[Osmf-talk] Share Alike images

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Tue Dec 8 14:01:48 UTC 2009

Tobias Knerr wrote:
> How can evilâ„¢ people stop us from creating free maps? It seems that /not
> helping/ us is the worst they can do. And I don't think we really need
> their help, we can create excellent free maps on our own.

In my personal opinion, the evilâ„¢ people I am most worried about and 
would want to defend against are for example companies like Waze and 
Google. Not Google as in google maps. I would be more than happy if 
Google started to use OSM in google maps, but Google as in Google Map 
Maker, as they can cause more problems than "not help us". Both projects 
(try to) have communities of their own that the companies will use to 
improve the data. So they would use OSM data to kick start the project 
and then use their community to improve the data further. Just that they 
then don't give back the data and only limit its use to the few usages 
that their company profits most of, in fundamental opposition to free 
geo data, the objective of OSM. So not only would they potentially 
"steal" the data, they might even "steal" some of the community 
(particularly as as big companies they have much more resources and 
marketing power than OSM), the two most valuable assests of OSM.

Of cause I can't say if this is truly the intention of either Waze or 
Google, so I might be doing these specific companies injustice, but at 
least from the FAQs on Waze's forum about why they didn't use OSM it 
basically said, as otherwise we can't close off, control and sell the 
data generated from the Community Waze is building, which has real value.

That is why I think the ODbL is a great compromise between PD and share 
alike, as it makes it more easy to use the produced works and makes it 
potentially much easier to incorporate OSM data into interesting (and 
inovative) products and projects, with less danger of fragmenting the 
community, while all companies are going "Web 2.0 lets have a token 
community to exploit", due to the stronger share alike on the underlying 

But that of cause is just my personal opinion on a decades old flame 
war, so I should probably stop there.

>> The Share-Alike clause is a simple we-all-benefite. It's *only* a
>> restriction when you want to modify the data (e.g. to make it more accurate)
>> and want to release that modified database under a closed license
> ... or if you *do* want to publish it under an equally open license, but
> unfortunately it's a different, incompatible share-alike license
> ... or if you want to publish the result under an even *more* open
> license (say, CC-by, or CC0)
> ... or if you *have* to release the modified database under a
> restrictive license because you are using data that requires it (e.g.
> data with NC restrictions)
> SA certainly has benefits, and given the current situation is likely a
> sensible choice for OSM, but claiming that there are no drawbacks and
> everyone benefits from it is clearly not true.
> Tobias Knerr
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