[Talk-us] Legal Research

Ian Dees ian.dees at gmail.com
Mon Feb 22 01:57:03 UTC 2016

On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 5:48 PM, Clifford Snow <clifford at snowandsnow.us>

> Alyssa,
> I will be out of the country with iffy internet service on Wed but would
> otherwise like to join the call. Would you mind if we solicit questions
> ahead of time that we could have discuss? I have two question or maybe they
> are really concerns.
> One of my concern is that the legal opinions I see regarding ODbL all
> focus on third party uses of the data. None of the opinions ask the
> question, what happens to OSM if we were to relax the terms of the license.
> It is as if business intelligence from a for-profit business Trumped (pun
> intended) OSM's contributors.

First off I want to point out that OSM US isn't engaging in any request to
change the terms of the license. Steve used a click-bait subject line about
changing the license to try and stir up controversy, but that's not our
goal. We're trying to learn more about the license and terms chosen by the

Having said that, "What happens to OSM if it were to relax the terms of the
license" isn't really a question that can be answered by a lawyer, is it?
OSM would still exist, the data would still be here. It would just be
distributed under "relaxed terms". Sorry: I'm not trying to dismiss your
concern, I just don't see what you're trying to get at. Do you want to chat
at some other time before you leave so we can hammer this out?

> The second concern is how to give back to government agencies that publish
> their data with no constraints. I would love it if the agencies could use
> our data. How can that be facilitated and still protect OSM?

That's a great question, and something I am also worried about. It's
definitely something we can bring up.

> At the last townhall, for SOTM-US, we discussed publishing the US
> Chapter's minutes and financials. I strongly recommend you included the
> Board's commitment to publishing minutes and financials in the conversation
> with firm deadlines.

We took that to heart and pushed the minutes to our wiki page soon after
you asked about it, but I forgot to let you and the community know that we
did it.

Our minutes are here:
(When we take notes we've been pushing to an internal github repository
first so we can maintain institutional memory in one place. We are now also
posting minutes to the OSM wiki as soon as we can.)

I'm in the middle of working on our 2015 taxes, but I'll try to publish
overall financials by March 4th and let you know. If you don't hear from
me, please bug me.

> Respectfully,
> Clifford
> On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 2:58 PM, alyssa wright <alyssapwright at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Exciting news here! The OSM US board has partnered with the cyber law
>> clinic at Harvard University Law School for some cyber
>> <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cyber> law research. 💾
>> We are working with two talented young women who bring legal learning and
>> perspective to OpenStreetMap questions. This is smart research that we hope
>> is just the beginning of engaging university students outside of geography
>> and computer majors (which IS most of us anyway).
>> We'll be sharing the semester research in the Spring but if you want to
>> learn more posthaste join us for a Town Hall
>> <https://plus.google.com/u/1/events/cek2evvdtmimm0e3ontdnucends?hl=en>
>> next Wednesday. To whet the legal scholars out there you can also check out
>> the blog announcement <https://openstreetmap.us/2016/02/law-clinic/>
>> starring our newly elected OSM US pet representative.
>> We're also accepting nominations for next year's OSM US pet mascot. 🐈😜
>> Let us know if you have any questions!
>> Best,
>> Alyssa.
>> _______________________________________________
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> OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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