[OSM-legal-talk] Worry-some bill in Iceland

Svavar Kjarrval svavar at kjarrval.is
Thu Jan 17 17:46:25 GMT 2013


There is a bill (in the meaning of 'proposed law') in the Icelandic
parliament regarding nature protection that worries me. The bill states
that the National Land Survey of Iceland is supposed to create a
database of roads and road tracks and it should be free (as in cost) and
„available“ (nothing prevents terms being set for distribution). That's
not what worries me since free (as in freedom) data is excellent.

It further states that all maps distributed in Iceland have to conform
to the database mentioned above, or The Environment Agency of Iceland
can invoke daily fines on whoever distributes a database that doesn't
conform to this standard. This requirement is put on everybody, not just
those who get a copy of said database. By definition, it's impossible to
ensure that the OSM database conforms to this standard at all times
since the database can always be freely downloaded and edited. It could
also restrict people in Iceland that would like to legally distribute
OSM maps and data since they'd have a hard time being sure that the
requirement is fulfilled in their copy of the database.

The bill is under review by a parliamentary committee and I'd like to
send it a review under my name. I would like some pointers of what I
should mention in the review to convince them to drop that requirement.
If you'd like, I could provide a rough translation of the corresponding
article in the bill.

With regards,
Svavar Kjarrval

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