[Osmf-talk] The license/fork discussion: A solution proposal

Jaak Laineste jaak at nutiteq.com
Tue Aug 24 14:45:44 UTC 2010

> > The first problem that comes to my mind is that every node/way may
> > (and probably will) be edited multiple times by users with different
> > license choices.
> that is not a problem for the community but for those who want to make a
> business with our data: "others".
> They will get an extract, more or less complete, conforming to their choice of
> license to accept.
> It don't stop the community from continuing to create a better map.

For whom is the OSM made? For community (geowanking) or for external users? 

> The history problem happens also when all contributors that are not happy with
> the new ODBL license will withdraw their data.
> That is bound to happen soon, once the OSMF imposes the ODbL license change
> on the community (that's how it feels).

I understand that some just do not want to change license, they are against the process, not the new license as such? 
> The only way to keep all on-board is to make the license part of the system.

 Perhaps then the ones who want to have simple one-license policy would not be happy and would leave? Actually multi-license system would have several advantages : e.g. we could have different default license for some countries like Canada who have great PD-licensed (and ODbL incompatible) datasets which cannot be shared now. So 

 So option A would be to have single license and if this really would create too much damage then something more complex could be implemented. 
> As the license property only decides how data is exported to 3rd parties, there is
> no change to the current situation for all OSM contributors.

Depends what is target of the contributor. If you just want to contribute, then it does not matter. You can happily contribute even to MapMaker and give all the rights to Google. If you want to have your data also in specific application (e.g. your PND/mobile) then you have to be very careful - is not only my contribution, but also all the parent nodes/ways/relations of my contribution compatible with the PND license requirements. If something is "broken" there, then I can map as hell, but still it will not see it in my Garmin. This will make contribution very complex, so by end of the day you'll see that it would be much easier to have two databases to choose from, fork.

Also, a choice: a)CC-by-SA b) ODbL would be in principle quite pointless, as there are only formal changes in the licenses. They are essentially the same. So based on what one can make reasonable selection here? If we would really find that multi-license system is something useful then there should be at least some clearly different options, e.g. a) PD b) share-alike c) non-commercial d) private, copyright for me.

 So the question is just whether we'd like to make the change or not, and general community has given pretty strong yes to this. Maybe I do not like our (with our I mean EU here) president and whoever-was-the-lady-there, too, but I think that it would be better to swallow it than to move to Russia, or try to create several EU's.


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