[Osmf-talk] Share Alike images

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Mon Dec 7 23:18:37 UTC 2009

Frederik Ramm wrote:
> I think that the license working group has found the best share-alike
> license that we could use, and that they have done this job diligently
> and based on facts and lots of consultation. The initial premise, namely
> that it must be a share-alike license and nothing else will do, however
> has never been properly tested and is simply a "policy" or "ideology" issue.

I'd agree with pretty much everything you've said in this message, but I 
wouldn't class the decision as ideology. Most of it is simply pragmatism.

As you say, there have long been some very outspoken share-alike 
advocates both on the lists and elsewhere in OSM. A quick Google pointed 
me to the same old arguments on the 'Openstreetmap' list in April 2005. 
2005, for goodness' sake!

There is nothing - in theory - to stop you putting a non-share-alike 
alternative forward, and attempting a grassroots relicensing. You'd have 
to be a bit careful about not spamming the userbase, true, but you could 
spread out from Karlsruhe or Charlbury or some other bastion of 
permissiveness, message everyone in the history with a request to 
relicense as PD or attribution-only, and see how far you got.

But, well, good luck with that. Like you, I personally prefer 
PD/attribution-only; but I haven't got the energy to keep arguing after 
4+ years of ad hominems. (Probably not the correct Latin plural). I 
think the time when someone accused me of wanting to exploit OSMers so I 
could build up my pension pot was probably the best. I am not making 
this up.

No, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. In the space of a 
couple of hours, this thread has seen the proposed relicensing 
criticised for both being "protectionist" and, conversely, causing "poor 
suckers [to] get nothing back". Minimum protection vs maximum 
protection. How on earth can you reconcile that?

So even though I've long believed the majority would be happy with PD, I 
understand absolutely why OSMF has only considered a share-alike 
license. A proposed move to PD would make the last few days seem like a 
storm in a teacup. No-one would want to put themselves through that.


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