[OSM-talk] [OSM-legal-talk] Rules for the foundation to hold data assigned to it under

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Jul 19 18:38:08 BST 2007


   this is not going against you personally, you just happen to have 
said something that many people think and I'm making an example of that.

>> Who has the say over which kinds of
>> contributions are valued high enough to gain the contributor a voting
>> right and which are trivial?
> My intention was that any edit that happens before the vote is announced
> qualifies you, no matter how minor, but not an edit that happens after.

But you said that there may have to be schemes to exclude vandalism from 
that, and means to boot people who are considered "bad".

Well-meaning as this may be, it can all be used against people in a way 
that is morally wrong. And I can assure you that it will not stay like 
that. If, a few days before the AGM, I somehow manage to convince a 
hundred people to move just one node in the database and join the 
Foundation and sign me off to vote for them, I am very sure that the 
rules will quickly be amended to filter voters even better.

I want to draw everyone's attention to the fact that we bring all this 
upon us by rejecting PD. Your argument is:

1. We're not going to use PD;

2. To be workable at all, some rights must be transferred to the 
Foundation; [I understand that not every copyleft advocate shares this 
opinion but it is the angle you're coming from, right?]

3. To make sure the Foundation does not suddenly decide to go PD, we 
have to attach a huge number of strings and create complex voting 
restrictions and statues and what-have-you.

And before you know it we're at a point where we have to think about 
what rules we'll be using to kick people out if we believe they are 
somehow "bad guys". Which is in the end just the same can of worms like 
any communist hunt in the past. I find it really astonishing how the 
very same people who say they're fighting for "free" data seem to take 
it for granted that you have to build a huge apparatus of control around 
that, with written rules and paragraphs that say under what condition 
people must be expelled from the community, lose their right to have a 
say, and so on.

And it is really only the stupid copyleft licensing that gets us there. 
If we were to make our data Public Domain, then we don't need to 
transfer any rights to the Foundation, and then who cares what the 
Foundation does? As long as it does us good, fine; and if it doesn't, or 
decides to charge people money who want to use the data, then someone'll 
set up a fork and that's that.

PD data will always be free. If we go PD, then we do not have to worry 
about all of this.

I will stay with the project even if it doesn't adopt PD but if anyone 
ever dares to complain about the complexity of all the rules, or if 
anyone ever says he's not going to contribute to a community that 
reserves the right to take his data, kick him out because he's evil, and 
then re-license the whole stuff - then I'll be there and say "told you so".


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

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