[talk-au] Reassurance and Licensing

David Murn davey at incanberra.com.au
Tue Apr 26 15:56:46 BST 2011

On Tue, 2011-04-26 at 15:17 +0100, Grant Slater wrote:

> 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.

Does this mean we can ask (and receive definitive answers from) you the
hard questions that have been asked numerous times and no-one has been
in a position to ask?  Or are you just another 'volunteer' who will pass
the questions off to some hidden mailing list somewhere?

> 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.

I think youre looking at the problem too narrowly.  Yes, the NearMap
issue is a significant one to Australians, but it is only one of many
numerous sources that all share the same common licence.  The 'nearmap
issue' is an issue affecting data from many sources, some private
stakeholders and some government stakeholders.  Are the efforts to
'resolve' the 'issues' looking at all Australian (and similarly NZ) data
sources, or are efforts simply being used to sort out specifics with

> The Contributor Terms v1.2.4 reduces the project's
> freedoms in an attempt to appease NearMap.

Kind of like stabbing someone with a dagger, then pulling it out
half-way and telling them they should be happy you even did that?

> 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.

Did you seriously write that with a straight face?  Lets address the
There has been vocal opposition to the change to a licence incompatible
with our data.  This has come from government departments, businesses
and educated users, not 'anonymous members'.

The problem with the mistruths and claims, is that most people simply
dont know, and in Australia if someone asks you a question, its
generally polite to at least offer some advice rather than rudely ignore
whoever is asking.

There are people who are seeking to split the community, you are
correct.  These people are the ones who are bringing in a licence change
and preventing those who dont agree from participating any longer in
this 'amazing project we have *ALL* collaboratively built'.  If youd
followed discussions here from the past couple of days, youd see people
actively encouraging the use of OSM services (in favour of forks) until
the time at which we are permanently blocked from the collaborative

> 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.

A non-for-profit company?  It barely even legally qualifies as a
non-for-profit (dis)organisation.  Maybe youve also missed the detailed
criticisms of the foundation from members here, who ARE involved with
non-profits, things such as poor minute keeping and basic

Your contempt for the citizens of this country and this region, while
talking as a representative of a legal entity is part in parcel of what
we are becoming used to.  It is sad that people (or even entire
committees) seem happy enough to tear this project apart from the
inside, simply to achieve some goal which it seems even they cant quite
decide upon.


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