[Osmf-talk] New license change proposal status

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Wed Dec 2 11:58:00 UTC 2009

On 2 Dec 2009, at 07:59, Gervase Markham wrote:

> Frederik,
> 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.

Lets see if we can get this done without to much bad blood! (and we do  
seem to be doing that reasonably well so far)

I see a number of issues.

- The 'Multiple Jurisdiction Clause' still appears to be outstanding  
(ITO's lawyer and the OSMF lawyer both seemed to think that this is an  
issue). [1]

- Is the Reverse Engineering Clause still unresolved? If not then  
please update this page. If it is not resolved then what is happening  
about it.  [3]

- The Produced Work guidelines seem very thin.[4] I only mention this  
because this seems to be one of the key difficulties with the license  
that assumes that a Produced Work and a Derived Database are different  
and actually there is a lot of overlap. I have added a comment on the  
talk page about KML.

-Validating the license. Some time ago I proposed that we validation  
some of the key Use Cases with some target users to see if they would  
be happy. Has this happened? ie have we checked with a TV station and  
a newpaper etc etc?

- Articles of Association - given that contributors are being asked to  
give all their contributions to the OSMF and given that the OSMF can  
change the terms [1] then the Articles of Association for the  
foundation seem to be important. They are generally recognised to be  
too weak at present and a working group to review the Articles was  
proposed in May09 . [2] I expressed interest in the working group at  
the time but have not heard anything more about it and there is no  
information about a work group on the foundation website.

- There is then the issue about whether the board should allow  
contributors to tick a 'my contributions are PD anyway'. Personally I  
think that there should be such an option. I now support PD now  
because of the inherent difficulties I now see with share-alike  
licenses for data (as outlined by Creative Commons on the OSM wiki  
[5]). For the avoidance of doubt I would support the adoption of the  
ODbL license at this point for pragmatic reasons but urge the board  
the include a PD option.

[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_License/Open_Issues
[2] http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2009-May/000013.html
[3] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_License/Use_Cases
[4] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Open_Data_License/Produced_Work_-_Guideline
[5] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/ODbL_comments_from_Creative_Commons



> Gerv
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