[Osmf-talk] ODbL switchover at SOTM, bad idea

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Fri Aug 31 19:11:58 UTC 2012

On 08/31/2012 12:48 PM, Richard Weait wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 9:36 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>     it has come to my attention that the current board intends to
>> publicly announce the switch to ODbL at SOTM even though there are
>> still unsolved issues (missing changeover guidance for data consumers,
>> unclear DMCA takedown procedures, etc.).
> [ ... ]
>> Don't risk ruining it on the last metres. [ ... ]
>> Nobody gains from a license
>> change that looks nice in the press but is unfinished in practice.
> I agree.
> Both of the blockers above have owners and both are getting active
> updates.  So it is possible that LWG and DWG would be happy to say
> that they are ready to go as of $date.  But that leaves the problem of
> how to have a graceful, informed transition for mappers, the wider
> community and data consumers.  What does the change mean to your
> survey practices?  How should consumers transition their services?
> When do consumers change their attribution notices?  And when should
> we expect them to have their issues sorted out?

If it is "only" a question of how data consumers have to deal with the 
transition, then that can be solved by dual licensing the planet and 
diffs both ODbL and CC-BY-SA for X weeks. That way those data consumers 
who were e.g. already ready on the 1st April with their transition 
strategy and legal review can use the ODbL straight away. While those 
data consumers who don't start planning until the day of transitioning 
still have enough time to figure out what their new legal obligations 
are and gracefully transition to them.

Imho there is no need to put unnecessary burden on data consumers by 
having a hard cut over. If there is a delay anyway to wait for data 
consumers to get their act together (which is not unreasonable), it 
might as well be a dual licensed "delay period".

Of cause, the master OSM db has to be legally ready to swtich to ODbL in 
the first place and that process has to be done carefully and 
diligently. (Not being involved, I can't judge if this is or is not the 


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