[talk-au] Fwd: [OSM-legal-talk] ODbL License + Outline Procedure

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Sat Feb 28 04:38:34 GMT 2009


In another life (the one that pays the bills) I work with a team,
several in fact, that collects and manages biodiversity 'facts'
(hundreds of millions of them: this species of plant or animal was
found here, then, etc. - hence the lurking fascination with OSM).
This large national and international community of professional 'fact
collectors' (see for example, www.gbif.org) wants to make their facts
and the visualization of these facts freely available and they are
leaning towards the Creative Commons and the related Science Commons

Putting words into their mouths, I think the argument would be that
the decision-making involved in selection, storage, management and
display of these fact is indeed a creative act, even though the facts
themselves aren't.  A blank screen magically comes alive - a map with
dots, lines, symbols, colours and most importantly, communicated
meaning.  Sure smells like creativity to me...

I wonder if the Renaissance cartographers, or any cartographers for
that matter, would regard their work as not creative?  A well rendered
informative and accurate map is a beautiful thing.   They don't just
happen; someone must have created them.

It is the feel-good creativity of OSMers seeking, finding and
documenting facts and putting them in maps for public good that has
made it pretty difficult to leave this forum...  :)

I will continue to keep an eye on the open database model - in some
circumstances it might be just the right tool for the job.


On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 2:45 PM, James Livingston <doctau at mac.com> wrote:
> On 28/02/2009, at 12:17 PM, Jim Croft wrote:
>> Out of curiosity, would one of the Creative Commons
>> (http://creativecommons.org/) licenses be able to provide
>> thefunctionality and the flexibility we might need?
> Basically, no - what is why the Open Database Licence is being worked
> on. Essentially the problem is that while Creative Commons is fine for
> creative works, OSM pretty much a collection of facts rather than a
> creative work.
> I haven't looked into all the details, but I believe that ODbL tries
> to use "database copyright" when such a concept exists in a particular
> countries legal system and other mechanisms when it doesn't.
> Cheers,
>     James Livingston
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Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499

"Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality."
- Joseph Conrad, author (1857-1924)

"I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said,
but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
 - attributed to Robert McCloskey, US State Department spokesman

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