[Osmf-talk] [OSM-legal-talk] New license proposal status II

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Thu Dec 3 13:09:58 UTC 2009

Matt Amos wrote:

> this isn't the case. "Unfriendly Map Corp"'s data would be ODbL-licensed
> and you wouldn't have the rights necessary in clause 2 of the
> contributor terms to submit the data to OSM.
> basically, there's no good solution to this problem; either we don't
> allow ODbL-licensed contributions or we make things much harder if
> there's ever a need to re-license in the future.

This isn't really a licence question, it's an OSMF policy question.

ODbL itself entirely permits you to merge ODbL data into ODbL data. Of  
course it does, it's a reciprocal licence.

OSMF, however, wants the safeguard of being able to relicense by a  
majority vote. This (of course) is not supported in ODbL, so it's  
doing it by an extra provision over and above ODbL - Clause 2 of the  
Contributor Terms. This, as you say, prevents Unfriendly Map Corp's  
data from being added, because they don't have to sign up to the  
Contributor Terms.

However, ODbL (just like CC-BY-SA) does permit automatic upgrades to  
later versions of the same licence, without all the relicensing palaver.

I would therefore suggest that, six months after adoption of ODbL[1],  
OSMF reviews how well ODbL has worked so far. If it is working well,  
and we therefore have confidence that future versions of ODbL will  
continue to suit our needs, then Section 2 is removed from the  
Contributor Terms for future signups.

This would allow us to use ODbL to its full extent, and integrate  
Unfriendly Map Co's data - a really significant advance over CC-BY-SA  
which does not, of course, provide the data.

I would suggest this policy is agreed _now_, as it's a significant  
factor in deciding whether or not to adopt the ODbL/Contributor Terms  


[1] Assuming it happens!

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