[odc-discuss] Fwd: [OSM-legal-talk] LWN article on license change and Creative Commons

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Fri Jan 21 13:38:17 UTC 2011


On 01/21/11 14:09, Rufus Pollock wrote:
> 3. The ODbL already supports the concept of compatible licenses. If CC
> licenses do reach the point that they support data then this should
> provide a way to interope (or even migrate) to that license if a
> particular organization so wishes.

Who would be the person/organisation to determine what license is 
"compatible"? I assume such compatibility would be general, and not for 
a specific project?

And once a license was deemed to be "compatible" with ODbL does it then 
matter what the particular organisation (that issued data under ODbL) 
wishes? Even against the explicit wish of that organisation, users could 
download the data and then re-release it under the "compatible" license, 

In OpenStreetMap, our situation currently is this: We plan to have 
contributors sign a set of "contributor terms" that basically say "you 
allow OSMF to release the database under ODbL or another free and open 
license that is accepted by 2/3 of the community".

Our assumption is currently that we have three distinct license change 
paths - in the order of difficulty:

1. ODC release a new version of ODbL, or declare another license 
"compatible". In that case, OSMF could simply invoke section 4.4 of ODbL 
and change the license to whatever ODC declares compatible without 
asking anyone.

2. OSMF want to change away from ODbL to a license that is not declared 
"compatible". They would invoke the license change clause of the 
Contributor terms, poll the community, and move if they get a 2/3 majority.

3. OSMF want to change away from ODbL to a license that is either not 
free and open, or does not pass the 2/3 in a poll. They would then have 
to relicense the data by asking every contributor if he's ok with "his" 
data being relicensed. This is what we are doing presently in our 
endeavour to switch to ODbL and unlikely to be repeated ever again.

The difference in 1. and 2. is that we have hitherto assumed that it 
must be ODC who declare "compatibility". If this were not the case, and 
indeed any user of ODbL could declare such "compatibility" for himself, 
then 2. would become irrelevant because OSMF would simply declare 
"compatible" any license they would like to use, not even having to poll 
the community...


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