Update: Watch the townhall recording.

We are happy to announce that we are partnering with Harvard and Cardozo universities on a legal law clinic to assess practical licensing questions under OpenStreetMap’s ODbL license and contributor terms. We’re excited about this partnership for a handful of reasons which I’ll very judiciously outline below:

  • This is free legal research from some of the smartest law students in the world. We’re pretty excited about the “free” part but more importantly is the “smart student” part. There are many ways to bring diverse expertise into the OpenStreetMap community and we’re excited to be welcoming such promising expertise.
  • The outcome of this semester will inform legal questions we can pose ourselves and ideas we should clarify. As OpenStreetMap matures as a community project, the value of this (legal) self-reflection cannot be understated.
  • And finally! We hope this university partnership is a first agile step toward welcoming more sustained and diverse legal voices into the OpenStreetMap community. We need a range of university degrees to pass the bar because technologists alone cannot make a map that changes the world.

If you are also interested in the legal aspects of OpenStreetMap and/or interested in how we are working within this university structure, please join our very legal town hall on February 24th 12-1PM Eastern. (Townhall recording)

More information (including how to join our super-hip law-clinic Slack channel) can be found on the Law Clinic wiki page. We want to do this right by you, so let us know what you need to be legally informed and sound. Join us for the Town Hall or email us at board@openstreetmap.us.

Verdict: Black Cat took a nap and settled out of court.

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