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

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Thu Mar 13 18:41:09 UTC 2014

On Thursday 13 March 2014, Tobias Knerr wrote:
> >
> > 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.

Yes, things are complicated in some aspects and it is difficult to get 
reliable answers but this is not caused by share-alike per se.  You can 
of course argue removing share-alike would make it much easier to 
create a simple and easy to understand license - this is not the main 
argument of Alex i think, namely that uses of the data should be 
allowed which are clearly forbidden now.

I think the lack of clarity in the license terms could be well addressed 
by some official statements from the OSMF how they interpret various 
terms.  Such statements would of course not be legally binding, 
individual mappers could still have a different opinion, but it would 
be a clear baseline.

And also lets not forget the laws the license is based on are not clear 
cut either, there are many aspects of database law which are open to 
interpretation and which have not yet been decided in courts yet.  A 
license can only be as clear as the law it is based on.

Christoph Hormann

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