Who do you work for?

Posted by Brent Velda on 20 November 2023 in English (English).

I work for the Commons. I work for the common good. But no, I will not release my edits under a “Public Domain” license.

Anyone can use my work, but under my terms. The ODbL terms. These are fair terms. It’s simple, credit us. And if you want to mix “your” data with ours, honour our time and our labour. Release it under the ODbL.

I don’t work Facebook or Amazon. I do not provide free labour for US tech companies. I am happy for you to use my data, but under my terms. The ODbL. No other license.

I want to make the world a better place. Not make a few Americans richer.

Comment from Jane Elodie on 21 November 2023 at 09:13

This is a wired one. I am a software engineer, but I believe in Free Software mission. I contribute to copy left software and data, but I also contribute to permissive software and data.

I think I like copy left, not because I like to own copyright, but because I believe nobody should own data or code. Copy left is just a tool to get there.

Comment from Tordanik on 22 November 2023 at 15:59

The ODbL sounds good when framed in terms of abstract goals: Let people know about the community which made your product possible and give something back.

But in practice, I feel it mostly results in bureaucracy and missed opportunities. It means that time which could have been spent on building stuff must instead be spent on wrangling legal issues. It means that we cannot fully cooperate with government organizations which want to release their data in the public domain. It means that it’s a common occurrence that someone with an idea for a genuinely nice project writes to some OSMF contact email and we have to respond with “sorry, it’s understandable that you can’t comply with ODbL in your situation, but we can’t make an exception for you. You’ll have to do without OSM.”

Ultimately, I just hate having to tell people they can’t do this cool thing with OSM, so I wish my contributions could simply be used by everyone with no legal strings attached.

Comment from Richard on 26 November 2023 at 19:15

But no, I will not release my edits under a “Public Domain” license.

Tell me, what are these edits of which you speak?

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