[OSM-legal-talk] [Talk-ca] Nouvelle licence de données ouvertes au Québec

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Fri Feb 21 21:14:36 UTC 2014

On Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM, Pierre Béland <pierzenh at yahoo.fr> wrote:
> Eh good news for  OSM-Quebec community then. Let's wait for the official
> confirmation of the exact license adopted.

I disagree.

Any license drafted or adopted by a Canadian government, other than a
no-restrictions, equivalent-to-Public-Domain-license, like ODC-PDDL,
will require a waiver or clarification from the municipality (or
province / territory, or feds) that attribution as provided by
OpenStreetMap (wiki page, probably listed on a sub-page) meets their
interpretation of "attribution".  So, adoption of CC-anything-but-0 is
bad for local OSM communities.  It would likely work out okay in the
end for those local OpenStreetMap communities.  To my knowledge, every
municipality approached for such a waiver has granted it.  To
OpenStreetMap Foundation at least.

For the Open Data community at large, and for the municipality /
governement itself, adoption of any restricting license is a disaster.
 For one thing, not every potential open project will be on the radar
of a municipality in the same way that OpenStreetMap is.  Too bad for
that potential Open Data Project.  Perhaps they'll get the waiver they
need, perhaps they won't.

Again, any government open data publication in Canada must be licensed
ODC-PDDL, or else it is a not-open-enough-closed-data-failure.

Another sign of bizarre, Open-blindness.  I've had government open
data representatives say to me, the equivalent of, "So what if the
license says something complicated. It's open, just do what you want.
We won't go after anybody who breaks the license. We just need to be
able to shut down anybody who embarrasses us."

Ahem.  No.

0) If you plan to grant wavers and exemptions anyway, why not just use
an unrestricted license?  Oh, did you want to only grant exemptions
for projects / persons of whom you approve?  That doesn't sound very
1) If you don't plan to enforce your license terms, why select (or
worse, why draft) a license with restrictions?  Select ODC-PDDL
2) If you want developers to work with your data, do you want
developers who care enough to read, understand and follow your terms,
or not?  Because your license with restrictions just cut out a portion
of those developers.  You can still keep the developers that don't
read licenses, or don't care about the terms.  Congratulations.
3) What, you want to shut down a use of the data that embarrasses you?
 No.  It doesn't work that way.  If Open Data can be shown to expose
that your mayor is a pathologically lying, bullying, drug addict with
possible links to organized crime, you don't get to shut down the
analysis just because your boss finds it embarrassing.  (It's just a
hypothetical example)
4) If you really do plan to grant a waiver or exemption to every
project / user who asks for it, shouldn't you have selected an
unrestricted Open Data License that didn't place the burden of that
extra waiver step upon you (and each potential user) ?

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