[OSM-talk] OpenStreetMap Isn't All That Open, Let's Change That and Drop Share-Alike

Tobias Knerr osm at tobias-knerr.de
Thu Mar 13 18:02:54 UTC 2014

On 13.03.2014 15:31, Simone Cortesi wrote:
>> Looking forward to your comments,
> No, thanks, the licence is good as it is.

Far from it, there's a lot that's wrong with the ODbL:

First of all, it's too hard to understand. Even on legal-talk, you often
don't get useful statements about what is and what isn't allowed. That's
a no-go for an open license - those are supposed to make things easy to
use for everyone.

Then the license asks us to put effort into producing data dumps that
most of the time nobody even looks at. Even trivial actions can become
legal nightmares, e.g. an end user sharing screenshots that were (behind
the scenes) derived from a locally created derivative database.

Any time a developer trying to use OSM needs to make design decisions
based on license issues instead of technical merits, I feel something is
wrong. Not to mention that some use cases are even made impractical
entirely, such as reverse geocoding of certain datasets.

You may think that the ODbL is the perfect balance of permissions and
restrictions, but I'm not so sure.

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