering the rules it uses, to show this object
in a lower wavelength colour?"  It has only a little to do with
removing unwanted IP.  As an owner of a "declined" account I get
messages from people who observe those things.  It looks like after
the change, which was supposed to make OSM's legal situation cleaner,
I think it's safer for a Random Big Company to perhaps use wikimapia.


> The current graphs - http://tools.geofabrik.de/osmi/munin.html - point
> steadily downwards but if you extrapolate you'll see that they are unlikely
> to reach zero before autumn.
>> Is there any reason not
>> to?
> I think that a number of people on the OSMF board - Steve and Mikel at least
> because I've spoken to them in a management team conference call about a
> month ago, but likely others too - are of the opinion that OSMF must be seen
> by the world to be reliable and be in charge; they fear that if OSMF should
> now renege on the "1st April" promise they've made, then people might come
> to the conclusion that OSMF cannot be trusted. However they see a
> "trustworthy OSMF" as a necessary basis for dealing with the business
> community, and acquiring funding, data, or other support from them.
> In the aforementioned management team telephone conference I said, "You
> can't tell me that April 1st is success, and April 2nd is failure" and was
> told that "the board thinks different". (This is from memory.)
> (In my eyes, it is a very bad idea for OSMF board to "commit" themselves to
> something which is not under their control; and we must definitely avoid
> this kind of ambitious goal-setting in the future. OSMF can set goals for
> OSMF, but OSMF must not set goals for OSM. But that's a discussion we can,
> and should, have after the license change is through.)
> This doesn't mean that a postponement cannot happen; certainly board won't
> simply shut down OSM on April 1st until the bot run is complete just to be
> able to say that they met their target. But it does mean that a postponement
> would need really solid reasons which would allow those on the board who
> "committed" themselves to the 1st April "deadline" to save face.
> "If we wait another month then 5% more data can be remapped" is not a solid
> reason, and neither is "I'm sure Foursquare would be unhappy to lose a few
> roads in the US". These reasons are especially bad because they an be
> repeated month after month and thus could make the process drag on
> endlessly.
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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