[talk-au] Reassurance and Licensing

Grant Slater openstreetmap at firefishy.com
Tue Apr 26 15:17:33 BST 2011


Hi Talk-au,

I am a volunteer member (like all the members) of the Licensing
Working Group (LWG), OSM Sysadmin Team along with a few other
OpenStreetMap groups.

The LWG is well aware of the NearMap licensing issue and we are trying
to get it resolved as soon as we can but we are an all volunteer team
with day jobs. The Contributor Terms v1.2.4 reduces the project's
freedoms in an attempt to appease NearMap. NearMap Pty Ltd is a
company owned by Ipernica. NearMap is an awesome company for allowing
us to use their aerial imagery.

Unfortunately there are some very vocal (anonymous) members of the
Australian community who seem intent on creating a virtual "Us vs
Them" conflict in the community with exaggerated claims and mistruths.
We are one project and on the same team. I believe we all value the
amazing project we have collaboratively built.

The licensing debate has unfortunately been going on for many years
now. For a laugh, listen to the licensing debate from the
OpenStreetMap "State of the Map" 2007 conference:
http://www.archive.org/details/Sotm07PanelDebate-LicensingOsmData
The Open Database License (ODbL) was created by the Open Data Commons
with OpenStreetMap specifically in mind. The License is specifically
created to address the peculiarities of globally licensing a libré
(open) and gratis (free of cost) database. The license is modelled as
closely as practical to the GPL / LGPL software license. The ODbL
summary: http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/summary/ , the
license introduces some new initially confusing terms like "Produced
Work". (Creative Commons created terms like "Share-Alike"). The
independent New York Law School paper "Facilitating Collaboration On
Geospatial Data Using Social and Legal Norms" explains the rational
for the license change much better than I could hope to.
http://www.nyls.edu/user_files/1/3/4/30/58/1134/DatabaseLicensing_110207.pdf

The much-maligned OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSM-F, OSMF) is a
not-for-profit company registered in England & Wales as a legal entity
to represent the project. The OSMF is not some nefarious entity out to
steal all our precious geodata ZOMG.

Humbly,
 Grant Slater aka Firefishy
 Not a pommy.



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