[OSM-legal-talk] Updated geocoding community guideline proposal

Mikel Maron mikel.maron at gmail.com
Sun Aug 3 14:16:23 UTC 2014


A few days ago I commented

> But what discussion on legal-talk does not provide is a mechanism for
ascertaining a
> representative community opinion on the spirit of the license; nor a
legally qualified opinion on
> interpretation options; nor a governance mechanism for resolving the
proposal ultimately one
> way or another. I'm not aware if any process is defined for making a
decision on this use case.
> (If one does exist, apologies that I missed it, and I'd appreciate
anything that could bring
> clarity.)

I have subsequently read this comment from Simon Poole, which seems to
address my comment in some loose form, but not directly. And I must admit,
it has only confused me further.

> From a LWG pov I believe the process we are trying to go through is:
> looking at some real life use cases, determine how to model best the
> workings of the ODbL in these and whatthe consequences and effects on
> third party data are. Staying within the spirit of the licence and
> hearing arguments from the stakeholders in doing so.
> That is very different from asking us, or a lawyer: "this is the
> desired outcome, please figure out a way to make some arguments that
> support it".
> The former, if you so will, is similar to proceedings of a court,
> and the result is case law, the later is more a lawyer arguing the
> case in front of the bench.

If it is the understanding of the OSM Foundation, that the Legal Working
Group in some ways functions like a Court, then there are several issues to
raise about the separation of concerns, "checks and balances" if you will,
in this process as we've witnessed it.

* How is the composition of the Legal Working Group formed?
* Is anyone on the LWG able to "sit in judgement"?
* Does the LWG itself consult with legal counsel when "trying cases"? Are
there any lawyers on the LWG?
* How is the "spirit of the license" determined? Is this the consensus
opinion of the LWG? Voted opinion of the Board? Polled opinion of OSMF
* How are the broad range of opinions regarding intention of the ODbL
balanced within the "spirit of the license"?
* The OSMF itself has repeated asked lawyers to help us reach a desired
outcome over the years, the result of which was the ODbL. Why did the OSMF
have a desired outcome previously, but no longer has one regarding
* Do the OSMF officers in this discussion have a desired outcome regarding
Geocoding, and does that prejudice their "judgement" when "trying" this use
* How can we manage conflict of interest in the process of deciding on ODbL
use cases?

Again, I think the OSMF would best serve the OSM community by considering
the governance questions above, and bringing clarity and fairness to the

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