[Osmf-talk] New license change proposal status

Gervase Markham gerv at gerv.net
Wed Dec 2 07:59:13 UTC 2009


I am intentionally only addressing a small part of your message; this is 
not supposed to be a "rebuttal". And I know you say this is not your 
only objection.

On 02/12/09 03:18, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> I share your view that CC-BY-SA is unsuitable (but not everyone in the
> project does). I also know that any license change is going to be
> painful. I have many reservations about the ODbL which are not due to
> shortcomings in the license that could be fixed, but which are simply a
> general consequence of share-alike licensing. One of them, but by far
> not the only one, is that any such type of license requires policing,
> and that consumes a lot of work and causes bad blood as we're currently
> discovering with all the accusations thrown around on the "lacking
> proper attribution" wiki page.

I think it's important to note that policing licenses may involve a 
substantial amount of work, but does not _require_ bad blood and 
accusations. The Free Software Foundation has been enforcing the GPL on 
the substantial body of software to which it holds the copyright (it 
requires copyright assignment for FSF projects) for twenty years now. 
Almost all of this work is done privately, behind the scenes, and 
politely. They went to court for the first time in 20 years recently, 
after several years of trying to persuade Linksys to comply, and there 
was a prompt settlement. I've never seen anyone with a bad word to say 
about their enforcement policies and procedures.

So it's certainly possible to get this right. We may not be doing that 
right now, and if so, we should fix it. But bad blood and conflict is 
not an inherent part of share-alike licences.


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