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Is Copyleft important for OpenStreetMap?

The discussion about the licence of the OpenStreetMap data is very important. I’m not very pleased about the current situation and doubt success before any court. Therefor I’m very happy, that the OSM Foundation took the job to improve the situation. Richard, thanks for your post in the OpenGeoData blog. Also in OpenSource buisiness, where the licences and rights are a bit more clear than for the situation of geo databases, you can find examples of companies stealing open/free products and embedding them (often modified) in commercial products without giving anything back to the community or original authors. As I consider this highly unfair it is important that at least the licences require some useful feedback of modifications.

Even though I don’t care about the exact wording or the name of the licence I require the following elements for it:

  • commercial usage allowed
  • allowed to make changes
  • attribution in some form (attribution of the project is enough for me)
  • require to give back the changes (copyleft)

Just to say it loud: I am a strong supporter of a copyleft licence for OSM data and I will never give my edits into public domain!

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