[OSM-talk] We need to have a conversation about attribution

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Fri Mar 1 15:29:31 UTC 2019

On Friday 01 March 2019, Simon Poole wrote:
> > What OSMF activity since the license change on this front, in
> > particular with the community guidelines, has tried to do is to
> > pave over this conflict by interpreting the ODbL as leniently as
> > possible without this resulting in gross inconsistencies.  And in a
> > way it is understandable if coporate data users use this as a basis
> > to try to take this a step further.
> > ...
> I would actually dispute the characterisation, there are two key
> motivations behind the guidance we've given:

I should probably not have suggested that everyone involved was 
consciously aware of the context i described.

None the less - i talked to many people over the years involved in the 
OSMF on these matters (board and working groups) and one thing that was 
communicated consistently is that satisfying different, also 
contradicting, political and economic interests and the political 
viability of certain interpretations of the license within the power 
structure in the OSMF at the moment (where throughout this time 
corporate interests always had a significant voice) was a significant 
point of consideration in many cases.

As said my problem with that is not that this happened, it is that this 
was a superficial measure and it did not bring us towards an agreement 
in the community if hard attribution and share-alike requirements 
should be a fundamental part of the social contract that shapes and 
defines the OSM community.

> There are no guidelines that impact or weaken the application of the
> ODbL wrt attribution of OSM, nor are is there any weakening of how
> the ODbL applies to actual OSM data or derivatives.

As you are aware what the community guidelines so far say about 
attribution is not that much, most of them is about share-alike.  The 
most relevant document for attribution so far is the license and legal 
FAQ which IIRC predates the community guidelines.  For share-alike and 
the community guidelines my characterization as "interpreting the ODbL 
as leniently as possible without this resulting in gross 
inconsistencies" does seem a correct characterization.  And i do not 
necessarily disagree with that, my problem is more the inconsistencies 
i see in some of the interpretations which i have pointed out in 
discussion on several occasions - like


My hope is that future new guidelines as well as refinements of existing 
ones take such lessons learned into account and put the viability of 
what i called "the social contract among mappers and between mappers 
and data users" above other goals.

Christoph Hormann

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