[Osmf-talk] New license change proposal status

80n 80n80n at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 18:29:00 UTC 2009

On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM, Matthias Urlichs <matthias at urlichs.de>wrote:

> On Do, 2009-12-03 at 15:09 +0000, 80n wrote:
> > You've tried to show that you've addressed the question of complexity
> > in your proposal document by referencing a human readable version of
> > the license.
> That's a totally sensible thing to do when the original document cannot
> be simplified.
> Please tell us exactly what you think can be simplified instead of
> simply calling for unspecific simplification, particularly this late.
> I'm not calling for simplification.  I'm calling for the LWG to properly
acknowledge the risks associated with a compex legal agreement.

> > The ODbL is a complex license that is new and untried.
> True. We don't know that there are risks involved with the ODbL, an we
> don't know whether it's broken.
> However, we DO know that the current CC license is SEVERELY broke.

Maybe it's one of those things that doesn't work in theory but does work in
practice.  OSM has been using it very successfully for over five years now
without any serious problems.

If it's SEVERLY broke then you'd have to say that OSM itself is SEVERLY
broken and there's nobody saying that.

There are however multiple risks associated with the license change that
could break the project.  In the most general terms the ones that come to
mind are:
* The assignment of rights to OSMF introduces a range of potential failure
* The lack of any coherent license and therefore protection for the database
content (as opposed to the database)
* The weakness of the contract elements of the license when not supported by
* The exclusion of the reverse engineering clause (which couldn't be made to
work, so just got dropped)
* The loss of significant contributors and their data
* The incompatability of ODbL with itself and with OSM's contributor terms.

> Therefore,
> >   This makes it higher risk than the existing license.
> ... your assertion is questionable, if not false.
> The onus of proof ought to be on those proposing change.  Can the LWG
demonstrate that their proposals reduce the risks or at least do not
increase the risks?

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