[OSM-talk] Attribution guideline status update

Kathleen Lu kathleen.lu at mapbox.com
Fri Aug 9 18:12:04 UTC 2019

I disagree that there is no harm. The credibility point goes both ways.
While no one could sue OSMF for recommending something that is not required
by the license, OSMF would lose the trust of data users, mappers, and any
adjudicative tribunals.
And it would be misleading and harmful to anyone who sought to enforce the
licence, causing, at the very least, confusion, arguments and hurt
feelings. Plus, if anyone went to court trying to enforce something that
OSMF recommended that was outside the licence, they would lose, and perhaps
be forced by the court to pay attorney's fees. While this would probably
not cause financial harm to OSMF, but it would be very damaging to the

On Fri, Aug 9, 2019 at 10:29 AM Christoph Hormann <osm at imagico.de> wrote:

> On Friday 09 August 2019, Kathleen Lu wrote:
> > You are right that we hope to avoid disputes by setting out
> > reasonable guidelines, but if OSMF sets out guidelines that are
> > unreasonable and not tied to the language of the licence, then no
> > one, either users of the data or judges, will listen to OSMF, and,
> > under the law, rightly so.
> The key point is that it is fine if the guidelines deviate from the
> license on the side of caution, i.e. as Richard puts it: requiring
> something that is not in the license.  That is possibly suboptimal but
> there is no serious harm to err on the side of caution.  No data user
> could sue the OSMF for in the guidelines recommending something that is
> not required by the license.  OTOH if the guidelines recommend
> something that is not allowed by the license that is a serious problem,
> it defeats the whole purpose of the guideline and endangers the
> credibility of the OSMF both with mappers and data users.
> In the current form i have the impression that the guideline draft tries
> to state the most lenient interpretation of the license w.r.t.
> attribution that is imaginable which is not obviously wrong (and in
> case of the 50 percent rule i think it goes beyond that - this is
> obviously not compatible with the license from my point of view).  I
> find this kind of - well - reckless.
> --
> Christoph Hormann
> http://www.imagico.de/
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