[Osmf-talk] Blanket copyright licence in Contributor Terms

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Mon Dec 14 02:45:11 UTC 2009

On 14/12/2009 01:31, Matt Amos wrote:

>> Why do you need additional ability to change over and above that?
> let's say the zeitgeist changes, or an even better license comes along
> which isn't ODbL, or the law changes in a way ODbL can't deal with, or
> the nature of OSM changes.
> now, i'm not saying that any of those is definitely going to happen. but
> i think future uncertainty is important enough that i would rather have
> the ability to react to it than import other ODbL data.

This clause in the contributor terms seems to be one of the most 
controversial parts of the license change for various reasons, yet it 
isn't something that is forced upon us due to the brokenness of CC-BY-SA 
for data as is the move to ODbL. I.e. all the issues requiring a license 
change would be solved as well, with or without this clause if I 
understand things correctly. Please correct me if I am wrong. So perhaps 
this is a thing that we can put out for a vote "independent" of the 
decision to move to ODbL to get a feel for how the general OSM community 
stands on this point, and where their trade off lies with respect to the 
pros and cons of this clause. This isn't something that should end up 
endangering the overall move to ODbL.

Personally, I would side on including this statement as I think the 
added flexibility is worth it and necessary given the whole area of 
licensing open data seems still very much in its infancy and therefor 
hard to predict how in the larger picture (i.e. other datasets) it will 
pan out and therefore if ODbL will turn out to be the best and most 
compatible license in the long run. Particularly, as it is something 
that could quite easily be dropped later in time should it turn out to 
be unnecessary or too problematic, at least with respect to importing 
other ODbL content. I do think the conditions of a license change as 
described there are a little "week" though and would prefer if it 
required a 75% majority of active contributors and all past contributors 
that can still be reached with reasonable effort rather than only a 
simple majority of 50% of current contributors.


> but even with that restriction, you're still free to take OSM's ODbL
> output and use it, remix it and share it alike.
> cheers,
> matt
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