[OSM-talk] License plan

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Fri Feb 27 14:53:15 GMT 2009

Ben Laenen wrote:
> There's exactly one way to be sure this won't happen: get 
> approval of *all* the people who've been editing OSM. And with 
> a number of around 100.000 mappers I'm very skeptical that 
> you'll be able to manage that. 

Not true (IMO at least).

We have 100,000 _registered_users_, not mappers. Only a fraction of them
have contributed to the map.

Of them, again, only a fraction have made substantial changes deserving of
copyright* protection.

If someone has put one church on the map, or removed an 'n' from 'Avennue',
or even just done the uncreative monkey-work of tracing over Yahoo imagery,
_most_ jurisdictions will not grant them any copyright over the work. Even
in the UK, which follows the "sweat of the brow" principle (i.e. copyright
can be gained through effort even without creativity), such effort needs to
be significant.

Claiming copyright over negligible works is what the RIAA, and those bunch
of tards who are trying to stop the Kindle's text-to-speech feature, do.
They are rightly vilified for it by people like us. We should be on the side
of the angels, and not try and claim rights where such rights shouldn't and
don't exist.

This should be on legal-talk, but I don't know how to get Nabble to
cross-post. Sorry.


* read "copyright or similar rights" throughout :)
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