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

Svavar Kjarrval svavar at kjarrval.is
Fri Jan 18 00:16:56 GMT 2013

There is at least one I'm in regular contact with who supports open
government wholeheartedly. Of course the politicians say they support
open government but don't know how they'd react to any specific
suggestions. They all have different perspectives of the term 'open
data' and each word separately. Open Government Partnership would be
great in the long run but the parliamentary session is over in about 2
months and then there are elections. It's worth a try next session and
especially if the Icelandic Pirate Party gets enough seats in the
parliament to make a difference.

For the government in this case, or the officals who wrote this bill, it
seems like they think open data is people's ability to get the data from
the government but not much about the freedom to freely utilise it. They
seem keen on putting restrictions. "It's open but..."

A statement from the OSMF would be great and I could pass on the
information on how to submit it for consideration. The deadline is
February 8th 2013.

- Svavar Kjarrval

On 17/01/13 20:03, Alex Barth wrote:
> 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
> http://twitter.com/lxbarth
> tel (+1) 202 250 3633
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