User:Frederik Ramm/A message to those who want a fork

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Dear X,

so you are unhappy with the proposed switch to ODbL, any you want to set up a fork of OSM that continues to run under CC-BY-SA.

That's great! A forked database will be helpful for many, even after OSM changes to ODbL, and you are certainly not alone in favouring CC-BY-SA (even though it is assumed to offer less protection to the data in many places of the world - but I assume you have properly researched that and made up your mind).

The world is large enough for a handful of collaborative mapping projects. I don't mean to hold you back. I and others in the project will even help you with our knowledge, and of course you are allowed to use the software we have written for OSM, and you will be allowed to continue using our data.

(Personally I even have a domain called which I'm willing to sign over to someone who wants to set something up. I'd prefer to give it to someone who makes a PD fork but if there is demand from a CC-BY-SA fork I'll consider that as well.)

So in a way, you get to have everything: You get to keep the license you prefer; you get to keep all the software; you get to keep all the data - whereas we others will probably lose some data, and all just because we believe that we have to switch the license!

Now all I'm asking of you is to respect our decision. You get everything you want. We cannot, and don't want to, force you to hand over your data. But if would be highly unfair of you to try and ruin our project for us by talking as many people as possible into deserting us and rejecting the new license. Do your own thing if you must, but let us do our own thing as well.

A fork doesn't mean war. This can be done in a civilised manner. It is even possible to write editor plugins that let you upload new data to both an ODbL and a CC-BY-SA database at the same time - I could very much imagine using that, to let as many people as possible use the data i have surveyed.

We are changing; you are leaving. That can happen in any relationship. But that doesn't mean you'll have to spend all your energy making things miserable for the former partner. Nobody gains; everybody loses.

Think positive - use your energy to try and build something, not to try and destroy something.