[Talk-us] Can US OSM help with license upgrade? (was: Re: License Upgrade - Stage Two Begins)

Al Haraka alharaka at gmail.com
Thu Aug 12 16:20:11 BST 2010

On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:06 AM, Apollinaris Schoell
<aschoell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 7:23 AM, Nakor <nakor.osm at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Most of my contributions even though based on my GPS tracks are derived
>> work of some US governement data (USGS and NAIP imageries) and in a lesser
>> extent Ohio through OSIP. I also imported some NHS, NPS and TIGER datasets.
>> I truly do not want all that work to be lost and I trust the LWG when they
>> say that ODBL is going to be more protective than CC-BY-SA for the project.
>> My only issue is the first paragraph of the Contributor Terms. I do not
>> have **explicit** permission from the various US government entities and do
>> not feel comfortable accepting those terms.
> US government data  is public domain. you can do whatever you like to do
> with it. All big ones from Garmin, Google ... you name it use this data.
> there is absolute no need to get explicit  permission for individuals. It is
> the law and what can be more explicit than that. As an example county of
> Santa Clara even lost the law suit a couple of years ago when they tried to
> protect and sell their data for more than redistribution costs.

I do not know if you are a lawyer, or even one with sitting on the bar
in any jurisdiction in the United States.  That being said, neither am
I.  The Santa Clara case, the similar one in Schenectady, NY, and
dozens of others are good examples of what you mean.  But still,
blanket generalizations from people without legal credentials, *me*
included, will not prevent us from getting sued or into legal trouble
or building something that holds water so we can prevent others from
screwing us/abusing all the hard work we do.  Also, notice the few
attorneys involved with OSM (SteveC mentioned them) have the scruples
to not discuss it with lots of us, as it will not help and people
construing their emails on these lists as bona fide legal advice gets
them in trouble.  Hence, they have been very silent the entire time
despite people demanding answers on licensing as of late.  That is not
an accident.  This is why I asked about their capacity as attorneys
earlier.  I do not mean to be rude or start a flame, but what legal
resources are necessary whether or not we like to think all USG data
is PD, and we can do whatever we want with it.

>> One of the mission of the US OSM could be to get explicit permission from
>> those federal/state/local government entities that we derived data from.
>> Thanks in advance,
>>  N.
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Alexander J. Stein
Cell:  (201) 412-9479
Email: alharaka at gmail.com
Skype: alexander.j.stein
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