as many of you will already know, OpenStreetMap has been planning to
change its license from CC-BY-SA 2.0 to OdBL 1.0 for a long time now
(several years). It appears that the date of the actual change is now
approaching fast and that the intended plan suggests that the change
will begin on the 27th of March and be complete by the 1st of April.
As, unlike Wikipedia, with its change to CC-BY-SA, OSM so far has not
had a clause in the license to switch to a different license, it had to
independently and separately ask all of its contributors to relicense
their data to the new license.
In a project with more than 200.000 contributors reaching all of them
and getting them to agree to a new license is an (near) impossible task.
Therefore despite OSM(F)'s best effort to reach as many mappers as
possible, obviously not all could be reached and convinced to agree.
As OSMF does not hold the copyright (the individual mappers do), it can
only re-license the content for which it has permission and has to
delete all other data.
Worldwide currently 2% - 3% of data are affected, but for some
regions or countries 10% or more of data have to be deleted.
The question for Wikipedia (in the sense of the maps rendered on the
toolserver and embedded in a number of language wikipedia's) now is how
to handle the license transition?
My suggestion is to freeze the toolserver's openstreetmap database on
the 27th and stop all data updates for now. After the dust settles on
the license change and the impact of the deleted data become more
apparent, one can reevaluate the situation and decide at what point the
missing updates are worth more than the deleted data. At that point a
fresh import of the OSM database would be necessary after which the
updates can resume. My guess would be that it would take a few weeks or
perhaps month for the most visible damage to the data to be fixed, but
it is very hard to predict this so far. An overview of the current
situation can be seen on cleanmap , which shows either what the map
will look like after the license change, or on badmap which data needs
to be removed or modified before the license change.
After the re-import, it will also require a slight adaptation of the
attribution to reflect the license change to OdBL. The tiles (which are
embedded in Wikipedia) I believe can still be published under CC-BY-SA
(it is only the data that is under OdBL, not the produced work) and I
don't think it will directly impact (or prevent) any of the current
other usage of OpenStreetMap data in Wikipedia. However, I don't know if
the Wikimedia legal council has or wants to say anything about it and /
or give its OK for continued inclusion?
What do others think? How should the OSM license change and the
resulting removal of data from its database be handled in Wikipedia? Do
people agree with the above suggestion? Does it have any other
consequences? Further thoughts?