[Talk-us] press from SOTM US

Alex Barth alex at mapbox.com
Mon Oct 22 20:12:55 GMT 2012

I do hope to come to an agreement within OSM along the lines you just hashed out, Frederik (while not quite advocating for it): 

The data extracted by geocoding should just not lead to a substantial extract of the database, hence not producing a derivative database in the sense of the ODbL. I feel this would be within the spirit of why the ODbL was adopted (to encourage contribution) while clarifying an important use of OSM data that would create a huge incentive to improve data. Right now we largely don't have functioning municipal boundaries in OSM. Obviously, any data that is mixed into OSM data for _powering_ the geocoder would fall under share alike stipulations.

You bring up the important problem of properly bounding the geocoding case. I'm thinking if all that can be extracted from OSM's database are names and addresses for lat/lon pairs or lat/lon pairs for names or addresses, it would be arguably impossible or at least impractically hard to recreate a functioning street network from it and the extracted data would be a narrow subset of OSM no matter how many locations are being geocoded. Thoughts?

On Oct 20, 2012, at 1:38 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> On 10/20/2012 09:59 AM, Toby Murray wrote:
>> The discussion was about the fact that some companies are very afraid
>> of share-alike licenses and it is preventing them from using our data
>> to its fullest potential.
> There are several sides to this.
> Of course the share-alike license prevents companies from using our data to the same potential as a hypothetical PD counterpart (or a licensed-for-money competitor); excluding some kinds of use-without-sharing-back is the reason for a share-alike license and was desired by a large majority of the stakeholders.
> On the other hand, the license does not have to be feared, and some users might actually let their fear of share-alike shy away from some totally legal uses of OSM.
>> There is some uncertainty about when exactly
>> the share-alike clause is activated. One specific example that was
>> mentioned: If you use OSM data to geocode a user's address, does the
>> user database then have to be shared?
> No, but the database of locations, which might let others guess who your users are.
>> That's apparently how the
>> lawyers tend to read it but in my mind this would be silly. We have no
>> use for a company's user database even if it were possible to release
>> it without breaking every privacy law on the books.
> I agree that we have little use for that database of locations but I think that it is crystal clear this is a "derived" database. The only way to not require share-alike for that would be - as Richard has recently mentioned on legal-talk, where this discussion should be held -, to define any amount of geocoded locations to be "insubstantial". However that would raise the question - could you not, by mass-geocoding every single address on every single street - re-create our whole street network? That could hardly be insubstantial then.
> Bye
> Frederik
> -- 
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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Alex Barth
tel (+1) 202 250 3633

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