[OSM-legal-talk] License question, user clicking on map

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Fri Mar 1 16:44:09 UTC 2013

On Fri, 1 Mar 2013 10:36:48 -0500, Alex Barth wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 12:16 AM, Paul Norman  wrote:
>> The fact that you can’t mix OSM + proprietary data and then
>> distribute it as some kind of “OSM but better” without
> releasing
>> the proprietary data is a feature of share-alike licenses, not a
>> bug.
> Not every feature is a good feature, just like in software. There are
> features that are just a bad idea. In this case, the share alike
> feature protects us from something that just won't hurt OSM anyway, 
> in
> fact it would help OSM.

But OSM doesn't exist to gobble up data.

It exists to ensure that everyone is free to use its data.

Please note that by "use" I mean "interact with", not "prevent other 
people from using". If you want to lock people out of access to OSM data 
in your application, you are preventing use of that data.

> Someone goes mixes OSM with proprietary data, sells the result?
> Awesome! This is exactly what's going on today with tiles, no? If the
> individual, company or organization who sells improved OSM data does
> not give back into the OSM ecosystem by creating better tools or
> contributing unencumbered data, they're just plain dumb.

No, they are smart because they are giving their shareholders value 
rather than leaking it to third parties.

> Open source or open data is not something you're forced to do, you're
> doing it because you're smart.

But where you do it, you should actually do it.

And where the condition of being free to use that data is that others 
should be free to use it, that is not unreasonable.

> There is further a false premise that most potential data users who
> have to weigh opening non-OSM data they're mixing in somehow have a
> choice. They more likely don't and hence we lose them as contributors
> entirely.

You are arguing that users of OSM data should not be free to use OSM 
data just in case someone decides to gift back some data to OSM (despite 
the economic irrationality of this) so that people can benefit 
from....not being free to use it.

That...doesn't work.

- Rob.

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