ian at urbanmapping.com
Mon Jun 30 15:00:45 PDT 2008
You're not thinking about the developer community and Google legacy here. What G is doing is a fine (and smart) business arrangement, and it is their prerogative. What makes people like me and Steve angry is that the do-no-evil company is attempting to co-op yet another corner of the (traditional) open community. I'm the first guy to say greed is good, but not when you parade around touting the virtues of openness. And there's nothing new here--G's been doing this for some time, it's just that this seems to be such an egregious violation of the geo-trust they've established. It's not a conspiracy-minded belief, it's factual--google believes it can out-open the open community in geo, transit, wiki and other areas. But google gets to reap those benefits, unless something changes. For those of us who are active in this community, there's been increased consternation and criticism of G, and for good reason--it's all grown up and needs to start acting like it. The PR/goodwill is (slowly) fading. The masses are in love with google products, and I also think they are pretty damn good. But there's a cost. I love making money. But I don't behave in a way to make it seem that it is a necessary evil.
From: geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to [mailto:geowanking-bounces at lists.burri.to] On Behalf Of P Kishor
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 14:14
To: geowanking at lists.burri.to
Subject: Re: [Geowanking] MapMaker
On 6/30/08, SteveC <steve at asklater.com> wrote:
> On 30 Jun 2008, at 14:34, P Kishor wrote:
> > Why is this creating such a storm in the proverbial teacup? From the
> > MapMaker TOS --
> > "By submitting User Submissions to the Service, you give Google a
> > perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive
> > license to "
> > See the non-exclusive part. You give Google a license, but you retain
> > your copyright to do whatever you want to. You can turn around and
> > give it OSM as well, or sell it Yahoo or Microsoft or whoever your
> > preferred map making overlords are. What's the big deal?
> Yeah what's the big deal? So... where can I download all my data and load
> it in to OSM then?
I am still not getting it. The only thing I don't see in the MapMaker
app is the ability to one-click download the data. But the MapMaker's
purpose doesn't seem to be the same as that of OSM. MapMaker is an
online tool for end-users you are interested in the capabilities that
MapMaker might offer. It seems to not be for end-users you want to
download the raw data and do things with it. For those, well, perhaps
OSM serves that group better.
MapMaker also doesn't seem to allow any bulk upload of data. It is
geared more toward interactive, onesey-twosie edits.
In any case, if I have any data that I can upload, I would obviously
still have it even after I have uploaded it, be it to MapMaker or to
OSM. So, I am not sure about losing any power or rights over the data
I would use MapMaker because I see some worth in easily and quickly
adding my knowledge to a group knowledge base. I can choose to do the
same with OSM. Choice is good.
> And, er, does this also give me rights to derive for non-exclusive use
What do you mean by that? Does what give you the right to derive what
for non-exclusive use? Giving Google the non-exclusive license to use
your data doesn't take away any of your rights as far as I can read
this. What is the complain about?
> The non-exclusive part may be just for those jurisdictions which treat
> copyright as a moral right and thus it has to be non-exclusive. But I'm sure
> if you mail them they'll reply with an open an honest answer.
I have no idea what they will answer, and I'd rather not conjecture. I
do know that here in the US I have my copyright over my creations
instantly at the moment of creation. I like that. If there is another
jurisdiction that doesn't have that, well, they have to figure out how
to change their jurisdiction's applicable laws so they serve them
> > Unless I am missing something, I see absolutely no problem. In any
> You're missing Google trampling on an open community again after selling
> the dream of doing no evil. I mean, personally I've been expecting it for a
> while and I have no illusions of the motivation for this stuff, but a lot of
> people have a hope of higher purpose that, y'know, they'd at least bother
> talking to us first.
This is the part I just don't get. Why should Google talk to
us/you/them? Just because we are open source? Just because we are
pretty? Just because we are idealistic? Google is a private company
(well, a public company), and they will do what they think is best for
their business and their shareholders. They are not obligated to do
anything other than what is legally required. Anything beyond that is
up to them.
When Google started their Knol venture, similar sentiments were
expressed vis a vis Wikipedia. I don't know about others, but I have
never visited this Knol thing. I don't use Orkut, I don't care for
Picasa, and I don't use Google Pages. On the other hand, I do use
Gmail, and Google Apps, and Google Groups, and Google web search. Just
because Google made it doesn't make it a default or only option for
me. That is good in my book.
No, they are not obligated to talk to OSM or to MapServer or to
OpenLayers or to Darfur Watch or to Oxfam. Why do we, in the open
source world, seem to have this attitude that we are nobler than
others and that others have to work with us otherwise they are the
As far as I can see, Google has not muffled OSM in any way. If they
have, let me/us know, and I will instantly change my mind about them.
Until then, I like choices. I use a variety of tools and businesses in
my daily life -- some I pay for, others are free; some are open
source, others are proprietary. I can choose. I like that, and I want
it to be that way.
> But that's not their modus operandi.
Once again, if there are clear, documented, evidence backable
instances of Google muffling or trampling on a open source project, I
would love to see it, and if true, I would instantly change my mind
about Google. Until then, it is just wanking on our part.
Google doesn't owe us a thing, and we are not owned by Google a bit.
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