[Tagging] Who has the last word over the access tag?

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Apr 25 11:50:01 UTC 2021


this is a fable built on a real-world case. Please don't guess what the 
real-world case behind this is; it doesn't matter. Do me a favour and 
discuss the fable.

Let's assume you buy a large plot of land and a nice holiday home 
somewhere on a pacific island. You travel there regularly and enjoy the 
beautiful landscaped garden. You put up "Private property - no 
trespassing" signs and hire a couple of guards to ensure nobody enters 
your property. Consequently the paths in your garden are mapped in OSM 
as access=private.

One day while you are in your home country there is a coup on the 
pacific island, and the self-proclaimed island government nullifies all 
foreign land ownership. Your guards go home and someone pulls out the 
"No trespassing" signs. Random people start enjoying your garden and the 
local police are watching.

Let's say this goes on for half a year. The island government has no 
international backing but they control the island de-facto. You say that 
the property is still your property no matter what the criminals of the 
island government say. You take out a one-page ad in the island 
newspaper saying that the decrees of the island government are null and 
void and that you will sue anyone who enters your property.

Still, every day people are walking across your property and the police 
are waving happily.

Are the paths in your garden still access=private?


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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