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

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Fri Mar 14 09:32:47 UTC 2014

On Friday 14 March 2014, Florian Lohoff wrote:
> [...]
> Today maintaining the Linux Kernel or OSM without a HUGE community is
> a lost fight so there is nothing to gain by taking this data _from_
> the community. Those who do this are the ones to loose, not the ones
> giving away their code/data.

Actually the Linux kernel is a good example how big companies abuse free 
open products.  Most famous example is of course Google with Android 
which circumvents the weak GPLv2 share-alike provisions and contradicts 
the spirit of the GPL, namely to ensure the right to freely study, 
modify and redistribute software by locked hardware and closed source 
modules.  But there are many other examples of closed linux systems 
(like routers, nas, entertainment) that maybe release an alibi source 
package but without practical means to acutually make modifications.

> IMHO Share Alike is proposed by those full of fear.

It seems to me it is fairly damaging for the aim of abolishing 
share-alike to assume its proponents are driven by fear.  Unless you 
try to convince people through arguments you have little chance in 
changing their opinion.

Even if you manage to create a non share-alike, 'more free' OSM this 
will inevitably fail unless you convince the vast majority of the 
mappers and you cannot do that by telling them to drop their fear and 

Keep in mind what you are essentially asking mappers here is to waive 
their right to freely use improvements others make to their mapping 
work (which is - as Simon pointed out - where share-alike kicks in).  
You would need good arguments for that i think and i have not heard 
them to this point.

Note i do not have a clear position on the whole matter - as a data user 
i see clear disadvantages of share-alike and have to deal with them but 
i see no perspective to convince me, the mapper, to settle without it 
just because it would be more convenient/more profitable for me, the 
data user... ;-)

Christoph Hormann

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