[Osmf-talk] my views on the ODbL
richard at systemeD.net
Mon Dec 7 12:07:44 UTC 2009
> Yes, we can force people to release data under ODbL but we can't force
> them to sign the Contributor Terms and so OSM wouldn't benefit from
> their work.
This is an interesting point which, in amongst all the flamage and
conspiracy theories, deserves some discussion. (It has already been
discussed on osmf-talk, but not everyone, of course, reads that.)
OSMF's rationale for requiring sign-up, I believe, is that it makes
relicensing easier. If copyright laws change drastically in two years'
time, OSM has the ability to relicense the entire dataset under a "free
or open licence" by a simple "majority vote of active contributors".
It does, however, mean that data that has been "opened" by ODbL's
share-alike terms may not necessarily be available for use in OSM. (I
say "may not" because OSMF is at liberty to accept contributions from
sources which have not signed the terms, if it wishes.)
So the decision is which of those is the most important.
My feeling is that I would rather have the latter. I would like to see
the Contributor Terms written so that the relicensing ability is kept
for the first 6 or 12 months after the changeover, just in case a sudden
problem is discovered with ODbL which causes us all to rethink.
But bearing in mind that ODbL has an automatic upgrade clause _anyway_
(4.4a), I believe the safeguard is already in place: if laws change,
ODbL will change to meet them.
The ability to integrate shared-alike improvements without the formal
consent is a benefit of ODbL and one I would like to see us using.
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