[OSM-talk] BSD/CC-by/LGPL vs. SharedAlike - decide now and forever

Colin Mackay colin.mackay at gmail.com
Tue Mar 21 11:56:03 GMT 2006

There was mention that the license applied to the data and not necessarily
to visualisations of the data (but I can't see to find that at the moment).
My concern is that to be useful to business that they'd naturally want to
keep certain information in-house. For example, they take the map data and
put sales projections on top, or use it to map performance of door-to-door
salespeople. That information they would naturally not want to escape in to
the wild for it would benefit their competetors.

I can see where you are going with the enclosing the data and not sharing
additions that would be beneficial to the community and I can see the value
of BY-SA in those cases. (And if you look at my earlier posts, you can
probably see I'm now ambivalent on the subject)

I've gone through a number of use cases in my head. The problematic ones
that I see involve companies that want to publish in-house maps containing
commercially sensitive data on top of the map base. Or companies that want
to publish (again in-house) maps also containing data that is restricted
under the 1998 Data Protection Act (and I'm sure many other countries have
similar legislation).

If the maps stay in-house there isn't a problem - If they get into the wild
the company has no legal recourse to stop the spread of the maps and, in the
latter case, they get sued by people whose personal data is also, illegally,
in the wild.


On 21/03/06, Nick Hill <nick at nickhill.co.uk> wrote:
> Neither of these arguments are strong.
> 1) Freer: Once the work has been appropriated and a business model built
> around enclosing the work, and the additions are under a restrictive
> license, the non-enclosed work has to then compete with the enclosed
> version. If the competition fails, the work we put in has been wasted.
> We may as well have got paid for putting the work in; the work would, in
> effect, be owned by someone else.
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