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

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Sun Aug 3 15:37:09 UTC 2014

Am 03.08.2014 16:16, schrieb Mikel Maron:
> 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.

Nobody (outside of yourself) even remotely implied that the LWG is a
court. The analogy holds in so far as the LWG doesn't make up new
licence terms as it goes along, just as a court doesn't on the fly make
new laws. Both simply operate in the legal context as is.

> * 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
> members?

Mikel given that you know the answers better than anybody else reading
this, could you stop asking rhetorical questions just for the effect.

> * How are the broad range of opinions regarding intention of the ODbL
> balanced within the "spirit of the license"?

Is there a broad range of opinions on the spirit of the licence? I doubt
it, there is a a broad range of opinions on if the specific licence was
the right choice, but that is not the same.

That said, I don't think there can be any doubt that the ODbL was
designed as a replacement for CC by-SA, a licence with very strong share
alike provisions, that actually worked for data. Implying that everybody
involved at the time (aka you) knew that this meant that share alike
would actually work with the ODbL.

> * 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
> Geocoding? 

The OSMF is contractually bound to only change the licence on certain
terms. You seem be saying (repeatedly) screw the contract and just lets
do what will currently get us the best press.

But every single contributor clearly has the right to demand that we
follow the licence change process and that we don't circumvent it by
changing the nature of the licence (see above) outside of clarifying the
effects of certain use and edge cases.

And just to make it clear: that implies that even if 99.9% of all
contributors voted yes in a poll to add a guideline that SA does not
apply to extracts of OSM data, it would still not fly. Changes to the
licence -have- to be either go through the licence change process or via
a revision of the licence itself.

> * Do the OSMF officers in this discussion have a desired outcome
> regarding Geocoding, and does that prejudice their "judgement" when
> "trying" this use case?

Again you are trying to play rhetoric games. If you are asking me, the
answer would be: the desired outcome is a guideline that clarifies what
is affected by share alike in typical geocoding use cases and what is
not without creating loopholes around our current licence.

> * How can we manage conflict of interest in the process of deciding on
> ODbL use cases?

Again, a "you are beating your wife" rhetoric pseudo trick. I don't
believe anybody on the board or on the LWG is in a conflict of interest

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

And yet another "you are beating your wife". it is difficult to imagine
a process that is more open and fair than what we going through now.


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