[Osmf-talk] License with or without virus

Mike Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Wed Dec 9 02:45:46 UTC 2009

At 09:39 PM 8/12/2009, 80n wrote:
>On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 8:18 PM, Matija Nalis <<mailto:mnalis-openstreetmap-osmflist at voyager.hr>mnalis-openstreetmap-osmflist at voyager.hr> wrote:
>On Tue, Dec 08, 2009 at 01:52:48AM +0000, Matt Amos wrote:
>> 80n wrote:
>> > How many bad guys have abused OSM data so far?
>> i count two that have announced it publicly; Anthony and RichardF. how
>> many others who haven't announced it, i don't know.
>I do not know the history behind this; could you provide me with some
>more info about what you're talking about?
>Both of these cases have been presented on this list in the last few days.  Each one as some part of the argument that CC-BY-SA does or doesn't work. 
>It seems that the LWG have spent the last two years working on a license to protect against events that has only happened as a consequence of them presenting the license.
>They have not yet presented any prior examples that justify their assertion that the reason for this new license is because CC BY-SA is broken.
>The LWG Emperor does not appear to have any clothes.

I am glad that 80n has been putting to you the case for just staying with CC-BY-SA. This is needed to balance the discussion.  However, it I strongly believe that it leads us inescapably to the following three choices:

(1) If you are prepared to accept the cost of all the ambiguities in CC-BY-SA, then stay with CC-BY-SA. It protects OSM data in at least some jurisdictions and because most folks are actually fair. It does that with a Share-Alike provision and by preventing folks from using our data if they have any doubt.  If you only want to use OSM data and you don't mind if it is vague how far Share-Alike extends, then it works very well.  Our slippy maps are a case in point and are the main use of our data up to now. Routing applications using exclusively OSM data are another.  However, when I joined the project in 2005 and read  the license from beginning to end, (I am a bit weird that way), I simply could not believe that a project that makes this claim on its front page would use such a license "The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways."

(2) If you support the principle of Share Alike but would like to explore the real ramifications of trying to apply it to a cooking ingredient, which is effectively what our geodata is, then ODbL, in all its mature 1.0 glory, is the only game in town. It was actually written with data in mind.

(3) If you feel that the complexity cost of addressing how Share-Alike really works on predominantly factual data is too high, then there is a simple workable solution: CC0 or a similar license.

Lastly, it is not just what you (or I) most strongly support individually. Another very important consideration it is what we, the OSM mapping community, can support collectively to best meet the aims of our project.  Russ Nelson has, elsewhere, made this very astute observation:

"The community is more likely to be damaged from within by disputes over licensing than by someone from without absconding with OSM data." 

At this point in time, that leads me, personally, to (2).

(Not the most well dressed man in the world, but certainly confident that his IS dressed!)
!Que viva la republica! 
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