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

Alex Barth alex at mapbox.com
Thu Jan 17 20:03:16 GMT 2013

Ugh. Like you're saying, this is clearly not a good "open" policy. Does Iceland or any involved politicians have ambitions to join the Open Government Partnership? This might be an angle.

Maybe worthwhile to put in an official notice by the OSMF that this law would hurt volunteer contributed geo data projects like OSM?

Also, Pakistan comes to mind: http://dawn.com/2012/11/21/pakistanis-lost-without-maps/

On Jan 17, 2013, at 12:46 PM, Svavar Kjarrval <svavar at kjarrval.is> wrote:

> Hi.
> 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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Alex Barth
tel (+1) 202 250 3633

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