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

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Sat Mar 15 21:18:12 UTC 2014

2014-03-15 12:16 GMT+01:00 Simon Poole <simon at osmfoundation.org>:

> Apple: the Foundation has engaged (documented) multiple times with the
> company on this matter, even though, as you VERY well know, the data
> they use is pre-licence change and the OSMF has no IP rights in the
> data. While not ideal, the current attribution is a lot better than what
> they originally had. Given the legal situation with CC by-SA and DB
> protection in the US that is about the limit of what we can reasonably
> do (and wasting time flogging dead horses is something that most people
> don't enjoy as much as you do).

Also if cc-by sa can't protect facts in the US, there is Europe where they
would have to adhere to the license (and they also provide their service
here). Yes, the copyright is with the single contributors, yes, the
foundation has decided not to spend their scarse resources on this case,
and it is their right to do so, but in this case it doesn't look as if
anyone would try to enforce share alike to the extent it seems possible
(for "old" data, cc-by-sa).

(e.g. look actively for osm contributors who have mapped in the areas from
which apple uses data, which are these again?)
I believe mentioning the areas from which they took osm data would be fair,
as it can also protect us from wrong allegations for data problems in areas
where the data is from different providers.

> MS*: we immediately took the matter up with MS, and were promised that
> they would rectify the issue when they rolled out new imagery.They where
> a bit late with that, but otherwise they did exactly what they promised
> us. Again it is not quite sure what you expect, should we have closed
> bing down (which in some countries would have been possible)? Aka "take
> a big gun and shoot ourselves in the foot".

yes, I also believe them that it was an incident and they didn't use the
data on purpose against the license (or in other words they were not
understanding that using the data under the license that it was available
and publishing it would make their imagery share alike), still, they didn't
do anything timely to correct the mistake, once it was pointed out to them,
in fact all they promised was not to do it again, do nothing and wait for
the next imagery update to wear the data out.

In practise, also here nobody insisted in strict interpretation of the
share alike provisions.

Has there been any case where someone who used OpenStreetMap and
continuously and deliberately ignored the license obligations had any kind
of trouble? Maybe we're only waiting for G* to do it on a global scale ;-) ?

Maybe we don't want to be "like them", in the end we are happy with
everyone using our data, and we don't want to scare people away by creating
the impression you might risk a court case for small formal mistakes in
adhering to the osm license. OK. Sounds like a reason why until today noone
ever tried to enforce any of the license obligations on any user of the
data besides from kindly asking them to do so (and do nothing when they
don't). Still in practise its a "weak share alike" ;-)

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