Interesting comments to my last few diary entries, thanks to those who took the time to do this.
My main focus with OSM is to just get mapping done of my area to help a project I have been planning for a long time which, in part, will use maps to convey content.
So when I originally came across OSM some 4 years ago, it suited my needs and seemed to be a reasonable candidate to invest my free time and effort and at the same time enable me to contribute to another “open” community of individuals, which I have done in the past and still do, on other open projects including open source projects.
However, the new contributor terms have become a show-stopper for me contributing further map data after the terms become compulsory, in particular the following:
“You hereby grant to OSMF a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable licence to do any act that is restricted by copyright, database right or any related right over anything within the Contents, whether in the original medium or any other. These rights explicitly include commercial use, and do not exclude any field of endeavour. These rights include, without limitation, the right to sub-license the work through multiple tiers of sub-licensees and to sue for any copyright violation directly connected with OSMF's rights under these terms. To the extent allowable under applicable local laws and copyright conventions, You also waive and/or agree not to assert against OSMF or its licensees any moral rights that You may have in the Contents. “
To me, this means in effect giving shared ownership of my data to a limited company. You simply cannot predict where or what that company will be in 2, 5, or 10 years time.
I suggest taking a look at the OSMF Memorandum of Association at www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Memorandum_of_Association.
The key problem area for me is items 7, 8.1, 8.2.
“7. If the Company is wound up while a person is a member or within one year after that person ceases to be a member, every member of the Company will contribute such amount as may be required (not exceeding £5) to the assets of the Company, for payment of the Company’s debts and liabilities accrued before the member ceases to be a member, and of the costs and expenses of winding up, and for the adjustment of the rights of the members among themselves.
If on the winding up or dissolution of the Company there remains any surplus property after satisfaction of the Company’s debts and liabilities, the surplus shall not be paid to the members of the Company, but shall be either:
8.1 given or transferred to some other institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Company; or
8.2 If no such payment is possible, any surplus shall be applied to a charitable object. In each case, the recipient body or bodies shall be chosen by the members as at the date of winding up or dissolution. “
So most contributors won't have a say where their rights they granted to OSMF will go. Items 8.1/8.2 look cosy in that property (which would include Rights ) would hopefully go to a good cause, that is not certain however. The main danger is however is in item 7. The second paragraph talks about surplus's and how that would hopefully be handled in 8.1/8.2, but the main reason why companies are wound up is because that they are insolvent i.e they have debt. Item 7 does not detail what will happen then. Well let me pass on some experience of some my friends who are or have been Directors/MD's of companies that have faced insolvency from unexpected forces outside the control of the company. If an administrator/ liquidator is appointed, it is their duty to realise any monetary value in a company and that would include any Rights by that company, to pay creditors.
Therefore, if I sign up to the new CT's there is a risk that those rights I grant to OSMF may be sold to a commercial enterprise. I did not start contributing to OSM with many hours of free time and effort to potentially fill the coffers of a commercial organisation.
I'm not too keen on item 4.5 (in the MoA) either ( supporting wives / family of OSMF etc, etc) but that's a different story, my main issue is item 7 above.
In short while I am likely to be stopped editing OSM any more, which is a shame, as I have enjoyed what I have done to date and it will be interesting to see how they will delete my data without deleting contributors data, who have accepted the new terms, which is mixed with mine.
To all who have decided to accept the new terms I wish you well, but please do keep an eye on what OSMF get up to with your data.