[Osmf-talk] New license change proposal status

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Dec 2 22:06:21 UTC 2009


Grant Slater wrote:
> Everyone agreeing is unfortunately a bit utopian, there will never be
> uniform consensus and there will be those who feel partially
> aggrieved.

That's why we have to do everything to keep the number of partially 
aggrieved people low.

I strongly believe that by adding the "yes and by the way I am for PD 
anyway" option you will have *less* aggrieved people, not more. And it 
doesn't really hurt anyone, unless your ego can't take the risk that 
lots of people choose the third option.

If the license change proposal went through like that and you had 90% of 
people saying "yes and by the way I am for PD anyway", then what do you 
lose except perhaps the right to claim that the majority of OSM 
contributors prefers a share-alike license?

It's not that I am calling for a vote. Whether someone says ODbL or PD 
would not make a difference, you would still do ODbL.

I don't think that a survey (as suggested by MikeC) which may optionally 
be taken by those who care enough to do so and where people can say that 
they would have voted PD if they had had the chance cuts it. I want 
everyone to be given the yes/no/don't ask again option. I belive that 
the number of people agreeing to PD is especially high among those who 
don't care, and offering these people an optional survey will not make 
them express their mind, leading to distorted survey results.

I would very much prefer us adopting a PD (or CC0 or BSD) license 
altogether and I don't see reason for scaremongering. But I can see that 
neither side can get all their wishes fulfilled and I am willing to 
compromise. I think I could bring myself to agree to a proposal that 
lets mappers, if they so desire, declare that their contribution is PD 
and at the same time has OSMF use this declaration to implement ODbL. 
That way, you would reach out to people like me and give them a serious 
opportunity to make their voice count WITHOUT derailing the whole process.

I'm going out on a limb here but even for those who passionately believe 
in share-alike, clicking the "ODbL" button will probably feel better if 
they do so in the face of having the option to sign away their IP 
altogether by clicking "PD"!

I believe that this will result in a majority of people saying PD. 
That's it. Everything else would go ahead as planned. But at least this 
would be clear and recorded. Because otherwise, over time, funny myths 
will build, and in the end people will say that in 2010, OSM mappers 
overwhelmingly agreed to ODbL "because they thought share-alike was 
important" (not: because they had no other choice).

Speaking of funny myths:

> At the State of the Map conference 2007 an informal vote was held, the
> result was by far in favour of using a By-Attribution Share-Alike type
> license.

Do you have any recording to back that up? Because as I recall this, we 
had the panel discussion which Nick was moderating, and right at the 
end, after it had emerged that share-alike was fraught with problems, 
Nick asked something like "now, after this discussion, who would say 
let's just do PD and get on mapping" (or so), and we had a very clear 
majority in a show of hands, to which Nick responded with something like 
"that's a lot" or "that's clear then" or so. I still hope that the 
recording shows up somewhere because I am quite sure that Nick verbally 
commented the show of hands, so it would have been caught on tape.

I am surprised that your recollection of this event should be the exact 
opposite as mine. But then again, it doesn't matter for the question at 
hand - even if all 50 or so people present in that room at SOTM 2007 had 
been pro PD, you'd still be recommending a share-alike license, and even 
if all 50 had been pro share-alike I would still claim that a large 
group of people doesn't care.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

More information about the osmf-talk mailing list