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OSM, ODbl and CC0

Posted Thu 30 Apr 2015 10:14:06 AM CEST Florian Lohoff in

Gary Gale has a nice writeup about the OSMs ODbL and how he thinks this harms business adoption.

I replied to his statements which i fully support.

Share Alike is a protective term. But it protects the wrong values in the context of OSM.

The value of Openstreetmap in my eyes is not its data. Its the community producing a steady stream of changes, additions and corrections. The tools around the OSM ecosystem making it possible even for non geo-data-nerds to process their own data and produce nice and astonishing results.

Imaging we would have licensed our data as CC0/PD. The big corps came and "stole" our data and merged them with their dataset and would not give back anything. They would have cut off themselves from the real values of OSM - the community. So misbehaviour would have backslashed on the comsumers of the OSM data.

Now lets look at the current situation. We have the ODbL and the Contributor Terms. Both are complex designed legal texts which are not easily understandable as one can see from the discussions on the various mailinglists. We have ongoing discussions about produced and derived works and their licensing. If in doubt businesses try to avoid getting near any of those complex legal issues.

I know this from my own professional life. 80% of my time is Openstreetmap. I I do infrastructure analysis based on and use OSM as a basemap but i avoid any legal issues by keeping all derived data to myself. I do not hand out osm derived data to clients.