[Osmf-talk] New license proposal status II

James Livingston doctau at mac.com
Thu Dec 3 11:49:11 UTC 2009


On 03/12/2009, at 6:12 AM, Mike Collinson wrote:
> We have now fully updated the "OSM Contributors agreement" section of the main proposal. I hope that meets concerns about clarity of the change-over process.
> 
> http://www.osmfoundation.org/images/3/3c/License_Proposal.pdf

A while ago on the legal-talk list I mentioned that the contributor terms didn't quite sit right with me, although I know why we want them to help lessen the pain of re-licensing in the future. Thinking about it again after reading the above, I think I've figured out what was sticking in my craw.


The reason (well, my version) for a share-alike licence is that people who use OSM data have to release theirs, we can merge that in, and everyone benefits from the extra data going around. ODbL help that because (I'm serious hoping) that we could combine two ODbL-licensed data sets together into a new ODbL-licensed data set. However I think that requiring the contributor terms would prevent that from working properly.

Consider "Unfriendly Map Corp" which fulfils it's legal obligations, but doesn't go out of their way to be nice to us, and that they combine OSM data with their own to produce something they distribute. They release the combined data as required by the ODbL, however unless they agree to the contributor terms (which they don't have to), we can't take that combined data and bring it back into OSM without giving up the ability for easy re-licensing.

Am I missing something here?  From what I can make out, using the ODbL to force people to release combined data doesn't mean we can do anything with the result.
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