[Osmf-talk] wiki pages

Mike Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Sun Dec 6 16:27:54 UTC 2009

At 12:53 AM 6/12/2009, Valerio Capello wrote:
>I haven't decided yet about my vote, probably moving to ODbL is the best
>choice but I'm mostly concerned about data loss and the Yes page is not
>very clear about this and about why CC-by-sa doesn't apply to
>geographical data.

Hi Valerio,

I hope Richard's piece on the Yes page helps with your second question but I believe the first has not been fully addressed.

I am trying to persuade everyone to vote yes, but I hope you will find this a reasonably objective assessment of data loss, i.e. existing contributors refuse, fail or cannot give their consent to re-licensing their individual existing CC-BY-SA contributions. Data is not actually lost, it will remain available CC BY SA but will not be available in database versions going forward and will bit-rot eventually.

It could be very minimal.  The ethos of OpenStreetMap is unchanged.  The license change is from a By Attribution Share-Alike license made for creative works to a By Attribution Share-Alike license made for databases. But:

(1) Individual contributors may disagree with my assessment above and refuse. That is their right and difficult to assess.  I predict that it will be far less than an OSMF "No" vote, because we are naturally much more polarised in our views.  I may be sticking my neck out though!  The key for us is to keep building an atmosphere of consensus and trust where we all feel relatively comfortable  in going along with the majority.

(2) Bulk imports.  We've had negative reports from Czech Republic and Australia. Peter Batty gave a good assessment: "I think I have sympathy for people in Australia and other places where we will have to go back and renegotiate with entities that have given large amounts of data subject to the current license. But the fundamental principles of the two licenses are very similar, so I think in most cases if organizations understand the multiple good reasons why the change is being made, I don’t see why they wouldn’t give permission for us to continue to use the data. And if we don’t get that permission in a few cases that’s regrettable, but that possibility isn’t a strong enough reason to not make the change, in my opinion."  The key counter to that is the potential slowness of bureaucracy to respond ... "Well, you've already got the data, why are you bothering us again?" to paraphrase Elizabeth. 

(3) Individual contributors who simply do not respond.  This includes at least one contributor who has passed away.  LWG will make every attempt to contact and persuade living contributors to consent, even if they do not wish to contribute further.  We are also going to seek legal and community advice on the extent to which it is legal and moral to keep such contributions.

Lastly, we are also looking at the practicality of adding back data if people change their minds, this is a work in progress. 


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