[Osmf-talk] my views on the ODbL

James Livingston doctau at mac.com
Mon Dec 7 09:09:38 UTC 2009

On 07/12/2009, at 9:57 AM, Simon Ward wrote:
> If Openstreetmap’s
> evolution involves a licence change that most believe to be for the
> better, why should your data, agreed to be imported with rigid licensing
> conditions, win?

The data often doesn't have rigid licensing conditions, in the Australia cases it's CC-BY (not even with -SA), as the only condition is attribution "public domain" (or CC0 etc.) are probably the only less rigid options. The problem isn't that it's incompatible with OpenStreetMap's potential licensing choice (as I believe you would satisfy all the conditions of CC-BY when releasing as ODbL, having attribution) it's the Contributor Terms that cause the issue.

The contributor terms would let us re-license their data to any arbitrary licence, including one that doesn't require attribution.

> If you don’t agree to Openstreetmap’s own terms, you have the existing
> OSM data, you have your other data, combine them, it doesn’t have to be
> in Openstreetmap.

Well, we could re-use that argument right now - why not take your data and go somewhere else? I think that having other project re-use our data is good, not everything belongs in OSM. However for the things that do belong in OSM, it would be good to have them here.

> I find the success of Openstreetmap valuable, but
> beyond that, it’s not just Openstreetmap that’s valuable, it’s free
> geodata, and beyond that it’s free data.  The great thing about free
> data is that you can use it elsewhere, and not have one entity
> monopolise it.

Yes, it would be good to use all this free data elsewhere. Except that if someone makes data available under ODbL, we can't use it in OSM (except via overlaying it as a Produced Work) because of the Contributor Terms. One of the touted benefits of ODbL is that we can force people to release their combined data, whereas CC-BY-SA isn't enforceable so they wouldn't have to. While getting them to release it is good, being able to use it in OSM would be even better.

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