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

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 21:52:34 GMT 2012

On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> 1. Any timing is terrible, so why not do it now.

Well, no. A cutover that loses 5% of data is clearly worse than a
cutover that loses 4% of data, and so on.

> 2. We have no obligations to Foursquare; they have made a business decision
> in the full knowledge about the upcoming license change.


> 3. If they, or their tile provider, MapBox, don't like what they see after
> the license change, they may choose to remain with the last CC-BY-SA data
> set for however long they want.

That mitigates the damage, certainly. But clearly not what these
companies expected when they signed up. "We're ditching Google for an
open source provider that gets regular up...well, actually no, they're
frozen for a few months. But maybe one day we'll be able to get more
updates again."

> 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.

There's definitely truth to that. I was the same until Potlatch2
finally started showing the licence situation properly for my area.
So, yes, remapping work will certainly accelerate after the cutover.

> 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.

Very interesting. Quite remarkable in fact. To the extent that anyone
outside OSM has any opinion of OSMF at all, I would have thought that
making responsible decisions would be valued more highly than sticking
to bad ones in the face of new information.

> "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.

To elaborate on "the Foursquare" argument: I'm suggesting that this is
a major test case of OSM data in "prime time". No, I don't care much
about what happens to Foursquare. But if Foursquare's decision to use
OSM data turns out horribly, then it will stick around in the public
consciousness. "Openstreetmap? Ha...remember what happened to


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