[Osmf-talk] Contributor Agreement is Dual Licensing

Gervase Markham gerv at gerv.net
Mon Dec 14 00:14:34 UTC 2009

On 13/12/09 06:14, Matt Amos wrote:
>> Isn't that what ODbL plus Contributor Terms is?  Something different
>> from ODbL, incompatible with other ODbL data and unique to OSM.
> incompatible on import, compatible on export. if you have some ODbL data
> then there's nothing in the contributor terms or ODbL which would
> prevent you from combining the two and redistributing it. but it
> wouldn't be possible to add it to OSM.

1) So how come this important limitation isn't mentioned whenever 
someone says "the goal of the ODbL is to preserve the share-alike 
provisions of CC-BY-SA"?

2) The whole point of being not-PD is that we can import the 
improvements of downstream users without them giving us an explicit 
licence. But PD would give us exactly the same thing as you say ODbL is 
giving us - incompatible on import (you can't force people to allow you 
to use their data) and compatible on export (you can combine it with 
ODbLed data, or even any data, from other sources).

How is the ODbL better than PD (or PD-attribution) in terms of allowing 
us to use data from other people?

>> It seems to me that the Contributor Terms are the source of many of the
>> problems identified with the proposed license scheme.  They hinder the
>> ability for other ODbL datasets to be added to OSM, they prevent
>> attribution-only datasets from being added to OSM.
> they prevent other ODbL datasets from being added to OSM. i, personally,
> don't think this is a bad thing. instead of hunting for datasets to
> import, maybe it would be better to go out mapping?

You may not think this is a bad thing, but it seems that rather a lot of 
people on this mailing list do.

The position seems to have changed from "if we go to ODbL rather than 
PD, we preserve share-alike" to "actually, we don't, but share-alike's 
not important anyway. Go get all the data again! It won't take long."

>> OSMF becomes a single point of failure.  This is not a good thing.
> according to our own counsel, OSMF already was a de-facto single point
> of failure as the licensor. in that regard, very little is changing.

Why are we not using a scheme, used by most open source projects, where 
every user of the software/data gets a licence from each contributor? 
Why do we need this intermediating third party?


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